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Premier League Match Report & Player Ratings | Brighton exact FA Cup revenge with last-gap penalty in 1-0 win over Manchester United

In-demand midfielder Alexis Mac Allister’s late penalty sealed all three points for Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls as their dreams of European nights at the AMEX continues

Pre-Match Social Media Commentary

It was a story that wrote its own script tonight when Brighton clashed with Manchester United on the south coast not long after the Red Devils reached the final of the FA Cup at the Seagulls’ expense, with Roberto De Zerbi’s men exacting revenge, ironically from the penalty spot, to secure all three points against another big name in English football.

Brighton was the better of the two sides on the night across another performance that will have many using as evidence to suggest that the former Shakhtar Donetsk and Sassuolo tactician deserves serious consideration for manager of the season while putting the club on course for their highest-ever Premier League finish and European football on their neck of the. south coast for the first time ever.

The Red Devils nearly got off to a dream start after ninety seconds at the AMEX when Brazilian winger Antony was put through on goal down the central channel by a ball from Bruno Fernandes when Ten Hag’s men broke quickly in transition, but the former Ajax Amsterdam starlet could only slice his effort wide of Jason Steele’s far post.

Brighton countered with their own big chance through Kaoru Mitoma after the Japanese international intercepted Victor Lindelöf’s lazy sideways pass to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but David De Gea did well to stand tall and unintentionally turn away with his head when Mitoma should have otherwise made it 1-0 to the home side. It was an indication of the Seagulls’ ability to press, with 53 chances coming from their ability to press high across the season.

Unsurprisingly, Mitoma remained the key outlet for Roberto De Zerbi’s men on account of the Japanese winger leading all players in successful take-ons in the league, while United seemed content to sit a bit deeper and engage in the press at the halfway line and look to spring on the counter. United found joy in that regard despite being unable to find a goal after thirty minutes, but a number of half-chances had presented themselves.

In-demand midfielder Alexis Mac Allister had a good chance of his own after thirty-five minutes from just outside the area, but his bending effort could only sail high and wide of De Gea’s far post, but still, Brighton was proving up to the task against a side in United who have been in credible form of late.

De Zerbi’s men came out the stronger of the two sides after the half-time interval, even more on the front foot than the previous 45-minute period and looking good value to find a match opener in front of home support as United were incapable of keeping up their own efforts in the press.

Jason Steele came up big in the 68th minute after the Seagulls were denied a shout for a penalty after Mitoma went down in the box, with Marcus Rashford’s curling effort destined for the far corner justly turned aside to keep the scoreline level still.

Both De Zerbi and Ten Hag made a number of changes in the second half as both outfits looked to preserve a clean sheet while also giving themselves the best possible chance of finding a breakthrough, with the Italian calling upon Solly March, Denis Undav, and Levi Colwill, while the Red Devils’ Dutchman brought on Marcel Sabitzer, Jadon Sancho, and Wout Weghorst.

Brighton kept knocking on the door in the final minute of stoppage time and was awarded a pen at the death after Luke Shaw committed a handball in the box when challenging a corner by the Seagulls, which World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister duly dispatched past David De Gea to give De Zerbi’s men their FA Cup revenge.

That result lifted the Seagulls into 6th place with a match in hand on those around them, allowing the south coast club a chance to continue dreaming of European nights for the first time in the club’s history.

As for United, a chance to slip into third and ahead of Newcastle United went begging as the club failed to win against any of the top nine sides in the league this season, calling into question their away from across the broader perspective of their campaign under Ten Hag.

Key Stats & Performers

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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