Manchester United continued their fine run of form with an excellent 3-0 win away at Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday. Bruno Fernandes netted a brace after Mason Greenwood’s early opener, as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men closed to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
It took just over a quarter of an hour for Greenwood to open the scoring, by which time Fernandes had already thumbled the post from the edge of the Brighton box. United were comfortably on top, and had there been fans in the ground, none of them would have been surprised when the visitors took the lead.
That said, the opening goal was conjured from almost nothing by Greenwood, who received the ball wide on the right, darted infield, and dispatched the ball inside Mat Ryan’s near post. It was another sure sign of the teenager’s talent, as he continues to stake a claim for a place in Solskjær’s first team.
United doubled their advantage with less than half an hour on the clock. This time, it was less raw skill and more good fortune. It looked like the opportunity had gone when Luke Shaw reached the byline and pulled the ball across the area, but Paul Pogba recycled possession on the edge of the box and offloaded to Fernandes, whose low shot squirmed inside the near post courtesy of a heavy deflection off of Alexis Mac Allister.
United would have been forgiven for easing into the second half, but they started with a bang. It took them less than five minutes to kill the game off, with Fernandes completing a lightning fast counter-attack by volleying Greenwood’s deft cross past Ryan from point-blank range.
To their credit, Brighton didn’t completely buckle, and might have pulled one back on the hour. Leandro Trossard took receipt of a Mac Allister free-kick and ghosted in unmarked at the near post, though he lashed low, hard, and wide of the back stick. The Belgian went close again 10 minutes later, though again fired wide, this time after some fancy footwork on the edge of the box.
Despite their late flurry, Brighton couldn’t find a consolation, and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat. They could have few complaints. United completely dominated the first hour of the match, and made their chances count.