Pascal Gross double sees Brighton win at Manchester United


In the end, twice was enough. For the historic Albion, for Pascal Gross – and for Graham Potter.

The Albion head coach thumped the air in front of his team’s euphoric supporters in a corner of Old Trafford that became Sussex for an afternoon.

They asked him to do it again – so he thought for a moment, then did it.

This time with a bit of structure, a bit of theatrical touch.

About as much build up and flair as in that magical second goal that ultimately turned out to be the winner.

And then, as Potter went to the distant tunnel at Stretford End, they asked him to do it again – for the third time.

This time, a round of applause from the boss to the fans was enough before they indulged in their celebration.

These celebrations were something special. How was the performance – in different ways.

Of course, two super goals and a dominant performance in the first half.

But Albion have played well before in recent years and have been at the top at Old Trafford.

Okay, never 2-0. But on top. It never ended well.

This isn’t an old United team, of course.

But when Robert Sanchez’s desperate rebound from Diogo Dalot bounced off the unlucky Alexis Mac Allister to halve the lead, the pressure was on.

From a crowd that found their voice, from Cristiano Ronaldo as a sub. Of any nagging doubts from previous visits (although that will have been more for fans than players with other things to think about).

But they saw through it. Maintained their form, discipline and composure.

Produced some great blocks, notably Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk.

Then, as the heat picked up, they made smart changes, their subs played their part and they weathered it as comfortably as could have been expected.

It was a result and an achievement for eternity. One in which you hesitated to pick people.

But let’s pick one anyway. He deserves it.

United’s former target Moises Caicedo was a midfield monster, particularly in the first half when he helped the defense and assisted his side with possession.

He could be their next £60m transfer target – but let’s not go there just yet.

This was the fourth of four seasons under Potter in which Albion won their first away game.

Old Trafford meets Vicarage Road, St James’s Park and Turf Moor in this Hall of Fame.

But this first-ever win for the club at United’s acclaimed home takes pride of place.

They went into the game with three recognized special defenders and a bold formation.

Or, maybe a better word, confident.

They might have been ahead within ten seconds when Leandro Trossard forced a mistake but fired into the side netting.

Her only farewell soon followed.

Bruno Fernandes fired in from close to the penalty spot after Mac Allister came back to block Scott McTominay’s attempt when Jadon Sancho opened it up with a clever pass.

The breakthrough came at half an hour.

Trossard played a pass down the run from Danny Welbeck, who was just down the left.

Welbeck, another outstanding teammate, rolled the ball over the goal and Gross hit the far post. Simple – but deadly.

The second was even better.

It started when Trossard seemed trapped near his own corner flag.

He got away with a back heel pass for Caicedo.

Adam Lallana carried the ball forward and found Solly March.

His low shot was parried by David De Gea and Gross was sharp to send the rebound high into the net.

Ronaldo played early in the second half which raised a crowd who booed their side at the break.

But Welbeck might have killed his old side. First with a header past and then when he had good reason to be bundled into the penalty area.

United reduced the deficit midway through the second half.

The ball eventually went in in a Mac Allister scramble when Sanchez smacked the ball at him and a VAR check made it an own goal.

Sanchez was unable to convert the corner, the ball bounced off Dalot’s back and the keeper’s attempt to save was in vain.

A very first win at Old Trafford was in danger then.

But justice was served – and in style.

Manchester United: DeGea; Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw (Malacia 89); Fred (Ronaldo 52), McTominay (Van de Beek 77); Sancho (Elanga 89), Fernandes (Garnacho 89), Rashford, Eriksen.

Goals: Mac Allister and 68.

Yellow card: McTominay, Martinez, Maguire, Shaw.

Albion: Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; March (Colwill 89) Mac Allister, Caicedo, Trossard (Mwepu 74); Gross, Lallana (Lamptey 74); Welbeck (Undav 90).

Goals: Gross 30, 39.

Yellow card: Trossard.

Referee: Paul Tierney. Pascal Gross double sees Brighton win at Manchester United

Fry Electronics Team

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