Manager Jose Mourinho said Brighton provided his Manchester United side with “probably the hardest match we’ve had this season” after a narrow 1-0 win for the hosts at Old Trafford.
By SportBrief Reporter
An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal was enough to earn United an 11th straight home win and cut Manchester City’s lead at the top to five points ahead of their game at Huddersfield on Sunday.
Brighton had been the better team up until Ashley Young’s attempt from the edge of the area hit Dunk and looped over keeper Mat Ryan into the net.
Earlier, Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross both went close after getting behind the United defence.
“Honestly, I think Brighton were very good,” said Mourinho.
“I want to be honest and give them what they deserve, for me probably they deserve more than the result they got.
“They played really well, they had a good defensive organisation and then when they had the ball they were dangerous. They gave us probably the hardest match we’ve had this season.”
Ryan produced a double save to keep out Romelu Lukaku’s header and Paul Pogba’s follow-up on the stroke of half-time.
Yet Brighton, who remain ninth in the table, were more than a match for United.
“In a tight affair we were good value and I’m really disappointed not to come away with anything,” said Seagulls boss Chris Hughton.
“We looked to get into that final third as often as we could. I thought we were very brave on the ball.”