Manchester United’s best player vs Brighton admits he was responsible for the defeat

Manchester United's Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire react after conceding.

Brighton record a league double over Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United REUTERS/Oli Scarff.

Manchester United invited more pressure on their Champions League qualification pursuit after succumbing to a late 1-0 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Erik ten Hag’s men were dominated by the Seagulls for the third game running, as the likes of Alexis Mac Allister, Moises Caicedo and Billy Gilmour left United midfielders chasing shadows by controlling the lion’s share of the possession.

The visitors did get a few opportunities to score against the run of play, only for Antony, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to scuff their chances.

Manchester United were defensively resilient against Brighton

But United’s backline absorbed the pressure from Roberto De Zerbi’s side well and were on the verge of keeping them quiet in the second game on the bounce. But unlike the FA Cup, the action from 12 yards didn’t favour the Red Devils.

In stoppage time, Luke Shaw conceded a penalty after making contact with the ball from his arm while defending a corner. VAR intervened, and referee Andre Marriner pointed towards the penalty. Mac Allister sent David de Gea the wrong way in the 99th minute to collect all three points.

Shaw reflected on the incident in an honest manner. He told Sky Sports: “Last minute, last action really. I got a little nudge, but of course the hand shouldn’t be there. I own up to it, take it on the chin, it cost us the game, but it is tough. I can’t even explain why my hand is up there.”

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However, before the handball, Shaw was absolutely brilliant in his fourth match running at the heart of the defence. “How well is Luke Shaw doing at centre-back,” tweeted Gary Neville during the game.

The Englishman was United’s best player on the pitch, and if not for his teammates up front’s wastefulness and the referee’s questionable decision to award Brighton a free-kick which led to the corner, he would’ve taken the Man of the Match award home.