Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United: Premier League – live! | Football
August 19, 2018
Killer stat: this is only the tenth time in Premier League history that Manchester United have conceded three first-half goals in a game, and the first time since October 2015, v Arsenal. The second half is imminent …
We’re only just getting started in east Sussex, but a couple of full-times from elsewhere. Brentford have beaten Sheffield Wednesday 2-0, while Sunderland have won 3-0 against Scunthorpe at the Stadium of Light. On top that, Watford and, doubtless rubbing salt into the wound, Manchester City toasted victory earlier:
Half-time: Brighton 3-1 Manchester United
What now? Brighton deservedly lead but United have been absolutely shocking, particularly defensively. Bailly and Lindelof have been second-best, while their midfield three of Pogba, Fred and Pereira has been outwitted.
45+4 min: Mourinho’s presumably waiting to greet his players in the tunnel or dressing room, but United have another attack to defend first. Brighton are in down the left but Young wins the throw-in. United have been a shambles.
45+2 min: United clear their lines to earn some respite, but Brighton are all over them here. Mourinho’s in deep conversation with Michael Carrick on the bench before trotting off down the tunnel, well ahead of the whistle.
45+1 min: “We want four,” sing Brighton supporters as they win a couple of quick-fire free-kicks. Now Martial fouls Knockaert and Brighton are absolutely loving this.
GOAL! Brighton 3-1 Manchester United (Gross, 44 pen)
He gets a little lucky, but it’s in. Gross fires it down the middle but de Gea’s left leg cannot keep it out. As for this United defending, it has been diabolical. Bailly and Lindelof have had a terrible 45 minutes, while Fred gets caught cold in the midfield in the buildup to that penalty.
42 min: Penalty for Brighton! United play their way into trouble and Brighton bomb forward, and then Bailly needlessly chops down Pascal Gross, who will take it …
40 min: More joy down the left flank for Brighton, with Gross and Bong combining. Young is exposed once more but the Brighton defender’s low cross, this time, is cut out by United. It was almost a mirror-image of Brighton’s move for their opener almost 20 minutes ago.
38 min: … Knockaert takes it, but his curling effort is never troubling David de Gea in the United goal. United pump the forward to Lukaku but it’s snuffed out.
36 min: Pogba gets caught out attempting a few tricks and flicks on the edge of his own box – wrong time, wrong place. Knockaert gladly steals the ball and wins a free-kick when he’s upended by Martial. Gross and Knockaert are stood over it, 20 yards or so from goal. It’s fairly central, too.
35 min: Brighton’s achilles heel strikes again. For all of their height and might, Chris Hughton’s side struggle to defend set-pieces, and they’ve been punished again.
GOAL! Brighton 2-1 Manchester United (Lukaku, 34)
Game on! United win a corner, and they send the big-boys up from the back. Young floats it in to the back stick, Shaw attempts to drive it back in, and three Brighton bodies line up to block the shot. But it bounces in, and Duffy miscues his header to allow Lukaku to nod beyond Mat Ryan.
31 min: United are startled, they’re knocking the ball about Bailly-Lindelof-Shaw and back again, but that’s totally knocked the stuffing out of them. Brighton have retreated behind the ball, only too happy to soak up an inevitable spell of United pressure.
30 min: “It’s all gone quiet over there,” the home fans gloriously sing. They were oh so simple goals but what a start by Brighton, and not so much for United.
29 min: Pogba curls an ambitious effort way over, and we just have time to pause for breath. Up in the stands, Phil Jones’s face, as always, looks a real picture.
GOAL! Brighton 2-0 Manchester United (Duffy, 27)
It’s two! Pascal Gross’s corner is floated towards the back stick, where Shane Duffy bursts in to meet it, but sends the ball back where it came from. But Brighton don’t panic, they recycle the ball and when it’s fizzed back in, via a little pinball, Duffy drives home into the corner. United, and Mr Mourinho, look shell-shocked.
GOAL! Brighton 1-0 Manchester United (Murray, 25)
Well, then. Brighton stroke the ball around nicely, with Bong slipping in March down the left flank, with Young again standing off his man. March’s cross is low, and devious, and Murray does superbly; he runs in front of his marker, Victor Lindelof, and nonchalantly flicks the ball home with the outside of his boot. United are behind.
23 min: Things get a little bitty in midfield, with Mata failing to make the ball stick before Bong’s pass goes astray. United almost get a lucky break through Shaw but Brighton cut it out, hoofing the ball clear.
21 min: Stephens floats a ball over the top, and Knockaert beats the offside trap, with Shaw playing everybody on, to dart inside but he drags a rather tame effort wide.
20 min: Young whips in a deep corner, with United winning the first and second ball. But as the ball drops again, Mata cannot swivel to strike goalwards, and instead Brighton clear. United are just growing into this one. They’ve enjoyed more possession, 60%.
18 min: United fly through the gears and it’s a well-worked move down the right flank that earns a corner. Young does brilliantly, a lovely give-and-go with Lukaku and United have a chance to swing it in. Dunk, meanwhile, is eventually withdrawn and replaced by Balogun, the Nigeria international who arrived in Sussex this summer.
16 min: Pogba gets stuck in to free the ball in midfield, though Murray thinks he’s been fouled. Fred and Pereira have been a little sloppy so far, with Pogba a couple of times intervening to tidy up their mess.
