Man Utd player ratings gallery vs Brighton - Two score 8/10 but four get 5/10 in 1-0 loss
An injury-time winner from Alexis Mac Allister sealed all three points for Brighton.
Manchester United dropped points in the race for the top four on Thursday night as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Red Devils played well in the first half but struggled after the break and were left hanging on in the final stages. Erik ten Hag’s side had looked set to come away with a point, but an injury-time penalty for the Seagulls saw Brighton grab a vital win to boost their hopes of finishing in the European places.
It was an electric start at the Amex with Antony and Kaoru Mitoma spurning good scoring opportunities inside the opening four minutes, but the latter fired right at David de Gea while Antony failed to hit the target.
Mitoma cut inside and smashed an effort off target soon after and then Adam Webster forced De Gea to keep out his header from a Brighton corner. But United grew into the game from that point and Antony Marcus Rashford both hit the side netting with shots before Casemiro saw his header saved on 28 minutes.
Jason Steele also had to be alert to keep out Rashford a few moments later after he drove into the box and shot, while the Brighton keeper kept out a scuffed strike from Antony. Martial should have done better on 39 minutes when he got in behind the Brighton defence but fired his shot straight at Steele from point-blank range. As for Brighton, Alexis Mac Allister, Julio Enciso and Facundo Buonanotte all went close from distance in the final stages of the first half.
After the end-to-end opening 45, the second period began in a less frantic manner. Brighton dominated possession but didn’t produce enough chances, with Enciso seeing an early shot blocked by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Mitoma also having an effort saved.
Bruno Fernandes then saw a curled attempt saved on 68 minutes before Casemiro’s powerful strike flew just over Steele’s crossbar.
But it was Brighton who pushed harder for a late winner with Mitoma’s shot blocked by Wan-Bissaka, Solly March firing wide after a long dribble, before De Gea kept out a great strike from distance from Mac Allister. Webster headed over in injury-time with United hanging on in the latter stages, while De Gea kept out shots from Pervis Estupinan and Moises Caicedo.
Yet, an injury-time clanger from Luke Shaw ultimately handed Brighton all three points. The defender needlessly raised his arm in the box and the ball struck Shaw’s hand, leaving Andre Marriner with little option but to point to the spot. Mac Allister stood up and smashed the ball into the the top corner in a dramatic conclusion to the game.
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