Brighton 1-0 Man United Alexis Mac Allister’s stoppage-time penalty sends Seagulls into top six
Report and free match highlights as Alexis Mac Allister fired Brighton to sixth in the Premier League by converting a dramatic added-time penalty to dent Manchester United’s Champions League hopes
Brighton avenged their recent FA Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United by claiming a 1-0 win thanks to Alexis Mac Allister’s dramatic stoppage-time penalty.
United, hoping to consolidate their place in the top four, were dealt the decisive blow when referee Andre Marriner was sent to the pitch-side monitor by VAR in the 99th minute of an otherwise goal-shy encounter, awarding a last-gasp spot-kick for a Luke Shaw handball.
Mac Allister, roared on by a raucous Amex Stadium crowd, held his nerve to thump the ball beyond the clutches of David De Gea, in turn moving Brighton above Tottenham and Aston Villa, while leaving United looking nervously over their shoulders.
“In the end if you can’t win because you cant finish, you don’t lose,” Erik Ten Hag lamented.
Alexis Mac Allister seals a 1-0 win for Brighton against Manchester United after scoring a stoppage time penalty following a Luke Shaw handball
The Seagulls’ chances of catching United and scraping into the Champions League spots remain extremely slim, with Ten Hag’s side eight points better off, but a top-five finish is a distinct possibility going into a hectic final month of fixtures – Roberto De Zerbi’s side are four points adrift of Liverpool with a two-game advantage.
“I think there is a god of football,” the Brighton boss beamed. “We played a fantastic game.”
Brighton: Steele (8), Caicedo (8), Webster (8), Dunk (7), Estupinan (8), Gilmour (6), Mac Allister (8), Buonanotte (7), Enciso (8), Mitoma (8), Welbeck (7).
Subs: March (7), Undav (5), Colwill (6).
Man United: De Gea (8), Dalot (6), Shaw (7), Lindelof (6), Wan-Bissaka (5), Fred (6), Casemiro (6), Rashford (6), Fernandes (6), Antony (6), Martial (5).
Subs: Sabitzer (5), Sancho (6), Weghorst (n/a).
Player of the match: Moises Caicedo
How Brighton snatched late win
Alex Mac Allister celebrates his 99th-minute winner against Man Utd
It was a stunning late twist – one that could play a significant role in who gets to enjoy the rigours of continental football next season, and in which competition.
“If you get beaten, you want to have revenge,” Ten Hag warned pre-match. So it proved.
A breathless opening, full of risk but no reward, saw Antony squander United’s most presentable chance after only two minutes, before Kaoru Mitoma followed suit by striking his opportunity against the face of De Gea.
Kaoru Mitoma returned to Brighton’s starting line-up having been on the bench against Wolves
The game ebbed and flowed, end-to-end at times, with Jason Steele called into action to deny low efforts from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, while De Gea was also kept honest by the trickiness of both Julio Enciso and Mitoma.
Much the same as the meeting at Wembley 11 days prior, Brighton offered more consistent threat, but were failing to discover much cutting edge.
Brighton gave Sky Sports unprecedented access to their dressing room after the 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League.
Emotions ran high throughout, fuelled by Brighton’s supposed FA Cup injustice and stoked by the fiery temperaments of both Bruno Fernandes and Antony – the latter one of eight names to be taken by referee Marriner.
In the end, fortune favoured the brave.
- Brighton: Roberto De Zerbi swapped four. No Pascal Gross or Joel Veltman in the squad, with Solly March and Deniz Undav dropping to the bench. Recalls were handed to Kaoru Mitoma, Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo as well as an opportunity for teenager Facundo Buonanotte.
- Man Utd: Erik ten Hag made four changes to the team that beat Aston Villa with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Antony and Anthony Martial coming in. Out went Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Jadon Sancho and Marcel Sabitzer.
With time running out, and Ten Hag’s side seemingly content with a point, the hosts continued to pour forward in search of a breakthrough. Substitute Solly March, who missed the decisive spot-kick in that semi-final defeat, lashed wide and De Gea superbly denied Moises Caicedo’s curler.
The contest grew increasingly feisty before Shaw inexplicably handled a corner, clawing the ball away from the head of Lewis Dunk and, after Marriner had belatedly pointed to the spot, De Gea flung himself one way while Mac Allister’s strike went the other.
Marcus Rashford was one of a number of United players to pass up a good chance in the first half
“We deserved to win today and we deserved to win the semi-final,” De Zerbi concluded.
The triumph represents the Italian’s twelfth league win as Brighton manager in his 26th game in charge, equalling the number of victories managed by Graham Potter in the entirety of last season.
De Zerbi: ‘There is a god of football’
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi claims there is a ‘God of football’ after his side were given a 99th minute penalty in their 1-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi:
“I am really happy, really delighted for the performance, for the result.
“I think there is a god of football because we deserved to win in the semi-final and we lost on penalties, here we won with a penalty for us. Both games I think we played better than United and the last result was unfair.
“We played a fantastic game, we dominated the game against one incredible team, one great team. But I think my players deserved to win.”
Asked what this says about what Brighton can achieve this season, De Zerbi, keen to focus on the next game at home to Everton on Monday, replied: “At the moment, nothing.”
He added: “We are to play another six games, six very tough games, and on Monday we will play the first game, very tough against Everton, and we have to win because if we do not win against Everton we lose these three points.”
Ten Hag: We lost a bit of focus
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says his side created enough chances to beat Brighton in the Premier League but insists that he has no long term concerns about the lack of goals away from home
“In the first minute we create a great chance but we do not score so we have to be more clinical with the chances that we create in the first half.
“We had the chances, clearly. Antony, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Casemiro. One has to go in. But if you cannot win it because you do not take your chances, do not lose it. We gave away a goal, maybe we lose a little bit of focus. That cannot happen.
“Also, we were a little unlucky because it was never a free-kick that the corner was coming from. There were so many bad tackles tonight where there was no whistle and this was nothing, a fair block, and there is a whistle.
“We cannot bounce back [on the night] but that is what we have to do on Sunday.”
Brighton continue their quest for European football when they host relegation-threatened Everton on Monday May 8, kick-off 5.30pm. Man United head to West Ham on Sunday at the later time of 7pm.
May 8: Everton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm
May 13: Arsenal (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 18: Newcastle (A) – Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm
May 21: Southampton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm
May 24: Man City (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 28: Aston Villa (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
May 7: West Ham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 7pm
May 13: Wolves (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 20: Bournemouth (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 25: Chelsea (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 28: Fulham (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
June 3: Manchester City (N) – FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm
- Alexis Mac Allister’s winning penalty, scored in the 99th minute of the game, was the latest penalty scored in a Premier League match since Bruno Fernandes’ for Man Utd against Brighton in September 2020 (99:45).
- Brighton are the first team to record a league double over a team managed by Erik ten Hag since AZ beat Ajax twice in 2019-20 in the Eredivisie.
- Kaoru Mitoma had 15 touches in Manchester United’s box tonight, the joint-most by a Brighton player in a Premier League match ever, level with Leandro Trossard in January 2021 vs Fulham.