United v Brighton: talking points
Manchester United made it five wins out of six in all competitions, dispatching Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Andreas Pereira’s 17th-minute opener and a Davy Propper own goal gave us an early lead, before Lewis Dunk pulled one back for the Seagulls in the second half. Marcus Rashford soon restored our two-goal advantage, however, and here are some of the main talking points from an impressive afternoon for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side...
Before kick-off, a minute’s silence took place as part of the Remembrance Sunday commemorations. The silence was impeccably observed by the 73,556 fans inside Old Trafford, while both teams wore poppies on their shirts to mark the occasion.
A QUICKFIRE DOUBLE
This was only the second time this season that United have scored more than once in the first half of a Premier League game, following on from our 3-1 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road two weeks ago. The last time the Reds notched twice before half-time in M16 was on 19 January and our opponents on that day were, funnily enough, Brighton. Marcus Rashford was also on the scoresheet, against a Seagulls side which was then managed by Chris Hughton.
For the second consecutive Premier League match at Old Trafford, home supporters were faced with an anxious wait before a goal scored by United was confirmed. This time it was our second strike, eventually recorded as a Davy Propper own goal, which was subject to a check by the Video Assistant Referee, Peter Bankes. Replays were combed over to examine whether Harry Maguire had handled the ball in the build-up, but thankfully for the Reds the goal was given, after a stoppage of around three minutes.
FRED’S GROWING INFLUENCE
The Brazilian midfielder put in one of his most impressive showings in a red shirt, breaking up the play alongside Scott McTominay and helping to create Marcus Rashford’s decisive third in a display which saw him run a team-high 11.55 kilometres. Fred, who also stung the palms of Mat Ryan with a rasping second-half effort, has now started each of United’s last five Premier League fixtures – his longest run in the XI since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer.
Handed the armband for the first time in the league due to the absence of Ashley Young, our skipper for the game delivered a solid performance at the heart of United’s back four. Often seen carrying the ball out of defence, the 26-year-old was composed on the ball and marshalled an impressive backline that limited the visitors to only two shots on target. He also helped guide teenager Brandon Williams through the game on what was the left-back's first Premier League start.
United’s attacking play was dazzling at times, especially after Rashford had struck to put an end to Brighton’s brief resistance. With Rashford and Dan James flying down the wings, Anthony Martial holding up the ball and substitute Jesse Lingard also dashing in and out of the pockets of space between the lines, the Reds created several great opportunities in the closing 20 minutes, with Ryan saving well from Williams and James.
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