Manchester United 2 Albion 1

Albion saw a potentially historic win at Old Trafford get away.

But they will feel they should have had a golden chance to take a second lead against Manchester United here this evening.

Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood scored second-half goals to overhaul a lead given to the Seagulls by Danny Welbeck.

The former United striker seemed to be fouled in front of goal by Harry Maguire when he was set to nudge his side back in front in the second half.

A first-ever win at this venue remains elusive but no real damage was done in the relegation battle.

Albion named the starting XI which signed off for the international break by winning at home to Newcastle.

But Ecuador international Moises Caicedo was in the matchday squad for the first time.

Caicedo was among the subs as was Michal Karbownik, who played for Poland under-21s last week.

It promised to be the toughest test yet of Albion’s improvised defensive set-up out wide with Rashford and Greenwood both passed fit for the hosts.

Albion kicked off still six points clear of the drop zone.

Fulham, in 18th, were a goal up at Aston Villa at about the time Graham Potter’s squad were arriving at Old Trafford.

But two goals from sub Trezeguet helped Villa towards a 3-1 win.

Newcastle had earlier come from behind for a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham and Burnley went down 3-2 at Southampton having led 2-0.

Albion’s personnel was the same as versus Newcastle and so was the set-up.

The start, though, bore similarities to last season’s trip to Old Trafford as they came under pressure.

The closest they came to conceding was when Greenwood latched on to a headed clearance by Lewis Dunk and cracked a shot low against the near post.

Albion settled and got on the ball, notably through the confident Jakub Moder.

The reward came on 13 minutes.

A slick move made room for Neal Maupay to cross from the right.

Danny Welbeck got between two defenders and saw his point blank header brilliantly saved by Dean Henderson but was alert enough to put away the rebound.

Henderson almost gifted the Seagulls a second when he fumbled a corner not once but twice before the ball was scrambled away.

United, though, had a lot of possession as they tested Albion’s organisation at the back.

The visitors were happy to get everyone back when required and also prepared to pass their way up the pitch if they got a chance.

Welbeck was the man tracking back to pressurise Paul Pogba into a hurried shot which flew well wide when a chance opened up after too many defenders were attracted to ball-carrier Bruno Fernandes.

Pascal Gross was booked for pulling back Fred as United thought they had caught Albion out of shape at the back.

But the Seagulls maintained impressive composure when it looked like they would come under pressure.

They finished the first half very strongly and were inches from a goal from a corner when Moder’s shot flicked off Rashford and rolled wide as Henderson could only watch.

Albion would clearly have more defending to do after the break.

Rashford had the first shot on target for the hosts in the seventh minute of the half after getting away from Adam Lallana.

His effort from well outside the box was moving in flight but Sanchez palmed it into the turf before gathering with no concerns.

Rashford looked the most likely to make something happen for United.

He made tracks dangerously into the box before Ben White stepped across to concede a corner.

United needed that sort of invention because, when they hung crosses into the cold night air, they were easily held by Sanchez.

The keeper was tested more severely when he came off his line quickly to block from Fernandes.

But the Portuguese star was the creator as United drew level.

He played the pass as he was taken out by Joel Veltman and Rashford tucked his low shot across Sanchez very neatly.

Trossard was replaced by Alexis Mac Allister before play resumed.

The Argentinean got enough on a Fred shot from outside the box to send it looping over Sanchez’s bar.

Then his fabulous crossfield pass led to a major talking point.


Maupay’s low cross was tailor made for Welbeck until he was bumped by Maguire.

It looked a penalty and possible red card but referee Mike Dean saw nothing wrong and, crucially, nor did video assistant Peter Bankes.

That looked like a huge let-off for United and their England defender.

Sanchez then also had a reprieve when he could not hold a stinging low drive by Fernandes and Greenwood scooped the rebound over the bar.

But Greenwood stooped to head United into the lead when Pogba’s miscued volley bounced to him in front of goal.

Albion gave it a real go in the quest for a leveller late on but this was not to be their night.

Man Utd: Henderson, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba (McTominay 84), Fred, Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford (James 72), Cavani (van de Beek 82). Subs Not Used: de Gea, Grant, Diallo, Matic, Williams, Tuanzebe.

Booked: Cavani, Greenwood.

Goals: Rashford 62, Greenwood 83.

Brighton: Sanchez, White, Dunk, Veltman, Gross, Lallana (Zeqiri 88), Bissouma, Moder (Jahanbakhsh 87), Trossard (Mac Allister 63), Maupay, Welbeck. Subs Not Used: Karbownik, Alzate, Izquierdo,S teele, Propper, Caicedo.

Booked: Gross, White.

Goals: Welbeck 13.

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).