Brighton and Hove Albion took advantage of a sorry Sheffield United performance to score five for the second time in a month at Bramall Lane and re-energise their Premier League campaign.

Star turns from returning wingers Simon Adingra and Kaoru Mitoma were central to the Seagulls’ success in South Yorkshire, just a month on from their 5-2 FA Cup win on the same turf.

Chris Wilder’s hosts had no response to Mason Holgate’s 13th-minute sending-off on this occasion, and with five goals scored with criminal ease by the south coast visitors, it was a miserable experience for the side languishing bottom of the Premier League.

With stark contrasts on the scoreboard, there was plenty to dig into in the post-match analysis, starting with the demoralised hosts.

Wes Foderingham – 5

The biggest credit Foderingham can get from this contest is that none of the five goals were his fault.

Having been dropped in favour of new signing Ivo Grbić in January, the Englishman has responded well on his return to the side.

His confidence will have been dented by Chris Wilder’s call and it is a thankless task playing for the most porous side in Premier League history, but his seven saves here saw him avoid being the scapegoat.

Jack Robinson – 5

Robinson’s 75th-minute own goal summed up Sheffield United’s day; the Blades shooting themselves in the foot by virtue of shocking defending.

Nothing seemed to go right for the 30-year-old, who has been horribly exposed in a season where he was always expecting to be a backup.

Anel Ahmedhodžić – 5

The Blades’ skipper has held things together on several occasions this season but was below his usual standards here.

His physicality did not work against Danny Welbeck, while the flux of the back five around him saw Brighton grab control and never let it go.

Questions will be asked about how he failed to inspire a more combative performance in the second half.

Mason Holgate – 3

A disastrous afternoon that ended after just 13 minutes.

Holgate’s horrendously mistimed tackle on Kaoru Mitoma left the Blades’ game plan in tatters and would have been rash at any stage in the match.

For a defender who is playing for his Premier League career, it was almost unforgivable.

Jayden Bogle – 5

Run ragged by Kaoru Mitoma in the first half, Bogle was the chief victim of Brighton’s brilliance on a scarring afternoon.

His skills are not best suited to one-on-one defending against the Premier League’s preeminent dribbler, and it was an embarrassment to see him get beaten with such regularity in such a high-pressure game for the Blades.

Gustavo Hamer – 5

Disappointly inconspicuous for much of the contest, and far from his buzzing, box-to-box best.

He linked things together a bit better in the second half, but ultimately it was an afternoon to forget for the Brazilian.

Vinícius Souza – 5

Did not help himself by getting involved in so many arguments, and after the highs of a match-winning goal against Luton Town last week, it was straight back down to earth.

He formed part of a more organised midfield for the start of the second half, but even that did not last as Brighton finished with a flourish.

Ben Osborn – 5

Had the Blades’ best moment of the game as he poked in from point-blank range, but was caught offside.

The utility man otherwise struggled to get a foothold, and as part of a three-man midfield, the fact he could not lay a glove on Billy Gilmour or Pascal Gross was wholly disappointing.

Yasser Larouci – 6

Offered more security than his fellow wing-back Bogle, but was not tested quite as much before being taken off.

Was powerless, like most of his teammates, to create much going forward and was eventually hooked for the more adventurous Andre Brooks.

James McAtee– 7

The only Blades man to emerge with much credit from this mauling after battling away tirelessly up front.

He was never meant to plough such a lonely furrow, but his mentality to keep chasing down lost causes and create problems for the Brighton defenders was admirable.

William Osula – 4

The Danish forward never got the chance to get going, being the first victim of Holgate’s sending-off when he was surrendered after 31 minutes.

It left the Blades without any kind of focal point, but they knew the game was gone, even at 2-0.


Auston Trusty – 5

Called upon after 31 minutes, Trusty shored up Wilder’s intended five-man backline but still ended up conceding three more goals.

His season has been one of ups and downs, and this was most definitely the latter.

Andre Brooks – 5

A clumsy pass enabled Billy Gilmour to have a pop at goal in the second half, while his industry never really found fluency in a testing time after coming on.

Oli Norwood – 5

Only played eight passes after coming on in the 79th minute.

He will be disappointed not to have got the nod to start, but perhaps this was a good game to avoid.

Rhian Brewster – 5

Given a huge task of creating something positive in the last 10 minutes, and unsurprisingly failed in that mission.

Tom Davies – 5

Will be remembered for his spectacular mohawk, but little else. Only had two touches of the ball.

