Man United cruise past Brighton

English Premier League

Manchester United kept their top-four hopes alive with a 3-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion courtesy of a brace by Bruno Fernandes.

United recalled the big guns after most of them came off the bench in the FA Cup win over Norwich City, that included goalkeeper David de Gea, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

United were threatening in the early stages as Pogba and Fernandes combined to good effect in the 12th minute with the Portuguese lining up a strike from range that came off the post.

The visitors eventually opened the scoring four minutes later after Mason Greenwood received a ppass from Wan-Bissaka inside the box and created space to strike a low shot that sailed in at the near post.

The Seagulls were playing deep and inviting pressure, which led to the second goal as they failed to deal with a cross inside the area that fell to Pogba who set up Fernandes, whose shot deflected into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Graham Potter's charges were coming out of their shell in the closing phase of the first stanza but they lacked the momentum to trouble the Red Devils, who took a comfortable two-goal lead into the break.

The hosts had a bright start early in the second stanza but they conceded the third goal from a counter-attack five minutes from the break, as Greenwood whipped in a dangerous cross at the back post where Fernandes was on hand to volley past Matt Ryan.

Brighton were not giving up just yet especially after Pogba and Fernandes were rested just after the hour-mark, with Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira getting a run, as Aaron Connelly had his goal-bound curler tipped over the top corner by goalkeeper De Gea.

Potter's men came close again to pulling a goal back in the last quarter of an hour after Maupay unleashed a powerful strike from the edge of the box that was saved by the scrambling De Gea.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's troops were dangerous on the break but they could not add to their tally as they settled for a  3-0 win that saw them reclaim fifth spot, just two points off fourth-placed Chelsea while Brighton remain in 15th spot.

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