Saturday, January 19, 2019 15:00
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Sir Matt Busby Way, Central, Manchester, M16 0RA, United Kingdom
Homeground of Manchester United
Manchester United Versus Brighton And Hove Albion
Saturday 25th November 2017
Manchester 1 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
After suffering a defeat during a midweek Champions League match in Basle, Manchester United needed to come out firing on all cylinders to redeem themselves in a match that most would predictably label an easy target for them. However, the Seagulls had other ideas...
Manchester United's lacklustre performance was evident from the start, showing they hadn't recovered their momentum as they sought their 11th consecutive home win in their first Premiership meeting with Brighton for 25 years. And with their rivals Manchester City sitting just above them in the league with the comfort of an eight point advantage, they were under pressure.
Brighton, with a five match unbeaten run behind them, had been tutored well by Chris Hughton before the match and took the initiative with an early cross from Anthony Knockaert. A few minutes later, Pascal Gross followed up with a shot that was saved relatively easily by the Manchester United goalkeeper, David de Gea. Such a confident opening from Brighton clearly unsettled Manchester who seemed to have difficulty finding their usual intimidating form. Shots on goal were in short supply with Romelu Lukaku being unable to direct a header in the right direction.
Glenn Murray put in a fine display for Brighton, a performance which had him rated by many as Man of the Match. He came near to scoring at close range but saw his glancing shot go just inches wide of the post. However, the action was quickly transferred to the other end of the pitch as United tried to recover their composure. Lukaku volleyed a powerful header at close range which required the Brighton goalkeeper, Mathew Ryan to display all his internationally acclaimed skills to block the attempt before having to stop another that was immediately pounced upon by Paul Pogba who had recently returned from injury.
Half Time Score: Manchester United 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
In spite of a rousing team talk from manager, Jose Mourhino, United came out for the second half in the same frame of mind as at the start of the first and the Seagulls were quick to seize the advantage. For all Brighton's attempts, David de Gea still did not have much to do. Gross ineffectively crossed the ball across the goalmouth after tripping Chris Smalling while the Brighton hopeful, Davy Popper tried a blistering long range shot that failed to find its mark.
Manchester appeared relieved to have survived Brighton's spell of pressure but continued with their unusually quiet display for some time before suddenly finding a little more pace. Lukaku, the most noticeable of United's forward line, tried a crafty back heel shot a few minutes before winger, Ashley Young saw his shot go wide. The Old Trafford fans finally had something positive to cheer about when Victor Lindelof challenged Knockaert and managed to retain the ball. Mourhino obviously thought a change was needed and brought on substitute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic to add more strength to the Manchester line up, a move which was to quickly pay dividends.
Following a corner that was hotly disputed, Ashley Young made his way to the edge of the box where his strong shot hit Lewis Dunk causing the ball to deflect high up into the far corner of the Brighton net. Beaten but unbowed, Brighton tried to level the score with a positive cross from Bruno that his team mate Shane Duffy failed to reach. The final score reflected Manchester United's luck rather than Brighton's fighting play.