Brighton 0, Manchester United 3
Goals by Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes handed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a 15th unbeaten game in a row for Manchester United as they beat Brighton at the AMEX stadium for the first time.Embed from Getty Images
Greenwood opened the flood gates while Fernandes scored a double in another sparkling performance as the Reds continued their assault on the top four with an impressive win on the south coast.
Fernandes hit the upright after 12 minutes of a strong start for the Reds and the pressure built before United took the lead 4 minutes later.
Mason Greenwood jinked his way into the area before slotting past Matty Ryan from 12 yards after getting the ball from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Yves Bissouma fouled Paul Pogba on the edge of the area but Fernandes blazed over from 20 yards out and a Maguire headed over from a a Fernandes corner soon afterwards.
Fernandes doubled United’s lead after 29 minutes when Pogba ended a slick passing move by United to lay off the ball to Fernandes to sweep the ball inside the post and away from Ryan’s grasp from 20 yards out despite a suspicion that the ball had gone out of play during the build-up.
Brighton boss Graham Potter made a double change at half time – withdrawing Tariq Lamptey and Davy Propper for Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay becoming narrower to combat the Reds.
But United’s goalscorers combined to rip the Seagulls apart on the break when Matic released Greenwood who chased up the left flank before crossing for Fernandes to volley the ball past Ryan for his 6th goal of the season.
It was a major blow to the Seagulls who had improved since Trossard had come on.
The Belgian had two great chances to bring Brighton back into the game as United rested on their laurels around the hour mark before Solskjaer decided to make chances.
Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, and Brandon Williams were introduced into the action while Fernandes, Pogba, and Luke Shaw made way.
Trossard fed Aaron Connolly who turned and fired in a fierce shot which David De Gea did well to beat away having had nothing to do all night while the Belgian made space for another shot that wasn’t far wide.
Maupay forced another save out of De Gea to force a corner as the Seagulls continued to push for a goal.
Odion Ighalo and Daniel James came on for the last 12 minutes, with Rashford and Anthony Martial coming off as United continued to coast while late changes for Brighton saw Aaron Mooy, Bernard, and Solly March come on.
The Reds held their hosts at bay to see out their win and could have had scored more but McTominay and James had shots saved by Ryan.
The result meant that United went up to 5th above Wolves on goal difference and well placed to threaten Chelsea for fourth place if the Blues were to slip up.
GOALS – Brighton 0, Manchester United 3
Brighton 0, Manchester United 1: 16. Mason Greenwood received the ball from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and skipped into the area before slotting home past Matty Ryan for his 14th goal of the season.
Brighton 0, Manchester United 2: 29. Bruno Fernandes hit Paul Pogba’s lay off past the grasp of Matt Ryan and inside the Brighton post with a half volley for his fifth United goal despite a suspicion that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.
Brighton 0, Manchester United 3: 50. Bruno Fernandes thrashed in his second of the game after Mason Greenwood was released by Nemanja Matic as United counter attacked, racing down the left flank before delivering a superb low cross for the Portuguese to volley home his 6th goal of the season.
MATCH STATS – Brighton 0, Manchester United 3
Brighton: Ryan, Montoya, Duffy, Dunk (Bernardo 81), Burn, Lamptey (Trossard 46), Propper (Maupay 46), Stephens, Bssouma, MacAllister (Mooy 81), Connolly (March 87)
Brighton Subs not used: Button, Gross, Murray, Schelotto
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Williams 64), Matic, Fernandes (Pereira 64), Pogba (McTominay 64), Greenwood, Rashford (James 78), Martial (Ighalo 78)
Man Utd Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Mata, Fred
Goals: Greenwood 16; Fernandes 29, 50