Late penalty gives United first win of the season
Reds edge Brighton 3-2
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Last gasp win
Manchester United have their first win of the new Premier League season beating Brighton 3-2 in a game that literally went right down to the wire at Amex stadium.
In this see-saw affair the Reds were given a penalty in the 10th minute of injury time.
A header from Harry Maguire deflected off the outstretched hand of Brighton’s Neal Maupay before being cleared.
After reviewing the play on the pitchside monitor United were awarded a penalty kick despite the final whistle having already been blown.
Bruno Fernandes stepped up and found the corner to give his team their first EPL victory of the season.
The Reds can consider themselves fortunate to walk away with three points in a match that saw Brighton and Hove Albion carry the play throughout.
The Seagulls dominated this game in every department as United struggled to contain the home side’s 3-4-3 formation.
Brighton took the lead in the 40th minute when Neal Maupay put home a cheeky “Paneka” penalty.
United got a break just before half-time when they equalized through an own-goal by Lewis Dunk.
A brilliant individual effort from Marcus Rashford in the 55th minute looked like it would hold up as the game-winner.
Brighton equalized in the 5th minute of injury time when Solly March headed home from the far post.
Afterward, the hero Bruno Fernandes acknowledged his team was very lucky to come away with this win.
“They have a lot of chances, it’s true,” Fernandes said. “Maybe everyone can say they deserve more, or not. The point is, score goals — don’t hit the crossbar or the post.
“Sometimes you have to have some luck.”
David de Gea was under siege in many instances but had some help from the woodwork.
Inside nine minutes Leonardo Trossard saw his brilliant left-footed strike hit the United frame.
Midway into the first half, the Belgian was again unlucky after exploiting some space in front of the visiting defense and once again hitting the woodwork.
On the half-hour mark, the crossbar came to rescue for de Gea as Adam Webster’s header glanced over the Spaniard but failed to find the back of the net.
Five times the Seagulls hit the post or the crossbar in this one.
Premier League’s official statistics supplier, Opta said it’s the first time one team had hit the goal frame that many times since the company started compiling data in 2003-04.
The United victory was not without its share of controversy.
Brighton was denied a penalty at the start of the second half when the referee initially judged Paul Pogba to have clipped the legs of Aaron Connolly.
After a review on the pitchside monitor though the call was reversed.
Shortly after that United thought they’d scored but Marcus Rashford’s near-post finish was ruled offside by VAR.
Before the match manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said they need a more balanced attack to take the pressure off Martial, Rashford, and Greenwood.
Here’s what the Norwegian had to say about his team’s performance.
“Their handball was before full-time so it’s the probably right thing to do and for us, it’s a big thing.”
“We’ve got to be honest enough to say they created the most chances, they had big chances, so we need to improve a lot going forward.”
Brighton boss Graham Potter admits losing this one was a tough pill to swallow.
“We played with real courage and spirit – I’d say we deserved something from the game, I would say that’s an understatement.”
Man United have now won their last four meetings with Brighton.
Their joint-longest winning streak against any top-flight team is Leicester City with four.
Since last season Manchester United’s Premier League matches have produced 20 penalties, that’s the most of any team in that time (15 for and 5 against).
United have now given away a penalty in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since March 2009.
It’s also the first time the Red Devils have conceded one in both of their first two games in a Premier League campaign.
The Seagulls had 18 shot attempts to United’s 7.
These teams will face each other again next Wednesday in round four of the Carabao Cup with a kick-off scheduled for 7:45 pm.
When it comes to Premier League action United next face Tottenham next Sunday, October 4 at 4:30 pm. (JSL)