I am still trying to understand how my darling Manchester United would go from beating the big boys in the league and lose to minnows. It really baffles me to be honest but hey this is football and anything can happen. Before the game versus Brighton which was played on Friday night, the Red Devils had never lost a match played on a Friday before winning 6 and drawing 3 prior to this one. I was limited to listening to the commentary of the game.
A change in the line-up that faced Tottenham and Arsenal in their last two games was expected because an FA Cup final had been booked and top 4 in the league was secured with victories over both North London sides (consecutively). Manchester United however need 4 points to secure a 2nd place finish which is still doable with 2 games left to play in the league. Jose Mourinho must have heard my plea of starting both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in this one. Juan Mata also made the cut along with Marcos Rojo, Maroune Fellaini and Matteo Darmian. The usual suspects Nemanja Matic and David De Gea were also called upon with Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young making up the first XI for Man Utd.
Brighton were fighting for Premiership survival and a point would have guaranteed that. Matthew Ryan started in goal for them with Bruno Saltor, Shane Duffy, Gaetan Bong and Lewis Dunk making up the back four. In midfield they had Jose Izquierdo, Dale Stephens, Dave Propper and Anthony Knockaert. Brighton’s player of the year Pascal Gross supported Glenn Murray upfront in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
A game most bookmakers had predicted in United’s favour was going the Seagulls way with the Red Devils limited in going through the Brighton defence. The first half ended goalless but Brighton came back better for it scoring the only goal of the game in the 57th minute through their player of the year, Gross.
Congrats to Brighton Hove and Albion as they get to play in the Premier League next season. Stoke City have been relegated and surprisingly West Bromwich Albion have a fighting chance of remaining in the League after beating Tottenham 1 nil on Saturday. If Swansea and Southampton end their Thursday night game with a stalemate then the relegation battle will make it to the final day which could lead to one of the best ends to a Premier League season.
Have a fab week ahead !!!