Opinion: Brighton show glimpses of potential against Manchester United but throw it all away again

Brighton lost 2-1 away at Manchester United after going a goal ahead thanks to Danny Welbeck (13)

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 9:43 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th April 2021, 9:44 pm
Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring against his former club

Brighton left Old Trafford with nothing; the kings of throwing away leads, points and undoing any good work they did in the match. A missed opportunity.

Albion played without the ball for the majority of the game, and they looked comfortable in the first half 1-0 up and forcing United out wide.

United had the majority of possession and pressed high, leaving Brighton to soak up the attack and play on the break - most of Albion's points/big wins this season have come from playing this way.

In the same breath, Albion have thrown around 20 points away from winning positions this season. So it's always edgy when they're 1-0 up and it was no surprise to watch them lose 2-1.

They have so much potential and give you so much hope that this is the game they'll get going, this game they'll hold on, but there seems to be a blueprint they follow of going 1-0 up and just losing momentum, falling at the wayside in the final stages and throwing it all away.

The Seagulls went ahead in the 13th minute, which is interesting as between the first and 15th minute is when United concede most of their goals. Numbers tell stories.

The goal came from Brighton winning the ball back high up the pitch and counter-attacking from there - a Potter gegen-press. Impressive, simple.

Gross found himself in loads of room on the right hand side and shifted the ball out to Maupay, who whipped in a pinpoint cross for Welbeck to nod home from at the secod attempt after a point blank save from Dean Henderson.

That goal was proof that football... is a simple game. Proof that if you give Brighton's forward players time and space, they have the ability to hurt you, especially now Danny Welbeck is fit and firing.

The goal brought confidence to Brighton and an air of frustration to United. The Red Devils slowly huffed and puffed but couldn't break the solid defensive unit down.

Seeing Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford all get annoyed with Brighton was an enjoyable sight.

Here's what the Manchester Evening News journalist, Tyrone Marshall, tweeted when Brighton were 1-0 up: "Fernandes has one goal and one assist in his last eight games, Rashford no goals in six games, Cavani no goals in four games, Greenwood two goals in 27 games.

"Too many forwards not firing for #mufc, although this performance is about more than an out-of-form front line."

United were lacking in ideas and looked average at best.

However, they came onto Brighton in the second half and attacked with more intent and Brighton couldn't stay solid enough to keep them out.

Fernandes found a way in behind the Albion midfield to thread in Rashford, who finished with aplomb. United came again, this time Pogba's scuffed effort deflected into the danger zone and saw Mason Greenwood get on the end of it and secure all three points.

Danny Welbeck nearly equalised but couldn't get on the end of Maupay's ball across the six yard box. Mike Dean went to VAR to check if Maguire had pulled the former United man down and quickly waived away any penalty shout - I thought it was soft myself but I'd have to look again.

It's hard to be harsh on Brighton to say they should have done better, because they're playing at United, one of the biggest clubs in the world. But at the same time, given the context of the game, Brighton should have took home at least a point.

They offer so much hope but provide so little.

Read More

Read More
Post-match analysis: The Brighton blueprint for throwing away good opportunities