Woodwork rescues Man Utd as Brighton denied points after penalty drama

Date published: Saturday 26th September 2020 2:30

Manchester United had the goalposts, Marcus Rashford and a late penalty to thank after claiming a 3-2 win over Brighton.

After starting the season with a loss at home to Crystal Palace, United travelled to the South Coast with the aim of getting off the mark.

An own goal and a moment of individual brilliance from Rashford helped ensure they did just that – but Brighton asked several questions of them before conceding a penalty with the last kick of the game.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept his faith in centre-back pairing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof despite recent criticism. Nemanja Matic, Mason Greenwood and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were restored to the starting lineup.

As for Brighton, Potter changed his entire starting XI from the midweek Carabao Cup win over Preston, but there was only one change from their most recent Premier League fixture, as Adam Lallana replaced the suspended Yves Bissouma.


Brighton’s Leandro Trossard had the first big chance of the game, hitting the post of David De Gea’s goal within the first 10 minutes.

Bruno Fernandes created the first sign of danger for Man Utd with an inswinging cross, but no player could connect with it.

Moments later, there was another chance for Trossard, who hit the other post with a left-footed effort.

As the game approached the half-hour mark, De Gea had to be alert as a header from Adam Webster flew towards the crossbar.

United hit back quickly with what they thought was the opening goal when Mason Greenwood finished inside the box. However, the player who set Greenwood up, Marcus Rashford, was offside, so it did not count.

Instead, it was Brighton who took the lead. Bruno Fernandes caught a forward-running Tariq Lamptey in the box to give away a penalty.

Neal Maupay showed nerves of steel to convert the penalty with a cheeky panenka to leave De Gea stranded.


United responded straight away when Maguire prodded home after Matic set him up after Fernandes’ free kick, though, to make it 1-1. The goal was later awarded as a Lewis Dunk own goal.


Brighton had another penalty shout just after the break when Aaron Connolly went down under a challenge from Paul Pogba, but a VAR check correctly overruled it.

VAR then showed its good side again by correctly ruling out a Rashford goal for offside – but the forward soon had a goal that stood.

Fernandes picked Rashford out with a great through ball, before the England striker dribbled at Ben White, putting him on the floor twice and finding a finish to make it 2-1.


Brighton hit the woodwork again soon after, with Solly March the one to go close this time. And Trossard struck the bar a further time as the Seagulls continued to push for an equaliser.


De Gea then denied Trossard deep into stoppage time, but Brighton finally got the equaliser they deserved when March headed home.

March then headed off the line at the other end, but Maguire’s header had hit Maupay’s arm on its trajectory towards the goal – giving United a penalty at the death, even after the full-time whistle had initially gone.

Fernandes sent Mat Ryan the wrong way to earn a 3-2 win with the last kick of the game – United’s first three points of the season.

You can see how all the action unfolded via our Live Centre here.


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