Brighton & Hove Albion stunned Manchester United with a 1-0 win at Amex Stadium on Friday night to secure their Premier League survival.
- Brighton 1 Manchester United 0
Gross heads home 57′
Brighton recorded only their second win against Manchester United in their history with Pascal Gross sending his teammates over the edge with his vitally important winning goal.
— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) May 4, 2018
It took three minutes for the away side to force the ball over the Brighton goalline only for Marouane Fellaini to be called up for offside as he connected to Marcus Rashford’s curling free-kick.
Brighton responded with early sighters from Glenn Murray and Dale Stephens that failed to trouble David de Gea before Chris Smalling was forced to block a better effort from Jose Izquierdo.
The home side continued to look lively with Pascal Gross working De Gea with a good low shot after a pacy Seagulls attack.
De Gea then superbly palmed a Murray volley at his near post from yards out ahead of some more incisive play from United as first Paul Pogba was denied from the edge of the box before Anthony Martial’s belter left its mark on the head of Lewis Dunk.
Rashford would have been better off feeding Martial at the back post as his 26th minute shot was calmly blocked by Shane Duffy, while De Gea’s fingertips stopped Izquierdo from curling home on the half hour mark.
De Gea was again busy as he stopped Gross from sneaking the ball home after Fellaini had cheaply conceded possession in a first half that would have largely pleased Brighton boss Chris Hughton.
It was much of the same at the start of the second period, although Pogba got a good short away on 50 minutes that saw home keeper Mat Ryan hold on well.
Anthony Knockaert then broke forward well but while his subsequent shot was deflected wide, the home side were deservedly ahead just minutes later.
Gross headed home an Izquierdo cross that momentarily looked to have been cleared off the line by Marcus Rojo – before being confirmed by goalline technology.
Rojo denied Bruno past the hour as Jose Mourinho’s side looked to drift slightly.
Brighton were close to a second from a Gross corner that was poorly cleared and fell to Izquierdo who steered the ball wide, while Juan Mata fired a 68th minute free-kick from a good position well over the target.
There were half chances for Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Martial and despite throwing numbers forward in the final stages, it wasn’t looking like being United’s night, and they ended the evening as they started; only five points clear of Liverpool in third and six better off than Tottenham Hotspur in fourth as the race to end second comes down to the wire.
Brighton’s three points lifted them from 14th to 11th with 40 points – eight clear of the relegation zone.