Manchester United managed to win their second consecutive Premier League match, beating Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. The meeting at Old Trafford was not a very exciting one, but the Red Devils found their way to another important three points.
Only goal of the match was a work of Ashely Young, whose deflected shot off of Lewis Dunk propelled Manchester United to victory. This was another strong showing from Chris Hughton’s side and Jose Mourinho will not be entirely satisfied with the manner of the win.
However, there are some things we have all learned from this encounter.
Lack Of Creation From Manchester United
This was not a very convincing display from the hosts. Manchester United looked solid defensively, but going forwards there was not enough. Romelu Lukaku looked cut-off from the rest of the team for most part of the match. Anthony Martial did not offer much to the creativity and Mourinho acknowledged that after the match.
“Sometimes you play with too many attacking players and you lose control of the game. We had some problems defensively because Matic and Pogba were a bit isolated in the centre of the park. Our creation was poor. The three players who played with Lukaku didn’t get ball, they were not successful one against one. Marcus didn’t have a happy match at all so we didn’t have creation. When we saw that and found ourselves winning 1-0 it was a moment to try to give balance.”
Victor Lindelof Is Getting Better
The Swedish centre-back had certain troubles upon his arrival from Benfica. Getting accustomed to the life in the Premier League is seldom easy and Lindelof confirms that statement. However, his performance against Brighton shows he is making improvements.
This was only his second Premier League start and he duly delivered. Glenn Murray tried to isolate him during most parts of the match, targeting the Swede ahead of Chris Smalling. That might have been a cunning choice from the experienced striker, but Lindelof was not insecure.
He was tackling well and stopping Murray from becoming a threat. Lindelof imposed himself nicely and this should mean he will grow in confidence.
Brighton Have Enough In Them To Stay Up
After Saturday matches, Brighton still sit in ninth place. After the remaining matches of this weekend, they might slide down for one spot, depending on Huddersfield’s result against Manchester City.
And we should not be surprised by this. Brighton came up from Championship as a vibrant team, and together with Newcastle, they were far ahead of the rest of the league. Of course, there were always going to be insecurities about Hughton’s team, but so far they show how resilient they are.
Brighton made Manchester United work hard and were beaten only by an unlucky goal. Pascal Gross, Anthony Knockeart and Davy Propper all had good displays. With an organised defence and Gross’ creativity, Brighton have enough about them to stay in the Premier League.
Four teams have already conceded 24 or more goals and Brighton’s 14 show how well-drilled they are. Of course, strong defence is not enough to keep you up, as we have seen last season with Middlesbrough, and Jose Izquierdo, Tomer Hemed and Isaiah Brown must show they belong to the elite.