Five key talking points from Brighton and Hove Albion's defeat to Manchester United

After Brighton and Hove Albion's 3-2 loss at home to Manchester United let's take a look at five key talking points from the game - including what the law says on decisions after the final whistle has gone.
Solly March after he scored in the 95th minute to make the game 2-2Solly March after he scored in the 95th minute to make the game 2-2
Solly March after he scored in the 95th minute to make the game 2-2


Potter's expansive and attacking formation is making his team the entertaining dark horse in the league this season. It looks, so far, as though Brighton are going to score a few but also concede a few. It might turn out to be a case of you score four we'll score five - what a way to play football.

The strengths of the formation allow the midfield to dominate the middle of the park and the wingers to fly up, down and in behind, which has led to some scintillating football, most notably from Tariq Lamptey, who has won a couple of important penalties already this season thanks to his pace and intelligence.

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It has also given total democracy to Trossard playing in the hole, as he is able to cause damage when popping up in space.

However, United did expose weaknesses in the formation today by playing with two wingers high up the pitch in Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, who both looked to get in behind Brighton's full-backs. Rashford scored after catching Brighton on the counter-attack, and Greenwood's finish was flagged offside.

So maybe the 4-3-3 Ole Gunnar Solksjaer played is a formation Graham Potter will have to err on the side of caution against in the future, possibly.


The biggest talking point from the game was probably the penalty awarded to United in the final moments - scored by Bruno Fernandes on the 100th minute mark (90+10).

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To put all ambiguity to bed, the letter of the law states: "The referee may not change a restart decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted or the referee has signalled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play or abandoned the match.

"However, if at the end of the half, the referee leaves the field of play to go to the referee review area (RRA) or to instruct the players to return to the field of play, this does not prevent a decision being changed for an incident which occurred before the end of the half."

Strike partnership

The combined work-rate, mobility and natural ability of Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly is Brighton's strongest attacking threat.

Connolly should have been rewarded for his efforts after Paul Pogba brought him down in the United box. The incident was initially given as a penalty by referee Chris Kavanagh, but he later changed his mind after consulting VAR.

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Alan Shearer disagreed with Kavangh's decision on Match of The Day. He said: "When the referee gave the penalty I was amazed that he thought it was a clear and obvious error."

Maupay will be disappointed, after his handball in the dying moments gave United the penalty which secured all three points, but the striker continues to improve and add to his goals tally.

The Frenchman's panenka penalty was a sight to behold: a beautiful deft chip past one of the Premier League's top goalkeepers in David De Gea, which says a lot about how confident and focused Maupay is at the minute.

The striker, who received a 7.3 rating out of 10 from, now has three goals in three appearances in the league and looks hungry to improve on last season's total (10).

Brighton's brain

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Steven Alzate, Leandro Trossard and Adam Lallana. Clever, technical and central players. Everything good tended to go through them. Whether it was a turn in tight space or a diagonal ball out to the flying wingers; these are the players making Brighton tick.

Alzate, who received a 7.5 match rating out of 10 from, made three key passes in the game and recorded an impressive 92 per cent pass accuracy - at 22 years of age against Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes.

Leandro Trossard dropped into pockets of space and caused United problems. The Belgian hit the woodwork three times, which was both unfortunate and slightly wasteful. He also made two key passes and missed a good opportunity from close range.

Lallana managed to get 75 minutes under his belt and, although not as lively as Alzate and Trossard, he provided the pass which Tariq Lamptey latched onto and won a penalty from.

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The signs are good, Brighton look an attacking threat from across the pitch.

Solly March resurgence

A man-of-the-match performance from a player making the left-wing-back role his own. Desperately unlucky his 95th minute equaliser was in vain, but as Graham Potter said after the match: 'sometimes life isn't fair, that's how it feels at the moment'.

March's stats were brilliant. He topped the table for total shots (5), dribbles (7), and tackles (4), and received an 8.8 out of 10 for his overall performance from

The overall match stats were in favour of Brighton. Potter's men had:

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- An xG (expected goals) score of 3.03 compared to United's 1.91

- 18 attempts on goal compared to United's eight

- 29 crosses compared to United's nine

- 520 passes compared to United's 459

- 53.3% possession over United's 46.7%

However, the main stat was 3-2, but there are many positives to take from the game and an exciting season ahead for Brighton by the looks of it.

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