Bruno Fernandes produced a quality performance for Manchester United against Brighton & Hove Albion as they returned to winning ways in the Premier League.
The Portugal international struggled to make an impact against Southampton last weekend. Paul Scholes was particularly critical over his overall showing.
However, it was a much-improved display against the Seagulls last night. Ronaldo opened the scoring with a stunning individual strike in the 51st minute before Lewis Dunk’s sending off.
United made it difficult for themselves by failing to convert their scoring chances. Fernandes delivered two quality crosses for Ronaldo, but the latter could not double the advantage.
Fernandes was equally at fault for missing a golden scoring opportunity similar to Jadon Sancho’s in the opening half.
He made amends right at the end with a 96th-minute counter-attacking goal to seal the win.
The 27-year-old was far from his vintage best against the Seagulls, but was a big creative presence in the second half.
He ended the game with 79 touches and three shots on target while creating five key chances.
United were second best for large parts of the opening half where Brighton were comfortable in possession.
Goalkeeper David de Gea once again came to the club’s rescue with a superb acrobatic save.
Brighton were the cause for their downfall, with Yves Bissouma gifting Ronaldo with possession before his goal.
Moments later, they lost the plot with Dunk’s sending off for denying a clear scoring opportunity.
United still needed to capitalise on the situation. Brighton twice came within the whisker of an equaliser.
The Red Devils had good fortune for once as they managed to hold onto their slender lead.
There were some positives to carry forward with Ronaldo and Fernandes among the goals. Both players should still be disappointed with the chances squandered.
United have moved to fourth in the league with the 2-0 triumph. They are two points ahead of West Ham United. The onus will now be on building a winning run.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and SofaScore.com.
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