Bart Verbruggen – 7

Only one save to make in the game, and even that was not a memorable one.

You can have no complaints as a goalkeeper when you have as quiet an afternoon as Verbruggen’s in South Yorkshire, with Brighton cruising to a third clean sheet of the Premier League season.

Adam Webster – 7

Did well on the right of a three-man defence without ever being tested too much.

He has thrived in Roberto De Zerbi’s move towards a back three, and will hope that things remain that way providing he can get more than the 45 minutes of action he saw at Bramall Lane.

Jan Paul van Hecke – 8

An unsurprisingly assured performance from the Dutchman, for whom rumours of a European Championship squad role are looking more likely by the day.

Consider the rivals he has for Ronald Koeman’s attention – Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Aké, Sven Botman, and Micky van der Ven, to name a few – and that is a huge commendation of the Brighton man’s consistency this season.

He played most of this game without a genuine striker to deal with, but his pace, flexibility and coolness ensured he still had a big impact.

Lewis Dunk – 8

Aerially dominant to an extent that he has rarely ever been allowed to be.

Sheffield United left the Brighton skipper unmarked on so many occasions in the box, and it was no surprise he profited by assisting Facundo Buonanotte, and almost grabbing a goal of his own as Foderingham tipped over the bar.

Had little to do defensively, so his offensive output was key.

Tariq Lamptey – 7

Silly foul to pick up a booking before half-time, and that may have cost him more game time as Igor Julio replaced him after the break.

Otherwise, in an outing where he effectively played as a left winger, he did well in supporting the dominant Kaoru Mitoma.

Pascal Gross – 8

What more is there to say about the German metronome?

He had an easier time than on many occasions this season and slipped under the radar compared to his more offensive teammates, but with a whopping 106 accurate passes from 109 attempts, his unflinching concentration enabled Brighton to give the Blades a real pasting.

Billy Gilmour – 8

With passing stats even more impressive than Gross’ – 110 of his 113 passes being successful – Gilmour further vindicated De Zerbi’s unwavering faith in the midfield partnership that was now started 16 straight matches in all competitions.

His shooting still needs work; a wild second-half effort over the bar proved as much.

Simon Adingra – 9

You could not ask for a better return to action than Adingra had in a storming 90 minutes at Bramall Lane.

Man of the Match against Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations Final last week, and Sky Sports’ pick for MOTM in this meeting too, the Ivorian took full advantage of a tiring Sheffield United defence to grab two fine goals late on.

With six shots, an 88 per cent pass completion and his fair share of individual work down the right, it was a majestic afternoon for the 22-year-old.

Facundo Buonanotte – 8

The little Argentine was at the heart of the first-half action; scoring a scrappy first goal, trying his luck for Brighton’s second and even profiting off the rulebook as his deflection prevented Sheffield United’s goal before half-time standing.

His impact faded in the second half, but as a deputy to João Pedro in the number 10 role, Buonanotte rid Brighton fans of any fears with a brilliant afternoon.

Kaoru Mitoma – 9

Quite simply the key man in this meeting, with the beating of Jayden Bogle all day long.

On his return from Asia Cup action, Mitoma was in electric form on the left as he benefited from the layoff that ruled him out of Japan’s group-stage games.

Stretching the Blades’ backline and popping up at the back post for a couple of chances, he was unlucky not to score or assist, as his play more than warranted some stat padding.

Danny Welbeck – 8

Finished excellently for the Seagulls’ second goal, his third of the Premier League season, and used his physical presence to challenge the Blades’ backline all afternoon.

He linked things up superbly between the pacier players behind him too, and performed exactly as De Zerbi loves him to.


Jakub Moder – 7

A positive 45 minutes for the Pole, who is gradually building towards full fitness.

His versatility, swapping between wing-back, midfield and more attacking roles, will suit him superbly under De Zerbi and saw him involved in some good moves in the second half here.

Igor Julio – 8

Given plenty of the ball after his half-time introduction and used it superbly by spreading moves inside and out, keeping the pressure up on the hosts.

Evan Ferguson – 7

Put himself about well as Brighton aimed to step on the Blades’ throats, and showed the ability to play alongside Welbeck and on his own up front in a busy 25 minutes.

Ansu Fati – 6

Another 15 minutes on the recovery trail for the Spaniard, who played his part in a final flourish that brought Brighton an incredibly useful three goals.

Pervis Estupiñán – 6

Only played ten minutes after a rare stay on the bench which should benefit his long-term fitness.