15 min: Shaw’s challenge on Knockaert is a little clumsy, he dives in and Brighton win a foul on halfway. The ball’s pinged in to Duffy at the back post, who nods it down into the path of Murray – but he’s flagged offside.
13 min: Pogba’s searching pass is cut out neatly by Shane Duffy, with Lukaku lurking. United recycle the ball, with Mata and Young combining down the right. But, just as they seem to be getting somewhere, Brighton smuggle the ball to safety.
12 min: Dunk’s game looks to be over, he’s steadily limping off the field and Leon Balogun is readying himself to come on. For now, it’s 10 v 11.
10 min: Brighton captain Lewis Dunk is down, and he appears to be struggling. He was involved in an earlier collision, with Lukaku seemingly coming off better.
9 min: A bit of steady possession on halfway for United, who eventually appear to have settled. Then comes the first real big chance, with Pogba sliding in Lukaku after some sloppy Brighton defending. But, the United striker snatches at his low effort and drills it wide.
8 min: Back come Brighton, with Stephens helping pile on the pressure. Young again fails to prevent the cross down United’s right side but De Gea comes out to claim it.
6 min: Bong ends up just outside the 18-yard box but his cross from the left is flat and United clear their lines.
5 min: Shaw receives Ryan’s big punt downfield, and United look to move forward but end up coming back to David de Gea. They attempt to go again but Bailly is pressured back by Pascal Gross. They find no joy down the right so go down the left, with Pogba striding forward before picking out Martial. His strike is deflected wide for a corner … but Brighton clear and go on the counter …
4 min: Martial whizzes down the left but his cross is painfully wayward. Brighton win a goal-kick …
3 min: Brighton knock the ball around nicely, Bong to Propper, the Dutch midfielder playing in front of his international manager, Ronald Koeman, and then out to Knockaert. The cross comes in and Gross attempts a clever flick at the front post. United clear, but Brighton will be happy with this front-foot start.
2 min: March’s cross from the left is hacked away by Pogba. United pump it up to Lukaku in search of relieving the back line from some early pressure. They duly succeed but Young’s hopeful ball forward is intercepted.
1 min: Brighton win an early throw-in down the right flank from kick-off, allowing some early pressure. Solly March faces up Ashley Young, who clears.
Less than five minutes until kick-off, with just the pre-match formalities between the get-go …
Brighton have £45m-worth of attacking riches on the bench, but manager Chris Hughton has stayed true to striker Glenn Murray this afternoon. Pascal Gross, an assist-king and menace in his debut season, will play just off Murray, leaving Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Yves Bissouma and Jürgen Locadia sat on the bench. It remains to be seen whether Brighton be able to fashion enough going forward to hurt United, who of course are without Sánchez.
Own up, who was expecting Watford to take maximum points from their first two matches? After beating Brighton last week, they cruised past Burnley at Turf Moor:
Chris Hughton talks. “We want a reaction, we weren’t at our best last week against Watford. Before any game you need to get the last one out of your system first.” As for Manchester United, who are the cruel people involved in the decision to have City play right before United?” asks J.R in Illinois via email. “It really lacks class to humiliate poor José in such a manner.”
Mourinho speaks. On Pogba: “If he doesn’t play as well today as in the last match, that’s football. Because his attitude is very good.” And on Alexis Sánchez, he’s missing through injury. “Alexis was going to play but he had a little problem,” he said. “So we had to decide to give an opportunity to another attacking player. We know Anthony [Martial] well and you can expect always good things from him. He can find that stability that makes great players, we try to help him and he’s working well.”
Pre-match stat: Brighton have won their last two home league games against Manchester United, with these games being spaced almost 36 years apart (1-0 in November 1982, 1-0 in May 2018). Any predictions?
Anthony Martial gets the nod for Manchester United in Sussex, but there’s no Alexis Sánchez or Matteo Darmian. Good to see Luke Shaw keep his place after a solid start to the new season against Leicester City last Friday. For Brighton, there’s a debut for new signing Martín Montoya. “We played well in every game against them last season,” says Pascal Gross pre-match. “We had a good match plan and will try to do the same today.”
So, three changes for Manchester United and two for Brighton. Meanwhile, over at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City are running riot, with Sergio Agüero scoring his ninth Premier League hat-trick:
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ryan; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross; Murray
Subs: Button, Bernardo, Balogun, Kayal, Bissouma, Jahabakhsh, Locadia
Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, Pereira, Pogba, Mata; Lukaku, Martial
Subs: Grant, Smalling, Herrera, Fellaini, McTominay, Lingard, Rashford
This fixture at the back end of last season was indicative of life under José Mourinho at Manchester United. After slipping to a 1-0 defeat, the Portuguese questioned his players’ attitude, a scathing attack on their characters that has since festered this summer. That culminated in Paul Pogba’s innocent post-match tell-all of very little after an opening-day win over Leicester City, before Mourinho proceeded to wax lyrical about his captain earlier this week. “The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks, and I’ve never been so happy with him as I am now,” he said. “That’s the truth. I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him.” And iif United win here, as expected, maximum points will surely quieten some of the noise. Brighton, meanwhile, started the season on a bum-note, with a flat performance at Watford. Until we get started, read Jacob Steinberg’s interview with one of Brighton’s summer signings.
Kick-off: 4pm (BST)