An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal gave Man United a narrow victory over Brighton.
Brighton were more than a match for United throughout. Early on in the game, Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross both came close to scoring, with Knockaert kicking the ball across the face of goal, and Gross forcing David de Gea into a save.
United were thwarted by Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan, as he made a double save, first of all to deny Romelu Lukaku’s header, and then to deny Paul Pogba’s follow-up.
Brighton continued to threaten United in the second half, up until the own goal. From a corner, the ball came out to Ashley Young on the edge of the box, whose shot went in via a huge deflection off Dunk.
Dunk is the first player in Premier League history to score an own goal against both Manchester clubs in the same season. But, the goal could yet be given to Young, who hasn’t scored since May 2016.
Both teams came close after the goal but, United held on to extend their unbeaten run at home to 39 league and cup games, with the last home defeat coming on the 10 September 2016 against Man City.
But, this was a far from vintage performance. The next home game is against City on the 10 December and Jose Mourinho will know that his side will have to produce a much better performance to have a chance of beating the league leaders.
Lukaku didn’t look at his best at all, with the striker now having scored once in his last 10 games in all competitions. Pogba also wasn’t at his best, failing to make as much of an impact as he did last week against Newcastle.
This was an eleventh straight home win for United, as they have cut the game to Man City to five points, with City playing on Sunday. Brighton, who Mourinho gave big praise to after the game, are ninth.
Next up for United is a trip to Watford next Tuesday, the 28 November. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.
Manager Jose Mourinho said Brighton provided his Manchester United side with “probably the hardest match we’ve had this season” after a narrow win for the hosts at Old Trafford.
An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal was enough to earn United an 11th straight home win and cut Manchester City’s lead at the top to five points ahead of their game at Huddersfield on Sunday.
Yet Brighton, who remain ninth in the table, were more than a match for United.
Mourinho offered Hughton a hug at the final whistle – the Red Devils boss clearly relieved to have won a match despite a far from vintage display.
Lukaku looked flat throughout and now has one goal in his past 10 games while Paul Pogba was unable to have as much influence as he enjoyed the previous week against Newcastle.
This will go down as an ugly win but Mourinho and his players will not care if they are top of the table next May.