Five things we learned as Manchester United beat Brighton 2-1
Manchester United fought back to beat Brighton after trailing at half-time.
Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood scored the goals in a 2-1 win.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the game…
United pay for not making early dominance count
United started the game quite well, dominating possession and making early forays into the Brighton penalty area. Mason Greenwood even hit the post.
Then Brighton began to get back into the game, went up the other end and scored with almost their first attack.
Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka combined to fail to cut out a cross, and while Dean Henderson made a good first save from Danny Welbeck, the former United man was on hand to inevitably tap in a rebound.
It was a lesson to United to be clinical, to take chances, and make the most of the possession.
Too many players lacking form
This was a disjointed performance from United and it seemed reminiscent of the opening day defeat to Crystal Palace.
United had little preparation for both games due to internationals, and in this one, United had too many players lacking form and fitness.
Paul Pogba was sloppy in possession and lacked spark, while Edinson Cavani contributed very little.
Before Marcus Rashford’s equaliser, both he and Bruno Fernandes seemed to be off their games, wasting possession too often.
Fortunately they combined to get United back into the game, as it had previously looked like we would struggle to score at all. They deserve credit for dragging United back into it.
Rashford still is not quite fully fit, as shown by the fact he was taken off for Dan James with the score at 1-1.
Rashford hits league double figures
It should not have taken until April, but Manchester United finally have a forward with double figures for league goals.
This was Rashford’s 10th strike in the Premier League this season. He has 19 in all competitions.
This 10 is just two fewer than Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood have combined in the league.
As an attacking unit, it’s not where United should be. Rashford has been the most productive of an underwhelming bunch.
Van de Beek gets a bit of time to work with
Solskjaer talked up Van de Beek ahead of the game, but as usual, he was back on the bench.
He did come on for the final 10 minutes, replacing the ineffective Cavani.
This was his first league appearance since the draw with West Brom on February 14, when he also had a similarly small amount of time to work with.
He nearly made an immediate impact, when his run almost provided him with a tap-in, instead Mason Greenwood beat him to it to give United the lead.
Van de Beek was at least in the right area, and helped provide enough of a distraction for Greenwood to nip in.
This looked like it would be a terrible opportunity wasted for United.
So the team deserve credit for bouncing back for a crucial three points.
United are now four points clear of Leicester who are third.
And the victory places us 11 clear of fifth placed Tottenham.
Champions League qualification looks almost certain, and an away victory at Spurs next week could seal it.
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