Manchester
United 1-3 Brighton: Post-Match Player Ratings
Danny Welbeck fires a shot past Victor Lindelof in Brighton's 3-1 win at Old Trafford. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A clinical attacking display saw Brighton run out 3-1 winners to end Manchester United’s 31-match unbeaten home run, with goals from Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro putting the Seagulls out of reach.

United were culpable of some glaring defensive errors and fell well below expectations as Erik ten Hag experimented with new signings.

With both teams getting closer to discovering their best XI, there were plenty of interesting conclusions to be drawn in this meeting, starting with the hosts.

  • Manchester United:

Andre Onana – 5

Without being at fault for any of the three Brighton goals, Onana suffered on a chastening afternoon for his side.

He was playing with a new defence in front of him and seemed to struggle as United’s creator at the back – a role he has specifically been brought in to fill. A passing accuracy of 69% was far from impressive, being the worst of any 22 starters.

Diogo Dalot – 6

Was caught in no man’s land for Brighton’s third goal, when Tariq Lamptey took full advantage of a non-existent press to set up Joao Pedro.

Otherwise, put in another trying performance, keeping Kaoru Mitoma quiet for most of the match. The Portuguese will hope that convinces Ten Hag to keep faith with him for another week, but the right-back situation at United is far from clear.

Victor Lindelof – 6

Full of effort, as always, on a day where nobody in red covered themselves in glory.

Could have done better with Welbeck’s opener, as he was sucked in by Adam Lallana and fooled by a dummy to the ex-United striker.

Lisandro Martinez – 5

Just like his centre-back partner, was too tame for Brighton’s opener as he let Simon Adingra’s cross swing past him with ridiculous ease.

Also at fault for Gross’ goal, as his pedestrian attempt at a block was beaten with a simple cut inside by the German playmaker.

Sergio Reguilon – 5

A debut to forget for United’s loan signing, who on this evidence will only keep his place for as long as Luke Shaw remains injured.

Very little to shout about, as he lost Adingra for the opening goal and failed to produce any big chances going forward either.

Casemiro – 5

Far from one of the Brazilian’s best performances, as he struggled in a new role at the base of the midfield diamond.

Was neither here nor there in terms of impact on the game, with no shots and just two tackles, and was ultimately wasted in ten Hag’s new set-up.

Scott McTominay – 4

The Scot was awarded a place in the side in the absence of new signing Sofyan Amrabat, who was forced to withdraw from Morocco duty with a back injury.

McTominay did nothing to ensure he will be trusted again, with negligible impact on the game – including having just 1.4% of all possession, the lowest of any starter bar Rasmus Hojlund – before he was finally taken off in the 85th minute

Christian Eriksen – 5

Much like his midfield partners, Eriksen struggled to stand out when asked to do something of everything.

He wasn’t the prime creator, the deeper metronome, nor the ball-winner, and this will lead to questions of his suitability in future games.

Bruno Fernandes – 5

Not a dreadful day for the United captain, but one where his leadership will be questioned after United lacked the requisite energy to challenge Brighton.

He should be able to adapt to Ten Hag’s ambitions to fit two strikers into his side going forward but will need to increase his defensive output if so, having not made any tackles in this game.

Marcus Rashford – 7

Bless Rashford, because he really did try.

He always seems to play well against Brighton, and was inches away from scoring in the first half of this contest as a Joel Veltman block sent a rasping shot onto the post.

Fine margins also denied him an assist to strike partner Hojlund as the ball marginally went out of play, while he kept trying after the Dane went off – firing in nine shots across the afternoon.

Rasmus Hojlund – 6

Hard done by, most would say, to be taken off after 64 minutes of the contest.

As home debuts go, it was a positive one before that point for Hojlund, who recognises the expectation on him as United’s big attacking investment this season.

Substitutes:

Anthony Martial – 5

Applied himself, but failed to turn round the narrative about Hojlund’s disappointing withdrawal.

Will need to make an impact soon to revive his United career.

Hannibal Mejbri – 7

In contrast to many others in the United side, Mejbri found the tempo of the game as soon as he was introduced.

It took him just nine minutes to score United’s only goal of the afternoon, and what a strike it was too – blasting the ball past Jason Steele from 20 yards for a memorable first United strike.   

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 5

Brought on in the 85th minute to protect the backline while others poured forward, and did his job.

Will be looking for a recall next week if Ten Hag loses faith in his starters.

Alejandro Garnacho – 5

Was given far too little of the ball in the late stages to make an impact, but remains United’s go-to attacking threat off the bench.

