Brighton’s Player of the Year Pascal Gross scored the only goal of the game that more than confirmed the Seagulls Premier League status for another season.
The German playmaker opened the scoring 57 minutes against a disinterested Manchester United side after Gross met a scrambled Jose Izquierdo cross, and after some help from goal-line technology, the former Bundesliga player was awarded the goal that sealed Brighton’s top-flight status.
Defensive insecurities for United
Brighton knew going into this game that even a point should be enough to secure their status as a Premier League side for next season, and the Seagulls started well against Jose Mourinho’s side.
The hosts exploited the wings well, often switching the ball out to the flanks to expose United’s defenders, which worked well in the opening 10 minutes.
Seagulls captain Bruno, in particular, was enjoying bombing down the right side of the pitch as he was able to win-out against Ashley Young.
Dave saves, again
Glenn Murray had the first real chance of the game when the veteran striker turned his man on the edge of the penalty area and fired a strike the looked goal bound, but as he has done so many times this season, David De Gea pulled off an incredible save to deny the Brighton forward from opening the score.
De Gea was kept busy throughout the first half.
The United Player of the Year was forced into another crucial save 28 minutes in when Izquierdo found his way through on goal and with plenty of space on the edge of the area, but his curling effort from distance was tipped over by the Red Devils goalkeeper to deny Brighton a goal in the opening half.
Brighton bring the noise
Chris Hughton’s side were out for the vital points they needed to confirm Premier League safety, but like many times this season Manchester United found it difficult for their opponents to break them down. Then suddenly, they were winning.
A quick break down the left wing from Izquierdo resulted in the Colombian whipping the ball into a crowded penalty area.
German playmaker Gross managed to get on the end of the ball, but his toe-poke was booted away by Marcos Rojo.
However, the referee’s watch went off alerting the official that the midfielder’s shot had crossed the line, and Brighton were awarded a deserved lead.
Embed from Getty Images
United run out of ideas
Mourinho’s side never looked like they were in the game, and even when they went a goal down with 20 minutes to play to find an equalising goal, his team still looked lazy in the attack and uncreative when on the ball.
The visitors were limited to efforts outside of the Brighton area.
Paul Pogba saw his long-range effort fly over Mathew Ryan's crossbar whilst Marcus Rashford saw his ranged effort stopped brilliantly by the Australian international.
The lacklustre creativity and attacking meant Brighton were smoothly able to see out the game and seal their season goal of achieving Premier League safety.