Dublin: 17Β°C Tuesday 22 June 2021


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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

It’s a big game for both sides.

Brighton sit in 15th on 33 points and are not 100% certain of Premier League survival yet.

United, meanwhile, are chasing a Champions League spot. They will need to finish fourth to be guaranteed that at present, and currently are five points off the top four in sixth.

In recent times, the Amex Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for the Red Devils, losing on their last three visits there.

Confirmation of tonight’s teams, with Irish internationals Shane Duffy and Aaron Connolly both starting for Brighton.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Man United (445)
Brighton (165)
Draw (86)

Speaking on Sky, Jamie Redknapp is very complimentary in describing Aaron Connolly.

He highlights the 20-year-old Irish striker’s “nuisance value,” adding: “I really like what I see,” though that he will still require some time to reach his potential according to the ex-Liverpool star.

It is the first time Connolly has started successive Premier League games.

Brighton are sitting very deep, with United dominating possession so far.

The hosts will be hoping the pace of Aaron Connolly can hurt their opponents on the break.

Despite looking rather isolated up front, Connolly wins a free kick having been brought down by Lindelof, after Maguire had given the ball away.

The Galway youngster will gain confidence from moments like that.

Pogba works it to Fernandes, whose shot from the edge of the area comes back off the post.

Moments later, Rashford goes down in the box after a coming together with Burn, but the ref waves play on.

It would have been a very soft penalty had it been given.

Brighton are really under the cosh at the moment.

They’ve scarcely been able to get out of their own half in the opening 15 minutes.

United are ahead and it’s been coming.

Wan-Bissaka slips through Greenwood, who finds an inch of space on the edge of the area despite the attentions of Dunk, and fires a low shot that beats Ryan at his near post.

Brighton have been far too deep in the opening stages and will now have to try a different approach if they are to get anything from this game.

Pogba gets caught late by Bissouma on the edge of the area.

The subsequent free kick from Fernandes is curled well off target.




A deep Fernandes corner finds Maguire.

However, the England international can’t quite steer his header on target from a difficult angle.


United have had 70% of the possession so far.

That gives a fair indication as to how dominant they’ve been.


United double their advantage.

Pogba squares it to Fernandes on the edge of the area, and the Portuguese midfielder’s shot takes a slight deflection off Mac Allister and crawls into the corner of the net past the despairing dive of Ryan.


There was some controversy in the build-up to United’s second goal.

It looked like the ball had gone out of play for a throw-in as Greenwood controlled it out wide, but there was no flag from the assistant.



Rashford evades the challenge of Propper, before slicing his shot well off target.

It’s one-way traffic at the moment. Brighton have been really poor, defending badly and offering minimal threat down the other end.


Propper lofts a deep cross into the box.

But Pogba just does enough to put Burn off, as the Brighton man attempts to head the ball.

Better from Brighton.


Half-time and United are well worth their lead.

The Red Devils were thoroughly dominant in that opening 45 minutes.

Brighton sat back and defended deep, and were ultimately punished after constant waves of United attacks, with a clinical finish from 18-year-old Mason Greenwood getting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men up and running.

The hosts have seldom threatened down the other end, and it’s hard to see a way back for them from here.


Brighton have made a double change.

Propper and Lamptey are off, Trossard and Maupay are on.


brighton-hove-albion-v-manchester-united-premier-league-amex-stadium Man United players celebrate Greenwood's goal. Source: Andy Rain/NMC Pool/PA Wire


A brilliant counter-attacking goal increases United’s lead.

Matic plays a good ball to Greenwood, whose cross is volleyed home by Fernandes for his second and United’s third.

Fernandes is looking a strong contender for signing of the season at the moment.


Connolly finds himself in a promising position as Brighton counter, but his cross from the left goes straight into De Gea’s arms.

It hasn’t been the Irishman’s night so far, due largely to the fact he’s had to feed off scraps.


A free kick is worked short to an unmarked Trossard, whose shot from a tight angle is just wide.

That was sloppy defending from United, who must be careful not to become too complacent with the game seemingly won.



With the game effectively over, United make a triple substitution.

Williams, Pereira and McTominay are on, with Shaw, Fernandes and Pogba making way.


Trossard plays it to Connolly, whose turn and shot is tipped over the bar by De Gea.

A reminder that Brighton haven’t given up.


Trossard, who has made an impact since coming on, fires a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

This is the hosts’ best spell of the game and is in stark contrast to anything they offered amid a limp first-half performance.


brighton-hove-albion-v-manchester-united-premier-league-amex-stadium Bruno Fernandes scores his side's third goal. Source: Alastair Grant/NMC Pool/PA Wire


Good link-up play involving Trossard and Connolly, before Maupay’s deflected shot from the edge of the area is tipped away by De Gea.

Brighton are looking surprisingly good for a team that’s 3-0 down. There is a freedom to their play that simply wasn’t evident before.

Meanwhile, United are making another change — Martial and Rashford are replaced by Ighalo and James.


Double change for Brighton.

Mac Allister and Dunk are replaced by Bernardo and Mooy.


The game has started to feel quite flat.

The fact that the outcome is decided, in addition to a raft of subs, have contributed to the lull.

As I type though, the ball falls to McTominay on the edge of the area, and the midfielder’s powerful shot forces a save from Ryan.


Another Brighton change.

March replaces Aaron Connolly.

The Irish international had that one excellent effort that De Gea did well to save, but otherwise, didn’t have much service tonight and consequently struggled to make an impact.


No prizes for guessing the man of the match.

It’s two-goal hero Bruno Fernandes, as chosen by Sky Sports’ Gary Neville.


There will be three minutes of stoppage time…


So that’s that.

A well-deserved victory for Man United, with the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era starting to show signs of real promise.

Bruno Fernandes in particular was magnificent, while Greenwood also stood out, with the two combining brilliantly for the exceptional third goal on the counter-attack.

Brighton, it must be said, were awful, and only came alive when the game was effectively over.

The Red Devils won’t care though, as they take a step closer to Champions League football next year.

brighton-hove-albion-v-manchester-united-premier-league-amex-stadium Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes celebrates. Source: Mike Hewitt/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Right, that’s it from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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