Coverage of the game took place at the Amex Elite Football Performance Centre. Brighton hosted Manchester United at 2:45 on MUTV in a big game for the PL2. Manchester United’s U23s aimed for triumph in their encounter with Brighton and hoped to celebrate their second consecutive win of this season. A great result for them as they hit Brighton for five in a thriller of a game.
One, negative was that Facundo Pellistri remained absent in the United squad to face Brighton. Despite showing some promise during his debut against Everton for the U23s. A game where United once again came out on top with a 2-1 win at home.
First half analysis – Will the U23s Red Devils secure another victory?
The young Red Devils showed promising signs just moments after the whistle blew. The young side controlled the ball and created convincing chances. When the opportunities came about it was only a matter of minutes before a goal would go United’s way.
1-0 to Manchester United in the eighth minute. A stunning through ball by Puigmal picking out Hannibal resulting in the ball hitting the netting after an excellent strike into the bottom corner. Despite it taking eight minutes to find the opener, United were the stronger team in the early minutes of the game. Close attempts by Galbraith and Elanga the most noteable.
Soon after Hannibal scored Brighton almost equalised with a chance for midfielder, Teddy Jenks. If Brighton were able to find an early equaliser then the momentum of the game could easily favour the Seagulls. United lead doubled from a brilliant shot by Shola Shortire after Elanga tricked the keeper Christian Walton.
United add another goal to their tally just before the closing minutes of the first half. A well-executed move by Elanga to Puigmal who cleverly picked out Helm making a run near the back post. Helm smashed it past the keeper to make it 3-0 just before the closing minutes of the first half. However, the game was not sealed for United just yet as Brighton’s star man, Teddy Jenks had the ball in the back of the net for Brighton. But disappointment would follow as it was disallowed for an offside position.
Second half analysis:
Part One– Brighton back in it?
As the whistle blew for the start of the second half Manchester United started the game at a slower pace. Seeming to lack concentration and focus. 2 minutes into the second half and Brighton are looking to question the score line with two close crosses from the team. However, Brighton were unable to score until the 58th minute. United conceded a penalty after a foul by Helm. Jenson Weir converted and began what they believed as a start for Brighton’s comeback. This seems to be more believable after United’s poor defending allowed another Weir goal from a cross by Khadra just a minute after the penalty was given. Neil Wood makes his first two substitutions of the game bringing on Hugill for Helm and Neville for Erocolani.
This game between Brighton and United appeared to show similarities earlier in the season at our away game against Arsenal. In that game, United dropped 2 points, settling at a 3-3 draw after United’s lead.
Part Two – The Young Devils go for the kill
Not all was lost however. Skill from wing-back Alvaro Fernandez cut it in from the left flank onto his right foot and smashed it past the Brighton keeper to ensure that United had a 2-goal lead.
With just 7 minutes to play out of the 90 minutes United drove into Brighton’s half of the pitch in attempt to extend their lead further. The result came as a team effort from Fernandez finding Puigmal. Passing it to Mejbri who sought out Puigmal to earn his goal (which he deserved) as he slides the ball past the keeper. 4 minutes after Puigmal scored, Neil Wood made his final substitutions. He brought Galbraith off and McCann on for the remaining 3 minutes of normal time. The game finishes after an additional 6 minutes, resulting in a 5-2 victory to Manchester United. The result moved them a point above Everton into 8th place in the league.
Conclusion analysis of the Manchester United U23s Vs Brighton U23s
Overall United still have to improve if they are going to compete for the top four positions. They are 3 points behind Tottenham Hotspur at 4th place and a further 8 points behind 1st, occupied by Derby County. Furthermore, regarding the results from the previous two games things look promising for the young United side. They appear to be showing structure in their play and a greater understanding in the positioning of players. Noteably when it comes to creating vital chances throughout the game. Most importantly, they have managed to find a tactically developed game plan that has worked for them so far after the games before Everton being receptive draws.
Each individual player is progressing in their own play and know just how important consistency and development is in their game. Competition is growing in the club and positions are not always going to be guaranteed if the manager feels although they are not putting 100% into the matches. Especially with the advancement in the academy program and the talent that United are buying into the youth teams.
Alternatively, it was a disappointment that the young talent Facundo Pellistri was not in the starting eleven or on the bench. Especially since he made an outstanding welcome to the team and participated in the victorious side against Everton. Hopefully this means that fans will be seeing him join the first team in training ahead of their upcoming matches. He has exceptional talent and cost the club around 10 million pounds to buy so it will be great to see more of him.