The Red Devils looked out of touch and out of ideas at home against the Eagles while succumbing to a 1-3 defeat. However, Manchester United were quick to bounce back in midweek in the Carabao Cup, dispatching off Luton Town 3-0 to regain some lost confidence ahead of a hectic week.
The game against Brighton was billed to be a real test of character for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. It proved so especially in the first half as Manchester United went behind two minutes before the break when Neal Maupay scored from the spot. However, Brighton’s lead lasted only three minutes as a Lewis Dunk own goal restored parity. The two teams then went into the break with the scores level at 1-1.
Manchester United started the second half on the ascendancy and took the lead through Marcus Rashford in the 55th minute. The hosts then pushed United back for the rest of the half and managed to equalise through Solly March in the fifth minute of injury time.
However, there was more drama in store as VAR awarded Manchester United a late penalty which Bruno Fernandes converted with virtually the last kick of the game.
The Red Devils were nowhere near their best against Brighton, but this win will nevertheless delight Solskjaer. On that note, let us take a look at five Manchester United players who were impressive against Brighton.
Five Manchester United players who impressed against Brighton
#5 David de Gea
David de Gea did not have the best of games and was beaten seven times in 90 minutes by Brighton. Thankfully, though, the frame of the goal came to his rescue on as many as five occasions!
Not for the first time, the Manchester United defense did not do De Gea too many favours as the visiting custodian rightfully bellowed at his backline more than once.
The penalty that gave the hosts the lead was executed to perfection, and there was nothing the Spaniard could do about it. However, for Brighton's second goal, De Gea was left exposed by his backline. In a moment between the two Brighton goals, though, the Spaniard showed the world why he is so highly rated by his manager.
In the dying moments of the game, with Manchester United still leading 2-1, the Red Devils' defence was ripped apart by the hosts, and Leandro Trossard found himself free on goal with only De Gea to beat.
However, the Manchester United keeper did well to keep the shot out and ensured that the visitors remained within a whiff of victory till the last kick of the game. It turned out to be the only time when the Spaniard was called to action, and De Gea responded very well to help his team come out with all three points.
#4 Nemanja Matic
The unsung hero of the Manchester United midfield, Nemanja Matic, carried out his work quietly throughout the game once again, even though he was burdened by a slow Pogba and an unsure defence behind him.
However, Nemanja Matic kept the ball moving and showed silky skills in unexpected positions as he pushed the team forward from the deep. The Serbian completed 56 of his 66 attempted passes in a game where Manchester United players kept gifting possession to the opposition. Had it not been for the experience of Matic in the middle of the park, the visitors could have conceded more goals.
Matic did not just pass the ball but also showed adventure and desire to move the game forward. He attempted ten passes into the final-third, with seven of them being successful. The Serbian tried to initiate counter-attacks as well, but Manchester United simply seemed to lack the zeal in the final-third of the game.
Matic, nevertheless, continues to be an important part of the Solskjaer project, and he certainly played his part in Manchester United's gritty win over the Seagulls.
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