Goals from Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba were enough to hand Manchester United a much needed win against a resilient Brighton and Hove Albion.
It was Marcus Rashford’s 150th appearance and he marked it with a well taken strike as the English man made it the 41st goal of his career.
Luke Shaw was hooked off during the warm ups as the England international took ill. Diogo Dalot was the man drafted in to replace Shaw at left back, with Ashley Young filling up at right back.
The Red Devils began the game at Old Trafford very much on the front foot but found it really difficult to exploit the Brighton defense. The first chance of the game fell to Anthony Martial but the chance went begging.
In a first period controlled by a dominant Man United side, the Seagulls had their own fair share of chances, going close with eventual goalscorers Gross and Locadia.
Pogba also went close for the hosts inside 15 minutes but his effort went high and wide into the stands.
Lewis Dunk proved savior for Brighton on 20 minutes, clearing a Rashford-hit shot off the line. For a moment, it appeared the ball was going in.
There was to be some drama 27 minutes in however, as Paul Pogba was brought to deck after being sandwiched in the box by March and Bong with the referee pointing to the spot. The French midfielder stepped up with his now-trademark stuttering run to fire the Red Devils ahead.
Martial missed a sitter on the half-hour mark, receiving a long ball from Lindelöf, only to see his attempted lob saved by Button. He must have kicked himself for missing that!
The rejuvenated Rashford handed Man United some breathing space just before half time, evading his marker before curling one past a helpless Button. That was the Englishman’s fifth goal since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the reins. Manchester United ended the first half with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
In truth, the second period was really drab compared to the first. As frustrating as the half was, it was Propper – of all people – that sprung it to life on 70 minutes. His precise outside-the-boot pass was latched onto by Gross, the midfielder making no mistake with his finish.
A consolation it was for the visitors, as the Man United players held on to their lead making it seven wins on the trot. United’s form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be giving the board some headache as they continue their search for a permanent manager.
Next up for the Red Devils is a home game against Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.
Manchester United 2-1 Brighton