Talking Points: United 2 Brighton 1
It was a very happy Easter for Manchester United as the Reds claimed a 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion to further strengthen our position in the top four.
Under the floodlights at Old Trafford on Easter Sunday, the Reds fought back to claim a solid and important league win against the Seagulls.
The visitors got off to a bright start thanks to a goal from former United striker Danny Welbeck. The 30-year-old followed up to head home from close range after initially seeing his first effort saved by Dean Henderson.
After another hard-fought battle at the Theatre of Dreams, there were several talking points to look back on…
Sunday's victory means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men now have a mini gap in second place from those teams chasing us. Leicester City lost to Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday and with eight games to go in the league, the Reds are now four points ahead of the Foxes and eleven points above Tottenham Hotspur, who sit fifth just outside the Champions League spots and are our next opponents in the league a week today.
Our no.10 had recovered from the injury preventing him from playing for England during the international break and was straight back on the scoresheet for United against the Seagulls. His 62nd-minute equaliser was his 50th goal under Ole and no player has scored more during the Norwegian’s reign. The composed finish was also his 10th goal in the Premier League this campaign and his 31st direct goal involvement in all competitions. The Wythenshawe man’s strike was his fourth against Brighton and Marcus has only scored more league goals against Leicester City, with five.
Mason Greenwood netted the winner for the Reds with a header from close range. The 19-year-old reacted brilliantly to a Paul Pogba ball to nod the Reds in front inside the final ten minutes. The goal has been coming for Mason, who has put in some brilliant performances this season, particularly of late. The header was his second league strike of the season and his seventh of the campaign in all competitiouns. The match-winning goal was the first he has scored with his head for the senior team and his 12th Premier League goal in total. Only Wayne Rooney (15) and Marcus Rashford (13) have scored more Premier League goals as a teenager for United.
In his pre-match interview, Ole confirmed that Anthony Martial unfortunately is expected to be out for a few weeks, possibly until the end of the season, after suffering a sprained knee whilst on international duty with France.
BACK IN BUSINESS
With Martial out for a while, Ole was extra pleased to be able to name Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in the starting line-up on Sunday. The Uruguayan frontman has been out of action since our 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at the start of March, whereas the English duo recently had to withdraw from international duty with injuries, but thankfully were back in action on Sunday.
Vital win gallery
Check out the best pics as United seal an important comeback win. Get in, Reds!
HARRY AND VICTOR HIT 100
United captain Harry Maguire marked a century of appearances for the Reds against the Seagulls. Indeed, our skipper has missed just nine games he could have been involved in since his move from Leicester in August 2019 which is an incredible stat! Meanwhile, his centre-back partner Victor Lindelof also celebrated a similar milestone, as he made his 100th Premier League start for United on Easter Sunday. Congratulations, Harry and Vic!
DANNY DOING THE DAMAGE
Former Red Danny Welbeck led the line for the visitors at Old Trafford and scored the opening goal of the match. The striker was first denied by a magnificent save from Dean Henderson before he headed in his own rebound to send the Seagulls ahead. With his header, the Mancunian became the first player to score three Premier League goals against United since leaving the Reds. The former Academy graduate scored 29 times and provided 21 assists in 142 United appearances between 2008 and 2014 before his Deadline Day move to Arsenal in September 2014.
Next up for the Reds is a trip to Spain to face Granada in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. The Spanish outfit beat Norwegian side Molde, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s former club, in the previous round. Thursday evening’s first leg with the La Liga outfit kicks off at 20:00 BST.