Dean Henderson: 9/10
Made a couple nice saves in the first half but none bigger than the almost point blank save on Trossard in the 67th minute to keep the game 1-0. Until that point we had seen this exact game play out 4-5 times last year and it would end 1-1. Henderson kept it 1-0 and United were able to build on it.
Diogo Dalot: 6/10
The bad news: he didn’t play well enough to make anyone think “I need to sign him.” The good news: he wasn’t bad enough that anyone thinking of signing him would have thought better of it. Got forward much better once the good players came on.
Eric Bailly: 9/10
Another fantastic display at the back and crucially again playing 90 minutes. Really making his case to start Premier League matches.
Victor Lindelöf: 7/10
Looked a lot better next to Bailly then he usually does next to Harry Maguire.
Brandon Williams: 4/10
Played a fantastic ball in to create Ighalo’s early squandered chance but makes you want to throw your tele out the window every time he stops on the ball and turns inside on his right foot.
Scott McTominay: 5/10
Points for scoring a goal but often left Fred completely isolated in midfield. His positioning was poor and he’d often dart forward as soon as United got possession, usually sitting next to or between two blue shirts and thus failing to provide an outlet for Fred, his fullbacks, or the centerbacks. On the ball he was way too safe with it, contributing to United not turning their first half possession into an actual attack.
Spent the first half cleaning up messes in midfield as he was often the only one there. The only midfielder trying to push the ball forward, which naturally lead to some giveaways. Had a very strong and decisive pass to set up Mata’s goal and put two shots on target which is 1/8 of his total from last season.
Dan James: 5/10
Started the match out making runs in behind and United were looking for him but could never get the ball right. Hard for him to really make an impact when United couldn’t progress the ball into the final third.
Juan Mata: 9/10
United’s cup wizard. Popped up all over the pitch to pull the strings for United. Was rightfully rewarded with a goal and assist.
Donny van de Beek: 7/10
If I was Van de Beek’s agent I’d be less worried about how much playing time Donny was getting and far more concerned with how unfair it is that when he does start he has to do it among this XI.
Odion Ighalo: 5/10
Squandered a rather difficult chance. Had strong hold up play but if we’re praising a striker’s hold up play that’s because he didn’t score any goals for us to talk about. Again, pretty hard to make an impact when United can’t get him the ball in the final third.
Marcus Rashford: 6/10
Came on, linked up well, showed more attacking impetus.
Paul Pogba: 7/10
It was only Brighton’s second team but finally looked like Paul Pogba. Came on as a no 10 and United quickly looked more threatening. Scored a nice free kick (which will likely be changed to an OG) and attacked Dalot’s cross in the box well but headed it wide. A good bounce back outing after an awful performance on Saturday.
Jesse Lingard: N/A
The only thing you remember about Lingard from this match is him not squaring a ball to Rashford, putting it on his left foot and shooting hilariously wide.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 7/10
Continues to balance the need for getting his first team minutes and building up their match fitness and getting minutes to the rest of the squad who need it too. A squad full of backups remained very organized throughout the match, a testament to his coaching.
Brighton’s B team never troubled United, but United still lacked the ability to mount any sustainable attacks. How many more times do we need to watch the McTominay-Fred midfield fail to progress the ball before we finally realize they’re not a viable pair?
Ed Woodward: 1/10
These League Cup games would be far more enjoyable if Luke Shaw and Mason Greenwood were playing because we signed players and they were now backups.