Six Brighton players who ensured Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella were not missed at Manchester United
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It gave Erik ten Hag his first taste of English top flight football and demonstrated – if he didn’t know already – the sheer size of the task he faces at Old Trafford.
Brighton were excellent and despite losing two of their best players during window, looked fitter, more organised and sharper in front of goal.
Potter’s plans were disrupted this summer as influential midfielder Yves Bissouma joined Tottenham in £30m deal and Marc Cucurella – Albion’s player of the year – signed for Chelsea for an eye-watering £60m last week.
Brghton had been planning for the departure of Bissouma for quite some time but Cucurella’s rapid exit disrupted Potter’s plans ahead of Manchester United.
As recently as the Espanyol friendly, Potter stated he fully expected to have Cucurella in the team for the Old Trafford opener.
The deal happened quickly, the fee escalated to dizzy heights and in the end it was a deal too good for anyone to refuse. Sometimes, football reaches peak levels of financial madness and this time Albion were the happy beneficiaries.
It did however leave a hole in Potter’s game plan to face Man United – not that it was evident on Sunday.
Two goals from Pascal Gross sealed the victory in a fine team performance but these six players in particular were outstanding for Albion.
Moises Caicedo - Tenacious. Industrious. Technical. Engine. Four words you'd use to describe Bissouma. The Ecuadorian passed his first audition with flying colours in his bid to replace the Malian. Played a vital part in the counter attack for Albion's second. He’s a serious player and for £4.5m – quite the bargain.
Leandro Trossard - Played in the left wing back role vacated by Cucurella and picked up from where he left off last season. Sharp as ever. Pressing intensely from the off. Wonderful pre assist for the first goal, incisively playing Welbeck in down the left flank. Clever back heel pass deep in his own half to help set up the second goal. Played in the left wing back role vacated by Cucurella.
Adam Webster - Played left of the back three, a position Cucurella often played. Very good in the air when called upon. Good interception to stop Sancho in a dangerous position late on. Did his job well and kept his cool as United ramped up the pressure looking for an equaliser.
Pascal Gross - Always seems to score against Manchester United and bagged a brace, equaling his goal tally from last season. In the right place at the right time for both goals, tapping in twice from close range. Proved again that he really is worth his weight gold, as widely reported last season.
Adam Lallana - Played just behind the striker and in between the lines, linking the midfield together with the attack in his usual silky fashion. Played an important part in both goals, a darting run into the box for the first, and playing a good ball for the second. Had a great pre-season and looks sharp – his experience helps the younger players along.
Danny Welbeck - Looked really sharp and really up for it against his former side. A genuine number nine display: impressive hold up play, clever runs into the channels, intense pressing and was always an option. Plucked balls out of the air with ease and grace. Assisted Gross' first goal.