Manchester United have lost 1-0 away at Brighton and Hove Albion. Here is a look at five things we learned from the game…
Last gasp penalty defeats Manchester United
Manchester United and Brighton looked to be playing out another 0-0 draw. That was until the ninth minute of injury time.
Luke Shaw went up for a header and flicked the ball away with his hand. VAR went to review and gave the penalty immediately.
Alexis Mac Allister sent David de Gea the wrong way from the spot kick and Brighton took all three points. It was a cruel way to lose.
Anthony Martial is running out of time
Anthony Martial is running out of time to salvage his Manchester United career. He did not advance his case positively in this game.
The Frenchman blew United’s best chance of the first half when he shot straight at goalkeeper Jason Steele from close range. His other effort drifted wide of goal.
United need to be more ruthless, and while Martial was not the only culprit, he is the one who needs a goal the most. He was replaced by Wout Weghorst on 83 minutes.
Since he returned from injury, this is his fifth start for the club and he has failed to score in all of them. He has just two goals in 2023.
Luke Shaw impresses at centre-back again
Luke Shaw will reflect on a miserable night after his late handball. However, uncharacteristic error aside, he continues to look like a natural at centre-back, starting his fourth game in a row at the position and second against Brighton.
It was Victor Lindelof who made the early error with a poor pass to give Brighton a scoring chance, while Shaw was the most composed man on the pitch.
His efforts were praised by former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who knows how difficult it is to switch from full-back to centre-back. Perhaps he spoke too soon.
Struggles playing from the back
Brighton’s best attacking moments came from Manchester United running into trouble by attempting to play out from the back.
While some of this is simply due to Brighton’s strength when it comes to pressing, it feels like United continue to live dangerously and take unnecessary risks.
Playing out from the back doesn’t play to David de Gea‘s strengths, as we have invariably found to our cost at times this season and in the past.
Points dropped puts United under a little pressure
United had lost three of the previous five visits to Brighton including a shambolic 4-0 defeat last season. Make that four defeats in six.
A draw would have been a decent result. Now we are under added pressure in the race for a Champions League spot.
We are two points behind third place Newcastle and four ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand.
Back to back wins in upcoming games against West Ham (away) and Wolves (home) will still leave United in a strong position to secure a Champions League spot – but there is work to do.