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Brighton 4 Manchester United 0

One hopes that the media story will be how good Brighton were in this comprehensive defeat, not how bad United were.

It was arguably Brighton’s best performance and result in the Premier.

From the start they took the game to a ragged United, whose left flank was exposed where Bruno Fernandes – operating in midfield – was the weak link.

Time and time again Brighton’s neat triangular passing movements resulted in getting behind the porous United defence.

Sadly there is no ‘fox in the box’ to convert the cross that flashed across the box. Danny Welbeck did lead the line well on his own but he can only do so much.

The goal that eventually came was from a low shot from distance by Ecuadorean Moises Calceido that De Gea might have stopped.

The fear was one goal was not enough at half-time but there is no Alex Ferguson, who was not present in the director’s box, nor Roy Keane to galvanise the team in the half time talk.

It was Brighton who increased their lead with a shot into the roof of the net by my man of the match Cucurella, followed by two more from Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard.

Coach Graham Potter makes the most of his resources.

Even without injured Enock Mwepu Brighton have many options in midfield so the 4-5-1 system best exploits these.  Even if Yves Bissouma goes – and rest assured, Tony Bloom will get top dollar for him – there is Adam Llalana, Steven Alzate, a fit Mwepu and no doubt incoming players to fill the gap Bissouma leaves.

The priorities are more to secure Graham Potter and to identify a 20 goal a season striker.

Neil Maupay, who significantly did not participate in the post-match celebrations, is not that player.

As for Potter, I see him more as a future England manger – better utilising the players at his disposal – than dealing with big stars. Tottenham take notice of that …

In short, the sum of Brighton with their collective team spirit was more than the individual parts and that of United exactly the opposite.

Players like Solly March and Alex Mac Alister have significantly improved under Potter, whilst Manchester’s costly signings Jaden Sancho (£72m), Harry Maguire (£80m) and Paul Pogba have got worse.

Even Ronaldo strutted around to little effect.

To add to the debate of attendance v tv, there is another factor – crowd misbehaviour.

I park in the Sussex University car park and it’s a 15 minute walk to the ground. En route we picked up the fans travelling by train from Brighton main station which included a group of drunken Manchester supporters.

They  were abused by a Brighton fan and the police had to break up a nasty confrontation. All this was too close for comfort.  n the 1905 club bar they ran out of Harvey’s ale.

When you are charging £2000 a year for a premium experience you have to do better… or indeed, as well as the team is faring on the pitch.

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About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts