It turned out to be a very good weekend for Manchester United. We gained three points while Man City, Chelsea and Spurs failed to win, as did Arsenal but at the expense of Liverpool winning on Monday night.
There was plenty of drama too, with United winning a penalty after the full-time whistle had blown as Bruno Fernandes stepped up to clinch a 3-2 win for the Red Devils.
Fernandes did enough to make Garth Crooks’ team of the week via BBC Sport.
The Portuguese international features in a midfield four consisting of Jack Grealish, who penned a new contract at boyhood club Aston Villa during the summer, after months of speculation linking him to United.
Explaining why he selected Fernandes after his display against Brighton at the Amex Stadium, Crooks wrote: “This player has nerves of steel and once again showed his worth. The empathetic way Bruno Fernandes sealed the victory for United tells you all you need to know about the Portuguese star. Why Neal Maupay panicked in the dying seconds of the game and gave a penalty away made no sense but neither did the protests by Brighton’s players after the game. Why Adam Lallana felt the need to try and confront the referee regarding his decision was just as baffling. What did Lallana expect? That Chris Kavanagh shouldn’t have given the penalty? As for Brighton manager Graham Potter questioning the time added on by the official as a sincere argument, is he serious?”
Tensions were high after the match, given how Brighton lost the game, and I think if you asked Potter about the game some days later he would be able to give a better reflection of the game.
Potter may feel hard done by but what was Maupay thinking?
A second United player made this week’s BBC Team of the Week – and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Marcus Rashford get the nod.
His solo goal was out of this world and we loved how he used it to silence his critics on social media afterwards.
Crooks thinks Rashford was the difference on Saturday.
“This was a game Manchester United didn’t deserve to win but they did. Their defeat by Crystal Palace in their opening game of the season was well short of what was expected by a United side. Thank goodness for Marcus Rashford because Brighton deserved at least a point and should have one if not for Maypay’s handball in the final minute of the game. The England striker took his goal brilliantly after dumping Ben White on his backside and smashing the ball past Mat Ryan with his left foot. Brighton’s Leandro Trossard hit the woodwork on three occasions. Someone needs to tell him you get nothing for hitting the woodwork.”
Let’s hope this is the start of these two players hitting better form because as a duo — working together — Manchester United can at least rely on them to win games.
We’ve not had a pre-season so it’s going to take time for our players to reach peak fitness.