Talking Points: Brighton v United
Manchester United enjoyed a comfortable return to Premier League action on Tuesday, with a 3-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.
A FIRST WIN AT THE AMEX
We hadn't enjoyed our previous trips to the Amex Stadium - in fact, we lost in both of our two prior games at the Seagulls’ home ground. However, the Reds banished those demons on Tuesday with a comfortable victory. The win was actually our first away to Brighton since 1982, when Ray Wilkins scored our only goal in a 1-0 triumph at the Seagulls' former home, the Withdean Stadium.
Focus on Brighton v United gallery
Browse the very best images from our eye-catching Premier League outing against the Seagulls.
Since our last league game against Sheffield United, the picture for the remaining Champions League spots had changed considerably, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers all picking up wins in that time. That’s why it was so important to come away with all three points on the south coast. The victory over Graham Potter’s men means we have moved back up to fifth in the table, two points behind Chelsea, who themselves trail Leicester City by just a single point. Sixth-placed Wolves are on 52 points, the same as United, then come Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley with 45 points. It's worth saying only Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester have a better goal difference than us, with the Reds on +20.
With so many matches packed into the current Premier League schedule, many expected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rotate his squad at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday. However, the boss opted to stick with the same XI that started the 3-0 win against Sheffield United last week. Does Ole now see this as the Reds’ strongest starting XI? It’s tough to say, but he certainly seems confident in this team’s ability to pick up three points.
Match Tweets collection
Presenting the trending stats and standout opinions from United's excellent 3-0 win at the Amex Stadium.
Mason Greenwood netted for the first time in over three months when he fired an excellent first-half effort past Mat Ryan. That was the youngster’s sixth Premier League goal of the season - and his 13th overall - and no player aged 19 or younger has netted more times in Europe’s top five leagues this season. Cutting in from the right wing, Mason was a constant threat for the Brighton defence and even showed his creative side in the second period, when he picked out Fernandes at the back post to make it 3-0.
By avoiding defeat against Brighton, the Reds unbeaten run has now been extended to 15 games in all competitions. That’s a record during Ole’s period at the club and a run which keeps us well in the mix in the top-four battle.
Reds all over the world are showing their colours for tonight's game against Brighton.
With the Reds three goals up after 50 minutes, Ole decided to hand a much-needed rest to some of his players. Just after the hour-mark, the boss withdrew Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes - both of whom have started all four games since Project Restart - while Paul Pogba was taken off at the same time. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were also withdrawn with 12 minutes remaining. Ole will, no doubt, be hoping to keep all five fresh ahead of Saturday’s match against Bournemouth at Old Trafford.