Bruno Fernandes & Mason Greenwood were the top performers as Manchester United secured a comfortable 3-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Manchester United continued their excellent run of form as they registered yet another 3-0 win in the Premier League, this time against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Red Devils were on top right from the kick-off, dominating possession and creating numerous chances. They also looked excellent in their build-up and approach play, thanks to some crisp passing from the midfielders as Brighton were more than willing to sit back and defend.
Manchester United were rewarded for their early pressure as Mason Greenwood opened the scoring in the 16th minute. It was shortly followed by a deflected strike from Bruno Fernandes in the 29th minute as the half-time ended with a 2-0 lead for the away side.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 30, 2020
United started the second half on a positive note as well, with another strike from Fernandes adding further gloss to the scoreline. And although Brighton did push forward well after the hour-mark, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men deserve credit for remaining strong and preserving a clean sheet.
And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Manchester United players in their excellent performance against the Seagulls this evening.
David de Gea: 8/10
Although the scoreline might suggest otherwise, David de Gea had a busy game tonight, especially in the second half as Brighton & Hove Albion players pushed forward in search of a consolation. But, the Spaniard was on hand to make a couple of incredible saves and preserve his clean sheet.
de Gea’s save to deny Aaron Connolly in the 68th minute was particularly pleasing. And this performance should give him some much-needed confidence following a howler against Tottenham Hotspur.
David de Gea’s superb save 👏
— United Goals ⚽️ (@UnitedGoals__) June 30, 2020
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 8/10
Aaron Wan-Bissaka did what he does best – move up and down the pitch and cover the entire right flank. The English international was extremely reliable in his defensive game while Man United’s collective pressure also allowed the defender to move forward and make a couple of excellent passes in the final third.
Victor Lindelof: 7.5/10
It was a promising display from Victor Lindelof, who was solid at the back. His aerial prowess, in particular, made life difficult for the Brighton centre-forwards. Moreover, the Swede was convincing with his passing and this performance should give him an ideal boost, especially with Eric Bailly pushing for a start.
Harry Maguire: 7.5/10
Harry Maguire endured a difficult start to this game. The English international looked unconvincing with his passes and didn’t exactly look imposing at the back. His chested effort to pass most notably exposed the United backline with Connolly marching forward.
However, he improved as the game progressed and in the end, he emerged as a reliable outlet in the defensive unit for the away side.
Luke Shaw: 8/10
It was yet another excellent display from Luke Shaw, who seems to be improving with every passing week. The ex-Southampton star particularly impressed the onlookers with his willingness to make forays down the flank and provide support to Marcus Rashford on the far side.
Shaw was, however, taken off just after the hour mark, which was understandable as he was one of the three players this evening to feature in the game against Norwich City.
Nemanja Matic 8.5/10
Much like Maguire, Nemanja Matic had a rusty start to the game. But, the Serb started to look like a completely different player as soon as found his footing in the holding midfield role.
Nemanja Matic’s last 6 Premier League starts:
• clean sheet
• clean sheet
• 1 conceded
• clean sheet
• clean sheet
• clean sheet
Solid. 💪🇷🇸 pic.twitter.com/1K2zx4rIO8
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 30, 2020
Indeed, Matic looked virtually indispensable with his brilliant ball distribution, accurate long-passes and remarkable hold-up play. He also got rid of several loose balls in his territory and provided ideal security for the Manchester United backline. Additionally, it was his pass to Greenwood that unlocked the Brighton defence for the third goal. An elite display from the ex-Chelsea star.
Paul Pogba: 8/10
Paul Pogba was not the best performer on the pitch. But, that is not to say that he wasn’t influential at all. In fact, the Frenchman’s effortless ball rotation, aggressive pressing and remarkable combination play were key elements in Manchester United’s sheer dominance in the first half.
Moreover, Pogba deserves credit for teeing up Fernandes for the second goal. And after that, the midfielder played a key role in pulling the strings in midfield, easing Man United’s transition.
Bruno Fernandes: 9.5/10
Fernandes continues his early success at Manchester United with yet another elite display. While his two goals were certainly important, it was the Portuguese’s marvelous tactical versatility and seemingly telepathic understanding with Pogba that caught the eye.
8 – Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in eight goals in his first eight Premier League games for Man Utd (five goals & three assists) – only Robin van Persie has had more (9) at this stage of his PL career with the club. Sensation. pic.twitter.com/iw4oxj4T4j
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 30, 2020
Despite being deployed in attacking midfield, Fernandes, more or less, operated alongside the forward in United’s first line of press. But, he dropped deep when necessary and pulled the strings with exquisite one-touch passes. Man of the match performance from the ex-Sporting captain.
Mason Greenwood: 9/10
While Fernandes’ creative essence played a key role in helping Manchester United seal a victory, it was Greenwood’s amazing brief solo run that led to the all-important opener. Aside from the goal, the youngster was also influential in the quick build-up play in the final third while he also provided the assist for the third goal.
Manchester United's leading goalscorers in all competitions this season:
❍ Anthony Martial (19)
❍ Marcus Rashford (19)
❍ Mason Greenwood (13)
He's still only 18. 😳 pic.twitter.com/sGomKZiMWw
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 30, 2020
Anthony Martial 6/10
After a hat-trick against Sheffield United, hopes were sky high on Anthony Martial this evening. The Frenchman could not find the back of the net, which was rather disappointing. But at the same time, his work-rate and willingness to drop deep were certainly commendable.
Marcus Rashford 7/10
It was yet another mixed performance from Marcus Rashford, who is struggling to emerge as the X-factor in the Manchester United attack. While the English international did offer a lot of threat on the left flank, it was overall a dry performance by his lofty standards as he was outshone by the likes of Fernandes and Greenwood.
Andreas Pereira: 5/10
Replaced Fernandes just after the hour-mark, hoping to provide the creative essence in the final third. But instead, Andreas Pereira lost the ball twice and wasn’t influential at all. His work-rate was fine though as he offered more energy to the pitch.
Scott McTominay: 6.5/10
Replacing Pogba in central midfielder, McTominay operated alongside Matic to offer more protection in the Manchester United midfield. His passing was crisp as the Red Devils managed to sustain their three-goal advantage.
Brandon Williams: 6.5/10
Came on for Shaw in the 64th minute and integrated himself to the pace of the game quite quickly. The youngster is certainly a viable replacement for the ex-Southampton star.
Odion Ighalo: N/A
Failed to find the back of the net after coming on for Martial in the 78th minute.
Daniel James: N/A
Daniel James was ineffective after replacing Rashford during the final stages of the game. Had a couple of shots late in the game that did not trouble Mat Ryan at all.