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Man United heap the pressure on Chelsea with a crushing victory over Brighton

The race for the top four (or five) and Champions League football is starting to hot up, and Man United knew they had to beat Brighton tonight to increase the pressure on Chelsea and Wolves.

Brighton still need a couple of wins to be sure of safety, so they would be hoping to take advantage of some potentially tired legs in the United team after they went to extra-time against Norwich at the weekend.

Line Ups:

Brighton – 3-5-1-1: Ryan, Burn, Duffy, Dunk, Montoya, Bissouma, Stephens, Propper, Lamptey, Mac Allister, Connolly

Subs: 46′ Maupay for Propper, 47′ Trossard for Lamptey, 81′ Mooy for Mac Allister, 81′ Bernardo for Dunk, 87′ March for Connolly

Man United – 4-2-3-1: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial

Subs: 64′ Pereira for Fernandes, 64′ McTominay for Pogba, 64′ Williams for Shaw, 78′ Ighalo for Martial, 78′ James for Rashford

First Half:

Man United looked dominant as Brighton dropped back into their shape and tried to contain them, but they gave too much room to the United midfield and the opener looked inevitable.

Bruno Fernandes came close after some neat link up with Paul Pogba, but his side footed effort from distance could only smack off the post and out to safety:

The opener did come shortly afterwards, as Greenwood showed some neat step overs before reversing the ball back into the near post past Ryan:

It wasn’t long after when United went 2-0 up, Bruno Fernandes had another chance to line one up from the edge of the box and it looked like it took a deflection, but the keeper couldn’t get there and United were firmly in control.

Brighton might be angry after the second goal stood, as images appeared to show that the ball had gone out of play in the build up to the goal:

Brighton were starting to look increasingly frustrated as the half wore on, so it was probably a relief to get to half time and the chance to regroup.

Second Half:

Unfortunately for Brighton the game was essentially over as a contest shortly after the restart, as a lightning counter attack ended with Bruno Fernandes volleying home his second of the game:

Brighton did come close to getting back in the game as Trossard fired a dangerous shot across goal that just missed the post, before he ballooned another attempt high and wide moments later.

David de Gea was also called upon to make a terrific one handed save to deny Connolly, as Brighton has a few attacks that caused problems, but they couldn’t find a goal to make it interesting.

Man United also had a few breakaways where the final finish was lacking or Brighton got back to make good blocks, as the game drifted towards a final scoreline of 3-0.

Stats:

Courtesy of Sky Sports

Post Match Thoughts:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be delighted with how his team is looking, they are no longer purely a counter attacking team and now have the capability of breaking down a team who sits in.

The partnership between Pogba and Fernandes is continuing to look promising, as this really does put the pressure on Chelsea.

Brighton will be annoyed that they showed way too much respect in the first half, they started to look good after it went to 3-0 but it was too little too late.

They should have the quality to avoid relegation, but will want to get a couple more wins soon to make sure.