Talking points from the Amex

Sunday 19 May 2024 18:06

Manchester United rounded off our 2023/24 Premier League campaign in fine fashion, beating Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at the Amex Stadium.

Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Hojlund both found the net to ensure an eighth-placed for the Reds, in what has been a challenging campaign given the extensive injury list across the term.

With our full focus now swiftly turning to next weekend's Emirates FA Cup final showdown with Manchester City at Wembley, United prepared in the best possible way by winning on the road.

Backed by our superb supporters in the sun-baked conditions on the south coast, read our takeaways from a professional away performance... 

Casemiro was particularly impressive for the Reds in a professional display for United.

With Rasmus Hojlund on the bench to begin with, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes took up a dual role in attack, as both players featured fluidly in false-nine positions. Bruno's key eye for a pass proved pivotal in the opening moments as he picked out Alejandro Garnacho and, with injuries still affecting selection, Erik ten Hag's side were once again forced to fill out roles they may not necessarily be used to. Hojlund made his mark after his second-half introduction and his strike ultimately capped a neat display from the Reds.


A fan-favourite in ever sense, Lisandro Martinez's return to the XI was greeted with a sigh of relief ahead of next weekend's FA Cup final with City at Wembley, as he featured for virtually an hour at the Amexl. Our no.6's superb ability to help build up from the back is so vital to everything the Reds hope to do and his block off the line to deny Adam Webster epitomised everything we love about the Argentinian. It's great to have you back, Licha.

Given United's injury problems in defence, Ten Hag was once again forced to trial a brand-new centre-back partnership, even this late in a Premier League campaign. Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez accompanied one another and performed well to deal with former Red Danny Welbeck for most of the afternoon. Jonny Evans and Raphael Varane then saw out the game, as we chalked off another domestic clean sheet.


With Newcastle home and dry by half-time, despite an improved second-half display from Brentford, United's chance of a seventh-placed finish looked out of the question. It was clear the boss had one eye on next weekend's final and the Dutchman opted to bring off both Fernandes and Martinez on the hour mark. Our only chance of European football next year relies upon victory at Wembley and you would expect both players to start in that one.

Brighton 0 United 2


The Reds finish the league season with a victory thanks to second-half strikes by Dalot and Hojlund.


Having announced he is leaving the club at the end of the season, it was great to see Varane back on the pitch, as he returned from his lay-off. The experienced Frenchman headed on to replace Sofyan Amrabat and partner Evans for the final stages and provided a cool head on a hot day on the south coast. One question is whether he will start against the Blues next Saturday.


Despite only serving two years of his four-year deal at the Amex Stadium, it's safe to say Roberto De Zerbi is certainly well liked around the south coast. His expansive, fluid, sometimes risky, style of football has drawn plaudits from all around Europe. His time will be remembered well by the Brighton supporters and plenty inside the stadium stayed around to thank him following the full-time whistle.
Raphael in action looking as cool as ever, we must admit...

Another positive result gives the Reds plenty of hope heading into next weekend's showdown with crosstown rivals Manchester City and you get the feeling Ten Hag's men know how much of a lift this could give everybody going into the summer. With even more at stake given the European permutations, we're set for an exciting end-of-season encounter in the capital and that is now where all the focus lies.


It goes without saying, but United's fans who made the trip south certainly enjoyed every minute of that victory, right until the very end. An almost 10-minute rendition of Ten Hag's Army and Wembley rang out following the full-time whistle and we cannot understate how much the Reds were boosted by your presence across the 90 minutes and beyond.