Cristiano Ronaldo and David de Gea delivered the goods as Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Contrary to what the scoreline suggests, Brighton & Hove Albion gave Manchester United a run for their money. In fact, Brighton looked the brighter of the two sides in the opening half, only for David de Gea to twice stand in the way of Jakub Moder. At the opposite end of the pitch, the Red Devils had one chance coming their way early on, but Jadon Sancho could not find a way past Robert Sanchez.

It took a mistake from Yves Bissouma to help Manchester United break the deadlock, as Scott McTominay robbed the ball from the Malian before Cristiano Ronaldo unleashed a long-range drive to make it 1-0. Shortly after, Brighton went down to ten men, as Lewis Dunk was sent off after bringing Anthony Elanga down when clean through on goal.

After that, Manchester United dominated the proceedings, but their finishing issues showed up again. The hosts spurned several chances to double their advantage and had to wait until the game’s final shot to make it 2-0 and ease the nerves of the Old Trafford faithful.

Deep into injury time, Bruno Fernandes embarked on a run across the length of the pitch before scoring past Sanchez to put the game to bed. The 2-0 win helped Manchester United get back into the top four, although Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have games in hand over them. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ralf Rangnick’s men.

David de Gea: 8/10

David de Gea continues to bail Manchester United out time and again. On Tuesday, he was instrumental in keeping his side in the game when Brighton imposed themselves on the hosts. The Spaniard made three saves to deny Jakub Moder, with the second being particularly stunning. He can do better on the ball, but de Gea’s shot-stopping abilities remain unquestionable.

Diogo Dalot: 6/10

Dalot struggled to impose himself as an outlet when foraying down the right flank. But he was once again solid in his defensive display, completing 16 ball recoveries, six more than any other player on the pitch. He needs to rediscover his creative instinct.

Victor Lindelof: 6/10

Rangnick made a late call to install Lindelof at the heart of the Manchester United defence after Raphael Varane was taken ill. The Swede was solid at the back, winning three duels and making two clearances. But there was some uncharacteristic sloppiness while passing out from the back which crept into his game.

Harry Maguire: 6/10

Maguire was solid and unspectacular in his performance against Brighton. He kept a check on Leandro Trossard, forcing Graham Potter to take the Belgian off just 15 minutes into the second half. But the Manchester United captain suffered some nervy moments on the ball and needs to be more self-assured when progressing play from the back.

Luke Shaw: 6/10

Luke Shaw had his troubles on the pitch, particularly after Tariq Lamptey’s introduction in the second half. But the Englishman was solid otherwise and helped progress the ball up the field smartly, albeit without looking too creative. He needs to step up.

Bruno Fernandes: 7/10

It was another game of hits and misses for Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese international had a first half to forget, but he improved after the break and should have scored half an hour before he finally found the back of the net when set up by Cristiano Ronaldo. He also deserved two assists for brilliant passes to Ronaldo, but will be delighted to score late in the game.

Scott McTominay: 6/10

For a second successive game, McTominay struggled to impose himself in midfield and could not help Manchester United assert their dominance in the game. But after a poor first half, the Scottish international was instrumental in helping the hosts break the deadlock, as he snatched the ball off Yves Bissouma before Ronaldo unleashed his fiercely-driven shot.

Fred: 5/10

The Player to Watch in our preview, Fred’s return was supposed to be a major positive for Manchester United. But the Brazilian was uncharacteristically careless in midfield and lost the ball cheaply in dangerous areas, particularly when Brighton pressed higher up the pitch in the first half. He improved after Lewis Dunk’s dismissal, but he needs to do much better.

Anthony Elanga: 6.5/10

Brought into the team in place of the underperforming Marcus Rashford, Elanga did not have the cutting edge to make a meaningful impact. But he was still an upgrade on his fellow Manchester United academy graduate as he did not lose possession cheaply. The young Swede also got Dunk sent off when he seemed to be clean through on goal early in the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10

Ronaldo has come under criticism for some of his antics lately, but he put his issues behind him and played as a team player against Brighton. The Portuguese international twice showed uncharacteristic selflessness to set up Sancho and Bruno Fernandes, only for the attackers to fail to find the back of the net.

Ronaldo took matters into his own hands early in the second half, scoring a brilliant long-range strike to break the deadlock, which also happens to be his first goal of 2022. But Ronaldo could have had a hat-trick on his best day, as he failed to convert two clear-cut opportunities in the second half. Nonetheless, it was a superb display by the Manchester United talisman.

Jadon Sancho: 7/10

Sancho’s bright spell of form continued on Tuesday as he put Joel Veltman under pressure whenever he had the ball at his feet. But the Englishman should have done better to convert an early chance after being set up by Ronaldo. Some of his touches were also wasteful, while his passing rate fell significantly on Tuesday.


Paul Pogba: 7/10

On for Fred, Pogba was a major upgrade on the Brazilian as he barely lost possession carelessly, while also grabbing the assist for Bruno Fernandes’s late goal.

Alex Telles: N/A

A late introduction, Telles helped see the game out.

Marcus Rashford: N/A

Rashford only played for around 17 minutes but continued his struggle to make an impact, losing the ball cheaply several times.

One Response to “Manchester United Player Ratings vs Brighton & Hove Albion: 8/10 duo de Gea, Ronaldo shine; rest get 7 or lower”

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  1. Goodmànsôñ says:

    Yes that was how i predicted the game to be.

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