Brighton 0-3 Manchester United: 5 Things We Learned

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be absolutely delighted with his team’s away form as they won 3-0 against Brighton and Hove Albion late on Tuesday night.

Mason Greenwood netted the opener in his usual confident fashion early on in the first-half. Bruno Fernandes was able to get a lucky deflection to net the second one near the half-hour mark. The home side’s effort to go attacking early in the second half was rendered moot as United engineered an excellent counter-attack which culminated in a beautiful Fernandes lob to wrap up the three points.

 

1. 15 Games Unbeaten in all Competitions

Manchester United have now gone 15 games unbeaten in all competitions with this win, an excellent run of form. More importantly to their top-four hopes, they are now back in the fifth place.

However, that position is still wonky given that sixth-place Wolverhampton Wanderers are tied on points and United are up on top solely because of a superior goal-difference.

With Chelsea clinging with only two points ahead and Leicester City a point above them, the final gameweek where all these clubs will be pitted against each other is bound to be an engaging affair.

 

2. Pogba-Fernandes partnership

This fixture was arguably the one where the much-hyped Fernandes-Pogba partnership got its full flourish at last. Pogba has fully regained that first-team fitness and roams with his usual confidence at the heart of the midfield.

The passing between the Frenchman and the Portuguese star is composed and confident and the Fernandes goal that Pogba assisted speaks volumes of the sheer potential that is on the cards.

While the whole game could have been played with the two maestros on the pitch, fitness concerns and likely fatigue saw Solskjaer take the safe route and sub them off.

 

3. De Gea

David De Gea has certainly been listening to his critics and this game was proof of that. While he had little to do in the first-half, the second period when Brighton decided to up the pressure saw the Spaniard up for his usual antics.

One of his saves was simply immaculate and the cleansheet will be well appreciated. The mistakes that haunted him earlier cannot afford to be repeated and nine years since having joined the club, he seems focused to get back to the top shotstopper position he made his own a while back.

 

4. Greenwood’s Brilliance

The very fact that next to no one doubted that Greenwood would bury that ball into the back of the net for the opener speaks volumes as to what he is capable of doing.

The teenager has now netted 13 goals across all competitions already this season. Looking at the sheer number of games left this campaign, he could very well join Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the potential 20-goal club by September.

Daniel James may be fully ousted from the starting lineup at this rate and now one does wonder whether United need to break the bank over acquiring Jadon Sancho after all.

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5. Brighton‘s Tactics

The home side certainly erred with their tactics. While Graham Potter may have been simply following precedent when he instructed his side to sit deep and let United have the ball, he ought to have adapted after the second goal went in.

The manner in which the side was able to win back possession in the second half and even pose attacking threats makes one wonder if the game would have gone differently had the Seagulls elected to go attacking and match the visitors from the get-go.