An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal meant Manchester United were able to overcome a spirited Brighton side to win 1-0 at Old Trafford. 

By 90Min
November 25, 2017

An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal meant Manchester United were able to overcome a spirited Brighton side to win 1-0 at Old Trafford. 

Jose Mourinho named an unchanged side to that who beat Newcastle 4-1 in their last Premier League outing, whilst Chris Houghton made one change to his side that drew 2-2 at home to Stoke - Jose Izquierdo losing his place to Solly March. Manchester United were coming off the back of a 1-0 defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League midweek, where as Brighton hadn't lost any of their last five games.

The first chance of the game fell on two minutes when Romelu Lukaku played a neat one-two pass with Anthony Martial, finding space to shoot on the edge of the area, however he was unable to direct his shot on target. It was then Brighton who began to pressure the home side, getting two shots on target but failed to really test David de Gea.

The ensuing half an hour followed a similar pattern, with Manchester United dominating possession but Brighton stayed strong defensively and looked threatening on the counter attack. The best chance of the half fell just before the break when Lukaku's close range header was stopped by Ryan before he then blocked Paul Pogba's rebound to complete a brilliant double save.

The sides went into the break level, and the start to the second half saw a similar pattern to that shown in the first half. United were left frustrated by the stern Brighton defence who were dealing with everything that was thrown at them, with the visitors also looking threatening going forward. 

With Brighton looking comfortable at the back, Mourinho brought on Zlatan Ibrahimovic just past the hour mark to try and break down the opposing defence, and just five minutes later United went in front.

Marcus Rashford's corner was cleared only as far as Ashley Young on the edge of the area, who's ensuing shot took a wicked deflection off Lewis Dunk and looped over Ryan into the back of the net to put the hosts in front.

Despite going behind, Brighton still looked threatening on the counter. Dunk brought the ball out from defence and found himself on the edge of the 18-yard box with a sight at goal, unfortunately he got his feet tangled and couldn't find a shot on target, but Brighton were responding well to going behind.

A matter of minutes later, Anthony Knockaert fizzed a very teasing ball across the face of goal, however there weren't any Brighton players to turn the ball home. The visitors then had a near identical chance not long after when Bruno got forward from right-back and put a very inviting ball across the face of goal, but again no Brighton players could get on the end of the cross.

Gareth Copley/GettyImages

The game began to open up, with the away side continuing to put the pressure on the United defence. With five minutes remaining, Shane Duffy should've tested De Gea with a header from an inviting free kick, however he couldn't direct his header on target.

Ibrahimovic then had a chance to seal the points for United, playing a neat one-two pass with Pogba before lashing his shot wide of the Brighton goal. Despite Brighton's spirited performance, United were able to see out the game and maintained their 100% home record in the Premier League this season.

The win now means United have cut the gap on league leaders Manchester City to five points - who travel to Huddersfield Town on Sunday - whilst Brighton drop to ninth in the league and lose their first game in five matches.

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