Solskjaer’s Red Devil’s bounce back from a loss on the seaside last week by getting a convincing win, perhaps the most of the season, over Brighton with goals from Pereira, Rashford and Propper own goal. Dunk was the one to get on the goal sheet for the Seagulls.
James keeps growing
At the moment, £15m for the Welsh winger is looking more than a snip. So far this season there, as much as his endeavour and pace has been on show, in recent weeks, he has more than come on in his decision making and execution of passes and crosses especially. He emulated a pass he played for Rashford at Norwich once again today, which exemplified this fact. It is a wonderful sight to see a winger who is actually able to clip balls accurately to the back and whip balls across the front after so many years without it. He gave every single one of the Brighton back line hell today, Dan Burn will have known that he has been in a match after he was constantly terrorised in the first half by the pace of Daniel James. Considering the performance we saw on his first start at the Molienux, where James showed that he was perhaps not as adept on the right as he was the left, the performances he has been able to show recently show a remarkable of progression in such a short period. It bodes well for the future if Man Utd have sorted their right hand side issue
Turn Point for Fred?
If this is to prove as the moment Fred started to justify the hefty fee that was shelled out on him last summer, it would have been the long bedding in period for the Brazilian. Today is hopefully signs of more to come because it was an all action display that is more than needed in the centre of the park. His intercepting and tackling improved ten fold in comparison to his usual level but it was his passing, particularly after we had just won the ball, that caught the eye today. He was able to spot players and release them quickly rather than playing short non threatening passes that has come to characterise the United midfield this season. The set up for the third came from Pereira and Fred winning the ball back in the centre circle, to which the latter immediately threaded an excellent pass into the path of Martial, who would eventually go on to set up Rashford. Even his ball retention in settled possession looked remarkably better, a calm chipped pass under pressure to Wan Bissaka in the right back position signifying this in abundance. A step at a time but hopefully a step building towards Fred finally asserting himself as a Red Devils mainstay
Counter and counter
A lot was made of the fact that this would be an energetic Man Utd team, both on and off the ball. Today was the first time you could say that was energy you can see in the side. It was led from the front with Martial constantly putting the CBs under pressure, backed up with Pereira positioning himself halfway between the Brighton defence and midfield, in order to anticipate where the ball would go next. Even if this was bypassed, Fred and McTominay were constantly battling and winning possession. Something often levied at this United team in recent years is the passivity when hunting the ball but that wasn’t the case today. When the ball was in our hands however, when the space was there, we attacked with pace. But even more impressively, in the second half, during our bombardment on the Seagulls net, we managed to pin them back and still was able to show pace of movement and passing. James, Rashford and Martial were torments during the game, the latter providing an excellent foil to the other two running in the channels and wide positions.