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Brighton 0-3 Manchester United: 5 key talking points

  • A look at the five major talking points from the Premier League game between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion.
  • Manchester United beat Brighton 3-0 to move within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
ANALYST
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Modified 01 Jul 2020, 04:31 IST
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

With the race for the top 4 hotting up in the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took Manchester United down to Brighton on a damp night at the Amex. However, the Norwegian’s team did not let him down as they dominated a poor Brighton side from start to finish.

Manchester United assumed early control of the match in the 16th minute when a Mason Greenwood strike beat Matthew Ryan at his near post. Manchester United soon doubled their lead through a deflected Bruno Fernandes shot that trickled into the net ten minutes later.

After the break, the Red Devils put the game beyond all doubt with a free-flowing counter-attack ending with a perfect Fernandes volley. The win puts Manchester United just two points behind Chelsea in fourth place.

On that note, here are five talking points from Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Five talking points from Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Brighton

#5 Mason Greenwood shines

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

Despite being dubbed as Old Trafford’s wonderkid, Mason Greenwood made only his 6th Premier League start of the season against Brighton.

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The youngster justified the Manchester United manager’s decision by scoring the game’s opener in the 16th minute. The 18-year-old cut in from the right, produced a few stepovers and dropped a shoulder before lacing the ball into the bottom corner. With that, he notched up his 13th goal in all competitions for Manchester United this season.

In the second half, the youngster showed off his creative side with a perfectly weighted cross for Bruno Fernandes to volley in. Greenwood’s exceptional composure and execution were on show during that counter-attack, something that his teammate Daniel James was found lacking.

#4 Brighton’s low-block shape

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

The first half performance we saw from Graham Potter’s men was perhaps the worst of any side in the Premier League post-lockdown.

The Brighton players looked defeated before a ball had even been kicked and Manchester United’s sucker punch first goal completely eviscerated any belief they might have had. In the first half, Brighton only had 34% of possession as Solskjaer’s men completely penned the hosts in their own half. 

In the second half, Brighton exhibited an intention of going forward. However, all hopes of a comeback were dashed when they committed too many men forward and were brutally exposed by a counter-attack from Manchester United. 

The 3-0 defeat leaves the Terriers in 15th place, only six points above the relegation zone.

#3 Anthony Martial impressed up front

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

This season, by hook or by crook, Anthony Martial has established himself as Manchester United’s first-choice striker. Solskjaer has placed a lot of faith in the Frenchman, and he has responded well with 14 league goals in 26 appearances.

Tonight, he didn’t deliver in the same way as he did last Wednesday, the Frenchman put in a much more holistic performance, especially in the second half. Martial often dropped in deep to hold up while Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood made their runs on the flanks.

Martial was selfless in his movement and tireless with his efforts, despite not attempting a shot on goal.

#2 Leandro Trossard - Brighton’s only spark

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League
Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

In an attempt to get a foothold in the game, Graham Potter brought on the creative Leandro Trossard at half time.

The Belgian made an instant impact. He found himself in several dangerous positions that discomfited the Manchester United defence. Drifting in off the left-hand side, Trossard regularly found himself in the half-space between Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof, leaving the Manchester United defenders in two minds about pressing him or stepping off.

This movement pattern proved highly effective as Trossard was able to attempt three shots on goal within twenty minutes. Considering his impact, Potter would regret not starting with the Belgian player instead of introducing him midway through the match.

#1 Pogba and Fernandes' sizzling chemistry

Will these two lead Manchester United to the top 4?
Will these two lead Manchester United to the top 4?

A lot has been made of the ‘wizard’-like chemistry between Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

Since arriving in January, Fernandes has been the creative spark Manchester United needed in the absence of the Frenchman. A spark that has seen him directly contribute to six goals in 7 games. His impact left Manchester United fans and neutrals alike drooling over the prospect of a linkup with Pogba.

Today against a resilient Brighton side, the dynamic duo made their presence known.

For the game’s second goal, Pogba assistes Fernandes for a deflected goal. The pair weren’t finished there; they continually broke the lines of a Brighton side at will. Fernandes rounded off his evening with a timely volley after a fluid Manchester United counter-attack in the 47th minute.

As for Pogba, he completed 49 passes and created two chances in an evening when he barely broke a sweat. 

Published 01 Jul 2020, 04:31 IST
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