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Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester United. Premier League.

Amex StadiumAttendance31,662.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0

    Manchester United 2

    • D Dalot (73rd minute)
    • R Höjlund (88th minute)

    Brighton 0-2 Manchester United: Erik ten Hag's side record worst Premier League finish despite victory

    Report and free highlights as Man Utd finish eighth in the Premier League despite victory at Brighton; Hosts dominate first 60 minutes with Joao Pedro having his close-range effort cleared off the line; Diogo Dalot fires Man Utd into second-half lead before Rasmus Hojlund secures win

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win against Brighton in the Premier League

    Manchester United recorded their worst finishing position in Premier League history despite ruining Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi’s final match with a 2-0 victory.

    United finished outside of the European places in eighth, their lowest position since 1990, but can still qualify for the Europa League should they beat champions Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

    Newcastle won 4-2 at Brentford to secure seventh on goal difference, rendering United's result meaningless in the race for the top seven as they delivered a typically mixed performance on the south coast.

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    Sky Sports' Dave Richardson and Paul Gilmour reflect on Roberto Di Zerbi's final game in charge of Brighton and an 'unpredictable' season for Manchester United.

    De Zerbi was given a rousing ovation before and after the match which Brighton dominated for an hour, missing chance after chance, with their best falling to Joao Pedro in the second half who saw his effort cleared off the line by Casemiro.

    United then scored out of nothing with Casemiro's long ball forward not dealt with by the Brighton defence, allowing Diogo Dalot to finish before substitute Rasmus Hojlund wrapped up the victory.

    Player ratings:

    Brighton: Steele (5), Gross (6), Webster (6), Igor (5), Barco (5), Baleba (6), Moder (6), Adingra (6), Lallana (6), Pedro (6), Welbeck (6).

    Subs: Enciso (6), Fati (n/a), Gilmour (n/a), Lamptey (n/a)

    Man Utd: Onana (7), Wan-Bissaka (6), Casemiro (7), Martinez (6), Dalot (8), Mainoo (6), Amrabat (5), McTominay (6), Diallo (6), Garnacho (6), Fernandes (6).

    Subs: Evans (6), Hojlund (7), Varane (6), Eriksen (6), Rashford (6)

    Player of the Match: Diogo Dalot

    How Man Utd snatched victory at Brighton

    Rasmus Hojlund celebrates after scoring Manchester United's second goal at Brighton
    Image: Rasmus Hojlund celebrates after scoring Manchester United's second goal at Brighton

    Brighton controlled the first half with young full-back Valentin Barco afforded too much space down the United right and ghosted past Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the box, but saw his shot saved by Andre Onana.

    Adam Webster was a threat with three efforts from set pieces in the first-half seeing his best chance deflected over by Lisandro Martinez just yards from the goalline moments after Scott McTominay had fired over the visitors' only chance on a rare counter-attack.

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    Team news:

    • Roberto De Zerbi made six changes to his final Brighton team with Jason Steele, Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Jakub Moder, Carlos Baleba and Valentin Barco coming into the starting XI.
    • Lisandro Martinez came into the Manchester United line-up for Jonny Evans, the only change from their 3-2 win over Newcastle.

    Newcastle scored three times at Brentford in 17 first-half minutes to all but secure seventh place as United toiled in the heat with Joao Pedro dragging a shot wide when well-placed in the area.

    United passed the ball far too slowly when in possession and were fortunate again at the start of the second half when Casemiro managed to clear Pedro's effort off the line and Adam Lallana's follow-up was deflected over.

    Lallana was given a standing ovation when he was subbed off on his last appearance for Brighton while Ten Hag removed Bruno Fernandes and Martinez with an eye on next weekend.

    Sofyan Amrabat vies with Pascal Gross
    Image: Sofyan Amrabat vies with Pascal Gross

    United gradually improved with Amad Diallo firing over from outside the area before Dalot raced in behind the Brighton defence to fire past Jason Steele.

    Ten Hag's substitutes Christian Eriksen and Hojlund then combined to secure the victory in front of the travelling United supporters.

    Ten Hag: We have tactical luxuries with two formations

    Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said:

    "In the first half, we were not 100 per cent in control. At half-time, we made some changes and then the second half was much better. Defending, organisation, pressing was better, but also in possession, we kept the ball better and made good movements in behind."

    On Hojlund's impact and playing with a false No 9: "The manager and the coaching team have luxury problems, which is good. Both formations [with or without a false No 9] can be a success.

    "We can play how we set up at the Etihad where we were a threat with the movement in behind. But with Rasmus Hojlund in this form, it's absolutely a consideration that we have to take. But we not only need 11 players, we need a bench as well."

    On defenders returning from injuries: "Our position was a nightmare across the season with all the injuries and if you want to have results, one of the foundations of a good team is a centre-back partnership. We didn't have that so I'm glad we have options for next week. We have to think about qualities but also fitness levels, so we probably need more than two next week."

    De Zerbi: I hope to return to Premier League one day

    Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said:

    On leaving Brighton "We didn't find the right agreement to move on and stay together, but nothing changes for me. I know very well what I want in my life, what I want from football. Football is my life and I can't change my passion, my target, my style of life.

    "I respect the club, I respect everything, and I have to be thankful to Tony Bloom and his family, Paul Barber and the whole club because they gave me the opportunity to work in the Premier League, which is the best league in the world.

    "This group of players has been the best in my career in terms of relationships. They gave me the chance to discover Brighton and I have an incredible connection with the city. I love this city and I've got a great connection with the fans too.

    "I know my DNA, I know my level of my passion, I know what I need to feel good in life and to feel good in my work. There isn't another club right now. I haven't had any offers. You can choose if you believe me or not but it's like this."

    Return to the Premier League one day? "I hope my story in the Premier League is not over. I hope to work in the Premier League again, but I don't know when or where. It's been an honour working in the Premier League. The stadiums are incredible and the atmospheres are unique.

    "If I have to stay at home for three, four, or five months, it won't be a problem for me because I will study different games, different teams and different coaches. Every year is different and you have to stay knowledgeable if you want to stay at the top level.

    "I hope to find a solution before the season starts but at the moment there isn't any team."

    Opta Stats: Man Utd finish with negative goal difference

    • Today was Roberto De Zerbi's 70th and final Premier League game in charge of Brighton and Hove Albion. Despite defeat for his side, he leaves with the highest win percentage in the English top-flight of any Seagulls manager (37% - 26/70).
    • Manchester United won a Premier League away game without conceding for the first time since November 2023 versus Everton (3-0), while this was their first league win away to Brighton since September 2020 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (3-2).
    • Despite their 2-0 victory today, Manchester United ended a league campaign with a negative goal difference (57 scored, 58 conceded) for the first time since 1989-90 (-1 in both cases).
    • Brighton and Hove Albion made 143 changes to their starting XI in the Premier League this season; only Manchester United in 2013-14 (144) and Manchester City in 2019-20 (144) have ever made more in a single campaign in the competition.

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