Manchester United eased to a 3-0 win over Brighton at the Amex.
This was a far easier game than the Premier League clash on Saturday.
While the match began slowly and lacked tempo, United’s goal from Scott McTominay just before half-time gave us a lead at a key time.
United never looked back with Juan Mata scoring midway through the second half, before Paul Pogba wrapped the game up with free-kick.
Here is our pick of United’s three best players on the night…
This was exactly what we wanted to see from Eric Bailly in a game which could have been an audition for a place in Solskjaer’s Premier League line up.
Partnering Victor Lindelof in defence, Bailly put in an impressive performance as United kept a clean sheet.
Bailly was alert to danger and was quick to anticipate threats when Brighton closed in on goal.
He made three clearances, two interceptions, and blocked one shot, while making an expertly timed slide tackle inside the penalty area.
Bailly was safe in possession, completing 90 per cent of his passes.
He has put forward a strong case to start the match at home to Tottenham this weekend.
Juan Mata was the man-of-the-match and inspired United’s victory.
Mata won the free-kick which led to United’s first goal, before putting in an excellent cross to assist Scott McTominay to head in the opener.
In the second half Mata drifted into the penalty area and coolly slotted a shot past the goalkeeper to double United’s lead.
Once again the Spaniard was a class act, and he created four chances in total on the night, while completing 91 per cent of his passes.
While he is used mainly as a back-up for cup games, if Mata keeps playing like this, he will start getting games in the Premier League again.
Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek linked up well to provide the assist for Mata’s goal with a clever backheel.
This was one of two chances he created, with Diogo Dalot seeing his shot saved from close range after Van de Beek put him through.
Van de Beek completed 97 per cent of his passes and looked adept deputising for Bruno Fernandes.
At the start of last season United had a choice of Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard for the attacking midfield role. Now we are fortunate enough to have both Van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes competing for places.
Van de Beek may be back on the bench at the weekend, but he did his cause no harm at all here.
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