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Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United

‘The point is to score goals not hit the bar’ – Man Utd star Fernandes rubs salt into Brighton’s wounds after five-goal thriller

15:11 BST 26/09/2020
Bruno Fernandes Brighton Manchester United Premier League
The Portuguese midfielder had the final say in a dramatic contest at the Amex, as he converted a late penalty, with the Seagulls left despondent

Bruno Fernandes was relieved to see Manchester United get the rub of the green in a five-goal thriller with Brighton, with the Red Devils snatching the points with a late penalty after the Seagulls hit the woodwork on five occasions.

Leandro Trossard completed an unwanted hat-trick on that front, with luck deserting Graham Potter’s side on home soil.

In contrast, everything fell into place for United when they needed it most.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were far from convincing during a trip to the south coast, but are heading back north with maximum points from a 3-2 win.

Victory was secured by Fernandes from the spot in the 100th minute of a stunning encounter, with a VAR-assisted penalty awarded after referee Chris Kavanagh had initially blown for full-time.

Neal Maupay, who had netted from 12 yards himself earlier in the game, was pulled up for handling a header from Harry Maguire.

Fernandes maintained his spotless record for United when crashing into the top corner, with the Portuguese eager to point out afterwards that Premier League football is a game of fine margins and United were the ones to tick the right boxes.

He told BT Sport at the end of a never-jangling encounter: “We left so much space for them to play, we were not as aggressive, we gave away two goals. We have to do much better.

“Brighton did very well but maybe because we are not as aggressive as we want. We need to recover more balls, press better, lose less possession.

“Maybe they deserved more. The point is to score goals not hit the bar. Sometime you have to have some luck.”

While Fernandes was left to reflect on a memorable outing for United, Brighton are licking their wounds.

No-one tried harder to get the Seagulls something than Trossard, with the Belgian winger at a loss to explain how he finished the game with no goals to his name.

He said: “Unbelievable, the feeling I can't describe, we were the better team today. We deserved at least a point, it's a shame. There were five minutes added on and we played at least seven.

“Sometimes it's just not your day.”

United now have their first Premier League points of 2020-21 on the board, while Brighton have come unstuck against Chelsea and the Red Devils in their two home games so far.