Controversy at the end.

Talking Points: Brighton v United

Saturday 26 September 2020 15:14

Manchester United came from a goal down to claim a 3-2 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion and earn our first three points of the season.

The match ended in dramatic fashion when referee Chris Kavanagh awarded a penalty for handball following a VAR review, after he had blown the final whistle. Bruno Fernandes slotted the penalty past keeper Mathew Ryan.

Neal Maupay had put the hosts into the lead from the spot with a perfect Panenka penalty, after Mason Greenwood had earlier seen a strike ruled out for offside. The Seagulls' advantage was short -lived however, as Lewis Dunk turned the ball into his own net.

A strike from Marcus Rashford then looked to have sealed the win in the second half, our number 10 showing fantastic composure, turning this way and that to outwit the defence and pick his spot. But the Reds were pegged back in stoppage time by a Solly March header, before the unprecedented conclusion to the match.

Milestone for Marcus at Brighton


Find out how Rashford etched his name into United history with that tremendous goal on the south coast.

Here are the main talking points as the Reds got a first win in the Premier League this term…


Like at Old Trafford against Crystal Palace, the Video Assistant Referee again played a defining role in the game at the Amex – in particular in the second half. Even before the extraordinary conclusion with the penalty awarded after full-time, a second Brighton spot-kick was awarded and then overturned by the referee after he consulted he pitch-side monitor and a review also ruled out a Reds strike by Marcus Rashford for offside – shortly before he netted his effort that did stand.


As significant as Marcus Rashford's left-footed finish was in the context of the match, it is also represented a landmark in the club’s history as being our 10,000th goal across all competitions. He took it so calmly, twice dummying Albion defender Ben White, before firing home with the aid of a slight deflection for his second goal of the campaign.


Brighton hit the woodwork five times in total - three of them coming via Leandro Trossard. The Belgian is the first player to do this in a Premier League  match since Cristiano Ronaldo, for the Reds, against Newcastle United in October, 2006. No team has hit bar or post more times in a single Premier League fixture since Opta data became available in the 2003/04 season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did make the point afterwards that he felt David De Gea had some of the attempts covered.


It is a first that the final whistle had already sounded before United scored a goal and Bruno's typically cool penalty is the latest Premier League effort for any club since Juan Mata's strike against Norwich City. That came back in August 2011, when our Spanish midfielder was still with Chelsea, as he netted in the 101st minute.


The victory on the south coast was United’s fifth consecutive win on the road in the Premier League. During that run, the Reds have netted 13 goals and conceded just two. Meanwhile, Fernandes is especially enjoying his travels in the league, having been directly involved in 10 goals in his last eight league appearances away from home – scoring seven and setting up two.


No doubt Graham Potter’s side will be eager to exact revenge following the defeat, but United will have the chance to pile misery on the Seagulls once more on Wednesday when the two sides go head-to-head again at the Amex in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

The new season is here. Our 2020/21 home, away and third kits are available now from United Direct.