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Manchester United 1-0 Brighton player ratings, stats and reaction: Ibrahimovic sub inspires unconvincing United as a key star limps off

Manchester United sent Brighton back to the south coast with nothing to show with the Reds victorious in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was introduced into the action on the 62nd minute and made an instant impact. The Swede was effective in linking up with Belgian Romelu Lukaku who had been relatively isolated until the introduction of Zlatan.

It took Manchester United 66 minutes to break down the resilient Brighton side at Old Trafford today with the Red Devils having to rely on a heavily deflected Ashley Young effort to seal them the three points.

The reds were left frustrated at half-time after failing to trouble the Brighton goal. Paul Pogba walked down the tunnel at the halfway point with a limp after a goal-mouth scramble appeared to put a strain on the Frenchman but the star rejoined the action in the second-half apparently unfazed.

The same however cannot be said for Marcus Rashford who departed with ten minutes remaining at Old Trafford with a slight limp to be replaced by Marouane Fellaini.

Brighton had a penalty shout in the 92nd minute after the ball appeared to hit Fellaini’s arm but the appeals were waved away by the referee.

United remain in second place and are now just five points behind leaders Manchester City.

Man of the match

Ashely Young has done very well in recent months to reestablish himself within the United squad and even earned himself an England call-up for the first time in four years this month after impressing at Old Trafford since transitioning from a winger to full-back.

Young was once again impressive today and sealed United’s only goal on the 66th minute after his left-footed shot was deflected into the top corner. While it will be debated as to whether Young can claim the goal for himself with it having taken a heavy deflection, it will be his first goal since May last year if he is given the goal.

Flop of the match 

Juan Mata has been given a chance by Jose Mourinho in recent weeks to establish himself as United’s number ten following Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s disappointing form of late. The Spaniard was however unable to take today’s opportunity and was replaced by Ibrahimovic on the 62nd minute.

Stat of the match 

Quite a fortress…

Player ratings 

Manchester United: De Gea 7, Valencia 7, Lindelof 6, Smalling 6, Young 8, Pogba 7, Matic 6, Mata 5, Rashford 6, Martial 5, Lukaku 6.

Subs: Ibrahimovic 7, Mkhitaryan 6, Fellaini 5.

Brighton: Ryan 5, Bruno 6, Duffy 5, Dunk 4, Bong 6, Knockaert 6, Gross 5, Stephens 5, Propper 6, March 5, Murray 5.

Subs: Hemed 5, Izquierdo 6, Brown N/A.

Reaction 

Despite United taking all the points, many were still dissatisfied by the unconvincing display…

More Stories Anthony Martial Antonio Valencia ashley young Chris Smalling David de Gea juan mata Marcus Rashford Nemanja Matic Paul Pogba Romelu Lukaku Victor Lindelof Zlatan Ibrahimovic