Football can be very cruel at times and after the result in the match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion; one might also come to the conclusion, there is no justice in this world. Clearly, Brighton had been the bravest and most efficient unit on the pitch, but at the end of the day, Manchester United escaped with full points.

The Brighton players relished the atmosphere and played the game with a frenetic pace, which left United at bay. They showed no signs of fatigue despite playing their fifth game in the last thirteen days.   The boys of Graham Potter were quick to the ball, strong in the challenge, and brave enough to commit players forward.

Brighton hunted in packs. Whenever they lost the ball, they snatched it with excellent pressing football and in the counterattacks, they surpassed the Manchester United players at ease – United could be blamed for being too sloppy in front of the ball.

Where was the press, Man Utd?

Bruno Fernandes gave away a penalty in the first half as Neal Mapay’s nerveless Panenka shot hinted how calm and composed, but bold and attacking Brighton would be at home.

An own goal by Lewis Dunk injected hope in the United camp, and it sparked Marcus Rashford, who started to ask questions in the second half.

Paul Pogba diced with disaster in the 48th minute when he lent on Aaron Connolly inside the area and the Brighton striker went down theatrically. Kavanagh awarded the penalty; VAR would overrule him.

Then, Rashford stepped up – He had seen one finish from a Greenwood cross pulled back for offside by VAR he got his goal but twisted Ben White one way and then the other following Fernandes’s pass before firing beyond Mat Ryan.

Still, Brighton were on top and always kept United under pressure.

Quite astonishingly, Brighton rattled the posts and crossbar five times, with Leandro Trossard doing so three times. Adam Webster and Solly March were also denied. Since Opta began compiling statistics in 2003 for hitting the woodwork, no team had done so more than three times in a Premier League game.

In the stoppage time, the Brighton substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh curled over a fine cross and March headed home on the bounce at the far post to make it 2-2.

The result should have stayed such because Brighton did not deserve to lose points, sadly, it was not their day.

Manchester United forced a corner – Bruno Fernandes took it and the unmarked Harry Maguire saw his header cleared off the line by March. The referee, Chris Kavanagh, promptly blew the final whistle.

Then bedlam took hold.

Maguire argued that his header had flicked off Neal Maupay’s hand and Kavanagh would be advised by his video assistant to check the pitch-side monitor.

When the replays were shown, it was clear the ball had indeed hit Maupay’s hand.

Kavanagh gave the penalty and Fernandes crashed it into the top corner to break Brighton’s hearts.

Manchester United overcame the Brighton scare with an unsatisfactory display.


Hard luck, Brighton!

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