Premier League Man United’s last-gasp victory propels Brighton towards European contention in confusing burst of excitement
The hopes of Brighton and Hove Albion qualifying for next season’s European football were boosted by a last minute penalty in a home victory against Man United. The game was marked by classy Brighton’s domination of possession, although they lacked a cutting edge until Luke Shaw’s handball deep into injury time gave them a chance to take all three points. In their first match of the season, the Seagulls beat United 2-1 but suffered a painful defeat in last month’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on spot-kicks. United remain comfortably in fourth place in the Premier League with five games to play but miss the chance to take their gap on Liverpool to more than just four points. Brighton is now sixth and looking to qualify for Europe for the first time in their history. The game saw both teams waste clear-cut chances in the opening minutes, with Anthony firing wastefully wide just two minutes into the game. The result leaves United four points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool with a game in hand. Brighton, coming off a 6-0 win against Wolves, is bursting with confidence. The game featured 17 shots in the first half, with Brighton finishing the stronger team, neither side could break the deadlock. Roberto De Zerbi’s team were again on top in the early stages of the second half, but Mitoma and Danny Welbeck were guilty of wasting openings. The game became more scrappy, suiting United, who were struggling to find fluency. Substitute Solly March drove wide after a driving run from midfield in the closing stages. In the 90th minute, De Gea made a diving save, but Brighton had one final chance after Luke Shaw was penalised for handball following VAR intervention, and Mac Allister made no mistake, lashing the ball high into the net.