First half goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross was enough to see off a sluggish United side, who scored from a Romelu Lukaku header and a Paul Pogba penalty.
Hughton pleased with team's reaction after opening loss at Watford
The manager was pleased with how the Seagulls came out right from the beginning:“I thought the tempo of our game, and the reaction from last week, was very good. Right from the start, we always had an outlet".
He also knows the enormity of scoring three goals against one of the best sides in the league: “At any stage of the season, to score three goals against one of the top six, is always a very difficult feat.
"The group were that disappointed with the overall performance at Watford, and irrespective of the game being against Manchester United, they were keen to put on a show and readdress that balance.
“Sometimes you do that and things go your way, but sometimes they don’t. We forced things to go our way today, by a very good performance that deserved the win.”
Good start gave team confidence "that carried through to the end of the game"
The win over the Red Devils was the second in the span of just under four months at the AMEX Stadium for the Seagulls and Hughton was pleased with the fast pace his team set and said, "We got confidence from a good start and the first goal gave us a massive lift. That carried us through to the end of the game".
Although the entire team was excellent from start to finish, the Brighton boss pointed out the efforts of Murray: “on days like this you generally don’t like to single out players, as I thought the team performance was excellent, but you need somebody to lead the line and get rid of the pressure.
“Manchester United were particularly more direct later in the game and we needed an outlet - Glenn was very good for us today.”
Hughton says result "shifts the mood", but still expects "tough season"
While Brighton produced the perfect reaction after the opening day defeat to Watford, the gaffer knows what lies ahead: “The result shifts the mood but it doesn’t change anything for the season ahead - it’s going to be a tough season.
“The teams that have come up are all very capable of winning games and getting points. This division has got as competitive as ever.
“If we think it’s going to be the same or easier than last season, then it’s not going to be.
“We have to make sure that if our level of performance can’t be at this level, then it needs to be at least somewhere near it, to enable us to get points.”