'We got killed' Graham Potter makes honest admission after Manchester United loss
Brighton were brushed aside as Bruno Fernandes continued his fine start to life at Manchester United with a brace in a comfortable Premier League win at the Amex Stadium
The 25-year-old January signing shone in a 3-0 win, scoring in either half after Mason Greenwood had set the ball rolling.
United had lost on their previous two Premier League matches at the Amex Stadium but set that right in style against a Brighton side surprisingly out of sorts until it was too late.
The hosts had beaten Arsenal and held Leicester to a draw since the restart but were never at the races here.
Brighton boss Graham Potter said, "We played against a really good side tonight, Manchester United were the better team and they had some quality. Our response in the second half was really good and maybe deserved a goal but the better team won. I am proud of how the players stuck at it and kept going.
"We got killed on the counter-attack for the third goal but we had some good play but against United you are always on the stretch. It is a tough evening for us but one we will take a lot from and learn from it.
"We always look at ourselves to try and improve and they are as good as anyone we have played this year. It is hard to contain but a positive performance in the second half.
"We knew before the game where we are at and the fight we have got, that does not change anything. We go to Norwich to fight."
Fernandes had already come inches away from breaking the deadlock, cracking a post after being slipped in by Paul Pogba, whose shot from the rebound was deflected behind.
Greenwood would be the one to open the scoring, breaking inside from the right and outfoxing his marker before firing in his sixth Premier League goal of the campaign.
Fernandes would soon regain his spotlight, curling a free-kick over before doubling United's lead, turning home from the edge of the box on the half-hour mark.
There was some controversy as the ball appeared to go out of play earlier in the move but the strike stood.
Potter responded by introducing Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard for the second half.
Trossard impressed but Albion were caught on the break as United hit their third less than five minute after the restart.
With the Seagulls taking more risks, Nemanja Matic played a fine long ball to catch Brighton upfield and Greenwood collected in space.
His deep cross was finished emphatically by Fernandes, giving Mat Ryan no chance.
Brighton finally showed some spark on the hour, Trossard angling an effort wide after a clever free-kick from Alexis Mac Allister - making his home debut - set him free in the United box.
Fernandes was withdrawn just four minutes later, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking no risks with the amount of football on the horizon.
Brandon Williams was introduced at the same time as Solskjaer made three changes, the young left-back almost making an immediate impact only for his header to be blocked behind.
Having had almost nothing to do, David De Gea made a fine one-handed stop to tip Aaron Connolly's shot behind - with Trossard shooting inches wide moments later.
Brighton continued to pile on pressure, De Gea with another smart stop to deny Maupay.
There would be no consolation, however, as United extended their unbeaten run to 15 games and closed back up on the top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "It's a joy to watch them when you see them express themselves like that.
"The confidence comes from performances and knowing they've done the right things leading in to the restart. They worked hard during the lockdown and we know we have loads to play for.
"The third goal was a great team goal. To see so many players sprinting forward to get on the end of it was fantastic. A great finish by Bruno Fernandes.
"Paul Pogba was top. He got hold of the ball, sprayed it, won headers. He's just going to get better and better."
Brighton are next in action at Norwich this Saturday.