Manchester United vs Brighton: The Red Devils were second-best for 45 minutes, but quickly turned things around after halftime and beat the Seagulls 2-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
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Cristiano Ronaldo got the goal in the 51st minute, capitalizing on a tragic mistake in midfield. Just three minutes later, Lewis Dunk was sent off for a foul in the open field, leaving Brighton with just 10 men for the remaining 36 minutes. Bruno Fernandes added goal no. 2 in the 97th minute to continue his fine form of late (3 goals, 3 assists in his last 6 Premier League appearances).
Manchester United vs Brighton final score, stats, results
Final score: Manchester United 2, Brighton 0
Goal scorers: Manchester United (Ronaldo 51′, Fernandes 90’+7), Brighton (None)
Shots: Manchester United 19, Brighton 10
Shots on target: Manchester United 7, Brighton 3
Possession: Manchester United 50%, Brighton 50%
3 things we learned – Manchester United vs Brighton
1. Meager Man United bossed by Brighton (for 45): If the entire world didn’t know Manchester United from Brighton based on the clubs’ respective histories and recent accomplishments, anyone who watched the first half would have thought that Brighton were the bigger club with outsized resources and better players across the board. Graham Potter’s side was at its possessing best, hardly giving Manchester Untied a sniff of the ball (at Old Trafford, remember) and collectively pressing like mad men when the Red Devils did manage to take it off them. Alas, there were no goals to show for their utter dominance (an all-too-familiar occurrence), and they were eventually made to pay for it (another theme).
2. Goal, red card make an easy escape for Man United: With 50:08 on the clock, Yves Bissouma needlessly lost the ball in a bad spot and the Portuguese rifled a fine finish inside the far post. With 53:33 on the clock, another disastrous backpass sent Anthony Elanga in behind the Brighton defense, only to be stopped by Lewis Dunk dragging him down from behind to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (upon video review). The game was decided in those 210 seconds, at which point Brighton had double Man United’s attacking output (8 shots to 4) and held 60 percent of possession in the game. And yet, they trailed by a goal and a man in a game they had no business doing anything other than winning.
3. One win, and you’re top-four favorites: There is one impeccably great side in the Premier League this season, one side that’s only the slightest bit behind them, another really good (but maybe not great) side, and then there five teams behind them that are all completely indiscernible from one another. As things stand, Manchester United have the inside track to a top-four finish, and all it took was one victory after back-to-back hugely disappointing draws to Burnley and Southampton. Not a single one of Man United (43 points), West Ham (41), Arsenal (39), Wolves (37) or Tottenham (36) are capable of consistency from one week to the next, let alone months to complete a truly successful season.
Man of the Match: Bruno Fernandes – Even before scoring the late clincher, Fernandes was at the heart of every Man United attack (rare in the first half, more frequent in the second), looking more and more like the player who took the Premier League by storm when he arrived in January 2020.