Facundo Pellistri – 6

The forgotten man at Old Trafford, Pellistri similarly was given far too little time on this occasion to change the course of the match.

  • Brighton:

Jason Steele – 6

Would be harsh to criticise him for Mejbri’s goal, and otherwise performed well on his recall to the side.

Will continue to rotate with Bart Verbruggen in the Brighton net throughout the season, but with three saves on this occasion and a 91% pass accuracy, he signalled that this will not be a roadblock to his reliability.

Joel Veltman – 7

Did superbly to block Rashford’s first-half effort, and generally mixed things up superbly from right-back.

With three tackles and one header won, as well as an 86% pass accuracy in the match, he contained the threat of Rashford well.

Jan Paul van Hecke – 7

Shephered Rashford out of play for United’s goal which was ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee, and asserted himself even further as a key player for the Seagulls this season.

His partnership with Lewis Dunk is blossoming, building on performances against Luton Town and Newcastle United, but still needs a clean sheet to rubber-stamp their chemistry.

Lewis Dunk – 7

Reliable as ever, Brighton’s captain fantastic returned from England duty with even more eyes on him.

An impressive outing at Hampden Park in midweek has surely put him forward in Gareth Southgate’s mind for a potential European Championships squad place, and another controlled match in Manchester will have done his hopes no harm.

Tariq Lamptey – 9

On his first Seagulls start since a season-ending knee injury against West Ham back in March, Lamptey was absolutely electric.

He kept Hojlund and Rashford quiet for the 79 minutes of his performance and was dominant on the left flank to set up Gross and Pedro for their second-half goals.

Any fears that Brighton fans have about how the side will fare when Pervis Estupinan is unavailable will have been answered by this match – just fine, it turns out.

Pascal Gross – 9

Another jack of all trades in this Brighton side whose adaptability is shining under the Roberto De Zerbi regime, Gross continued his outstanding form against United.

A seventh goal against them represents a quarter of all his Premier League goals (28), and if United fans continue to have nightmares about the newly-capped German international, few would blame them.

Mahmoud Dahoud – 7

Dahoud is quickly nailing down a role in this Brighton side thanks to his excellent control in the middle of the park, dictating the tempo of games.

It would not be a surprise to see him recalled to a struggling German squad alongside his colleague Gross, but he must continue to thrive off the competition at Brighton.

Simon Adingra – 8

A surprise selection as he made his full Seagulls debut at Old Trafford, but what a performance from 21-year-old Adingra.

The Ivorian had the beating of Sergio Reguilon for the first goal and generally toyed with the United defence all afternoon before De Zerbi eventually took pity on the hosts by withdrawing Adingra in the 85th minute.

Adam Lallana – 8

Another bold call from De Zerbi to start the 34-year-old, but how it paid off.

Lallana showed that he has lost none of his touch in a spell out of the side, with his neat footwork, quick passing and expertly-timed runs all on show, topped off by the ingenious dummy for Welbeck’s opener.

Kaoru Mitoma – 6

This match saw Mitoma closely marked by United, but when posed with a problem, Brighton created a solution.

Lamptey was a constantly reliable overlap option for Mitoma, and an unselfish performance saw the Japanese work hard to keep that channel open all afternoon, with rich rewards.

Danny Welbeck – 9

Often criticised for his lack of output in front of goal, Welbeck changed the narrative on this occasion by netting at his boyhood club.

He typified everything good about his role in De Zerbi’s side by netting when required, with excellent composure for the finish, and working tirelessly to press United before being replaced just after the hour mark.

Substitutes:

Joao Pedro – 8

Picked up exactly where Welbeck left off in the 64th minute and netted within seven minutes of being introduced.

It was an outstanding finish too, required a late adjustment of body shape to steer the ball out of Onana’s reach and wrap up the win.

Ansu Fati – 6

A quiet debut for the on-loan Barcelona man, but great excitement from the travelling Brighton fans when he came on.

Still needs to build up match fitness, as shown by a late effort where he should’ve scored, but will get great confidence from being part of this victory.

Billy Gilmour – 6

Did just as required when he came on in the 77th minute, replacing Dahoud in the holding role in Brighton’s midfield.

James Milner – 6

Made history as the first player to beat Manchester United with four different clubs in the Premier League, which will be a richly celebrated achievement for the former Manchester City and Liverpool man.

Simply incredible that he continues to have such a high level at 37 years of age, and with just 29 more appearances required to beat Gareth Barry’s appearances record now, it is just a matter of time.

Evan Ferguson – 5

Brought on in the 85th minute as he recovered from a knee injury, and fired in one shot that Onana was required to save.

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