Brighton & Hove Albion needed a miracle to get something out of this game, and that would have helped them immensely in the fight to avoid relegation. And it indeed happened, to the disbelief of all the Manchester United fans across the world. Brighton won 1-0 and ensured Premier League safety for the next season.
Let us start with a quick look at the lineups and match-defining moments:
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-4-1-1): Mat Ryan; Bruno, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Gaetan Bong; Anthony Knockaert, Dale Stephens, Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo (Solly March, 88′); Pascal Gross (Beram Kayal, 84′); Glenn Murray (Leonardo Ulloa, 90’+2′).
Manchester United (4-3-3): David De Gea; Matteo Darmian (Luke Shaw, 68′), Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo (Scott McTominay, 76′), Ashley Young; Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini (Jesse Lingard, 68′); Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.
Goals: Gross (57′)
Yellow card: Murray (47′), Gross (67′)
The visitors started the day brightly and almost had an early breakthrough in the third minute. Rashford’s freekick found Fellaini inside the Brighton box and the Belgian netted the ball successfully, but it was rightly ruled offside and the score remained goalless. The home side then gradually started to find their feet and during the first quarter, they created more chances. Murray almost scored during the 20th minute with a long-range belter, but De Gea pulled off a spectacular save to keep him at bay.
Brighton continued their attack with a positive attitude, and De Gea had to make a couple more important saves in the first half. United were making it more difficult for themselves with miss-passes and weak attacking efforts. The first half eventually ended at 0-0 and the Premier League’s second boys needed a huge improvement for the next 45 minutes.
As the second half started, the situation became worse for Mourinho. Minutes into the half, the hosts snatched a welcome goal. It was a scintillating affair altogether, when Izquierdo’s cross was parried by De Gea, but Gross managed to head it towards the goal. Rojo tried to make a goalline save, but much to the dismay of the visiting fans, the assistant referee checked the goal decision system and ruled it to be a goal in favour of Brighton.
After the goal, United players started to look more determined to stop the upset. Lingard and Shaw joined the party soon after the Gross strike, but even with their inclusions, the Red Devils could not get a ball past Ryan. In the end, it finished at 1-0, and with these three points, Brighton & Hove Albion ensured their safety in the British top flight.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United highlights:
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester United stats:
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