Manchester United earned a convincing win in their Champions League chase as they swatted aside Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 in a dominant display at the Amex Stadium. Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes hit the post from the edge of the box before netting goals in each half.
Goals: Greenwood 16′, Fernandes 29′, 50′
Brighton made three changes to the team that drew 0-0 at Leicesterlast Tuesday, bringing in Shane Duffy, Davy Propper and Martin Montoya. Manchester United made either no changes or eight of them, depending on whether you count the FA Cup game against Norwich or the last league game, against Sheffield United last Wednesday.
The visitors played proactively at the beginning of the match. Even though Fernandes curled a low shot from 25 meters against the post, United had an early goal. Greenwood took Wan-Bissaka’s pass and drove into the box before lashing a low shot into the bottom corner. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s assist for Mason Greenwood’s opener was his fourth in the Premier League for Manchester United in 29 appearances, one more than he provided in 42 games for former club Crystal Palace.
Kept attacking, the visitors double their advantage in the 29th minute. This time Fernandes squeezed his first-time shot into the bottom corner after Pogba had recovered Shaw’s cut back from the left.
This was becoming very easy for United. In contrast, Brighton had nearly no chances to score. The home team had two changes after half-time, Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay, who finished off Arsenal last week, came to find a way back into this contest but United immediately knocked the stuffing out of them. The Portuguese international midfielder volleyed home at the far post from Greenwood’s cross after a lightning break.
Then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took 3 main players Shaw, Fernandes and Pogba out. United played slowly to keep strength for the others. In five minutes from 70th, Brighton had four consecutive opportunities to have a goal, but Trossard, Connolly and Maupay missed all.
In the last 15 minutes, both teams accepted this result, they made no remarkable situation at all.
Manchester United moved up to fifth, just three points behind third-placed Leicester, having played a game more. Brighton stayed 15th, six points above the drop zone. have kept 8 clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League matches, more than they managed in their first 40 under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I think we’re full of confidence and of course full of quality as well. I think the boys played some exceptional stuff. We pressed well, and I think we started really well. It was just waiting for the moment to get a goal and Mason’s first was brilliant. He played fantastically. he’s a young kid and a special kid. We know when he gets face up and looking forward he’s dangerous, but then I thought his hold-up play and his link-up play today was great. He can go inside, he can go outside, he’s just as good with his right foot as his left foot, and he’s developing into a fine player”.
Bruno Fernandes, man of the match and one-man revolution,talked down the impact of his relationship with Paul Pogba in midfield. “It’s not fair to talk about me and Paul. We are a team”, he said, “We train together. They push me to play better. I think in the end it’s teamwork.”
Brighton: Ryan; Lamptey (Trossard 46′), Duffy, Dunk (Bernado 81′), Burn; Propper (Maupay 46′), Stephens, Bissouma; Montoya, Mac Allister (Mooy 81′), Connolly (March 87′).
Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Williams 64′); Fernandes (Pereira 64′), Matic, Pogba (McTominay 64′); Greenwood, Martial (Ighalo 78′), Rashford (James 78′).