Brighton – Manchester United: Bruno’s Brace Eases United Past Brighton (0-3)
A hodgepodge starting eleven coupled with a lack of attacking intent handcuffed Brighton from minute one. A much more astute Manchester United midfield – replete with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes – took full advantage.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Four points from two matches since the restart, including a thrilling late win over Arsenal, helped to put some separation between Brighton and the relegation zone. Manager Graham Potter has experimented with personnel and formation changes all season, but the arrival of loanee Tariq Lamptey and the consistent play of striker Neil Maupay has helped inject some consistency into the club.
With a pivotal fixture against Norwich coming up, Potter elected to heavily rotate his squad in advance of the clash with Manchester United. Brighton lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Lamptey - normally deployed at fullback - playing as a right-sided midfielder. Meanwhile, up front Argentine Alexis Mac Allister played alongside Aaron Connolly, with Maupay resigned to the bench.
The return from the coronavirus-imposed break has been kind to Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has yet to lose a match and in the process has played some scintillating counterattacking football. Paul Pogba’s return from injury has helped to provide the verve United has sorely missed in midfield, as the French international has combined as well as hoped with January-signing Bruno Fernandes.
The run of good results, coupled with the prospect of Manchester City’s Champions League ban being upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, has given renewed confidence to the notion of Manchester returning to Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
After a mid-week FA Cup . . .