Manchester United eased to a win over Brighton, to continue our push for a Champions League place.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the victory…
Fast start so important
United were lethargic in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Norwich, never getting out of the blocks after a slow start.
This was so different, with United forcing the issue from the first minute and convincingly attacking Brighton’s defence.
It took just 17 minutes for Mason Greenwood to break the deadlock. United were just too strong.
The start set the tone for the game as United exerted their superiority over the home side.
After Saturday Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will likely have told his team to get a grip early and not give Brighton confidence, and the players showed a positive response.
United have a best XI
It would have been tempting to leave Bruno Fernandes out for this one to rest him, after he played 300 minutes in eight days.
In the end the temptation to play what clearly looks like United’s best XI was too great, and it paid off with Fernandes netting United’s second goal.
This was the same team which beat Sheffield United convincingly a week ago.
There may be tweaks here and there due to fitness, but with everybody available, this is clearly the line up Solskjaer wants to go with.
Mason Greenwood joins the party
Mason Greenwood was a solid if a little of a peripheral figure in United’s win over Sheffield United last week, with Anthony Martial deservedly grabbing the headlines.
Greenwood showed he was deserving of a place in Solskjaer’s best team, and can be an equal threat to Martial and Marcus Rashford.
The way he took his opening goal was so good to watch, running at the Brighton defence before lashing the ball in at the near post.
This performance will give him even more confidence and showed all the hype surrounding him is warranted.
He could be a major player between now and the end of the season if Solskjaer continues to give him a run in the team.
Fernandes and Pogba combination continues to click
So far so good for Manchester United’s blossoming midfield partnership.
Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba looked a cut above anything Brighton could muster, and it was great to see them combine for United’s second goal.
This was Fernandes’ fifth goal since joining United (he later added a sixth), and his first from a direct Paul Pogba assist.
If United can convince Paul Pogba to sign a new contract extension, the upside of this team is so high. The partnership with Fernandes has to be a big reason why he should consider staying put.
United are enjoyable to watch
Earlier this season, watching United could at times be an arduous task. The team struggled to break teams down or even create chances, especially away from home.
Now with Pogba and Fernandes pulling the strings, and our front three firing, it is a completely different scenario.
United are enjoyable to watch again, supporters can enjoy matchdays (from home) and the results are good.
The team is playing good, attacking football, and you feel we could score every time we go forward. It is a long way from the often tedious football under Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes.
The players are having fun and the results reflect that. Long may it continue.
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