Manchester United earn dramatic win at Brighton with late Fernandes penalty
Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 away in the Premier League on Saturday after an incredible finale in which Bruno Fernandes struck the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 100th minute of the game.
Fernandes’ winner, which came after referee Chris Kavanagh had initially blown for fulltime, concluded an enthralling match which saw Brighton hit the woodwork five times and have a penalty overturned after a VAR review, while United had a goal ruled out in each half for offside.
Brighton’s Neal Maupay gave away the decisive penalty with a handball as he tried to block a late header from United captain Harry Maguire, which led to a VAR review after Kavanagh had signalled for the game to end. Kavanagh eventually gave the penalty after consulting the pitchside VAR monitor and Fernandes lashed into the net from the spot, moments after Solly March had levelled for Brighton in the fifth minute of added time.
Brighton took a deserved lead when Maupay coolly slotted in a penalty in the 40th minute after a foul by Fernandes but the visitors soon levelled with an own goal from Brighton defender Lewis Dunk.
A brilliant solo strike from Marcus Rashford had given United the lead in the 55th minute, after Rashford and Mason Greenwood had goals ruled out for offside, and Paul Pogba was relieved to see a possible penalty for a foul on Aaron Connolly overturned by a VAR review.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was happy to admit his side had ridden their luck. “We got away with one. Maybe one point we deserved, we didn’t deserve more. But the character deserved more,” he told reporters. “Last season we had too many draws, so that is a big plus for us.”
Brighton coach Graham Potter could not believe his team had lost after creating so many chances and drawing level so late. “It’s a sore one, to say the least. Sometimes life isn’t fair and it feels like that at the moment,” he said.
“All the little things have gone against us but we were really good for 90 minutes and we have to take that forwards. We deserved something from the game to say the least.”
Midfielder Leandro Trossard, who hit both posts in the first half and hammered the crossbar in the second, added: “We had a lot of chances and to lose like that is the worst feeling you can get. It was one of those days, the ball didn’t want to go in.”
United’s match winner Fernandes made no apologies. “Maybe they deserved more, but the point is score goals not hit the bar. Sometimes you have to have some luck.”