Manchester United overcame Brighton 3-1 with a solid performance at home against The Seagulls. United controlled most of the game but let the visitors get a foot back into the game after inviting on pressure in the second half. But a quick response to conceding that goal helped us regain the 2 goal buffer and eventually close out the game comfortably. Though it was a solid performance by the whole team, there were few that stood out.
From the time he arrived at the club, Fred has had a handful of good performances and as a result he is always under the microscope. The 50 million price tag was always going to be a crucial talking point but Fred’s performances over the past few weeks have consistently been improving with the game against Brighton being of his best in a United shirt. Against Brighton, Fred made the most number of ball recoveries with 12 and made the most passes and had an impressive 79% pass accuracy. Those stats become considerably more relevant when we take into account the two major criticisms of Fred so far, his ball retention across the pitch and the fact that he loses the ball by misplacing a lot of passes. Fixing these two parts of his game are a good sign for him and the club going forward.
A bright performance on his full debut for the club was exactly what he needed to do and exactly what he did. The step up to the first team looks seamlessly easy for Brandon on the first opportunity he gets in the premier league. Though he got this opportunity mainly due to Young’s suspension, he sure grabbed it with both hands. With 88% pass accuracy, 5 ball recoveries and 4 out of 5 tackles successful, Brandon showed up big time on the main stage. Along with being solid in defense, he was a constant threat going forward with almost getting on the score-sheet towards the end of the game. Though the majority of fans might be instantly biased in favor of Williams because it means that he can keep Young of the team, Williams can go a step further and potentially overtake Luke Shaw as the first choice left back come the end of this season.
The main reason Daniel James gets in ahead of Rashford and Scott is United’s dire need for a natural right winger over the past decade. Watching Daniel James burn people with his blistering pace is a treat to the eye though many fans were worried if pace would be his only weapon. But over the past few games, James has shown that he has the quick decision making and the composure to make the right passes in the final third. With 93% pass accuracy and 2 big chances created, James should’ve really had an assist and a goal to his name. The fact that James is growing into his role as a starting player for United is a great sign because that means that we finally have an out and out right sided winger on our hands and that is an exciting prospect for all.
Apart from these 3, Martial and Rashford were impressive on the night as well. Martial’s hold up play in particular looks like such an addition to his game which creates spaces and opportunities for Rashford and James. Playing from the center he didn’t have an explosive game but provided 2 assists for the goals. As a result of Martial’s return to the team, Rashford has been playing from the left and showing why that should be his ideal position with good performances over the past few weeks. Apart from his goal today, Rashford could’ve easily had a hat-trick but let’s hope that conversion rate only improves from here on. Last but definitely not the least, the most popular man in Manchester, aka Scott McTominay, put another solid shift in and stuck into all the challenges with all his heart and effort. Overall it was a tough choice to pick the top 3 but that’s a dilemma every United fan would love to have at this moment.