Six things we learned as Manchester United beat Brighton 3-2

Manchester United beat Brighton 3-2 in a dramatic game at the Amex.

Here is a look at five things we learned from the match…

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Slow start not good enough

For the second week in a row, Manchester United started the game off the pace.

Brighton hit the post twice in the opening 20 minutes, and had the best chances.


It came as no surprise when they took the lead with a penalty.

After 30 minutes against Brighton in July, United were 2-0 up. It was exactly the same line up on display today.

Whether it be fitness, sharpness, form or motivation, United do not look like the same team and the players need to raise their game, early.

Even in the second half, United’s performance was laboured. This was a poor display lit up by a moment of quality and late drama.

Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Set piece goal encouraging

It is unclear whether United’s first half equaliser will go down as a Harry Maguire goal or a Lewis Dunk own goal. It doesn’t really matter.

What was important was that United responded quickly to going behind and went into half-time level.

Luke Shaw did well to win a free-kick which Bruno Fernandes played to Nemanja Matic to turn into the six-yard box before Maguire bundled it into the net.

United’s record of scoring from set pieces is not good, so it was a positive to see us get one so early into the season.

Photo by Glyn Kirk – Pool/Getty Images

Rashford’s goal was Giggs’ quality

Marcus Rashford cost United two goals by being caught offside in each half. So he had some making up to do.

He did it spectacularly, with a flying solo goal reminiscent of Ryan Giggs at his very best.

Rashford needed this, and United needed it too. He struggled for form post-lockdown and his performance against Palace was poor.

This was a moment of magic, and an early goal of the season contender.

Photo by Glyn Kirk – Pool/Getty Images

Solskjaer shows loyalty to Lindelof

Every manager has their blind spots, and for better or worse, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to stick by Victor Lindelof.

Picking the Swede after a woeful display against Palace last week was a big show of faith from the manager, with Eric Bailly waiting in the wings.

It was also a gamble, which looked like it could backfire early as Brighton put United under pressure.

Lindelof responded by making more interceptions (4) and more clearances (6) than any player in the United team.

Bailly came off the bench in a tactical switch late on to help United try and see the game out.

Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Assist from the woodwork

United defended well to hold onto the lead, but there was also a lot of luck involved.

Brighton hit the woodwork five times in total, and they will feel as though they deserved something out of the game.

They also had a penalty appeal turned down at the start of the second half.

Solly March blazed two late efforts over the bar when in space inside the penalty box.

David de Gea stepped up with a fantastic save in injury time to save us, even before Brighton’s equaliser.

United did incredibly well to come away from this game with three points. We have been on the other side of these kind of frustrating results in the past ourselves.

Job done, just, onto the next one. Against Brighton again away in the cup in midweek.

Photo by Glyn Kirk – Pool/Getty Images

Late drama great to see

Manchester United have a reputation for never giving up. That was the case here.

Instead of letting our heads drop after conceding an equaliser, we went up the other end and struck a winner in injury time.

Donny van de Beek earned a corner which led to a handball from Neal Maupay, and a winner from the penalty spot for Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes was never in doubt from 12 yards, and United finally have three points to start the season.

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