Manchester United nip Brighton in the bud to qualify for the EFL Cup Quarterfinals

Goals from Scott McTominay, Juan Mata and prodigal son, Paul Pogba sealed victory for Manchester United (the Red Devils) as they glide past Brighton & Hove Albion.

Owing to the fact that Manchester United won their last league fixture in what many described as a rather bizarre way, many were expecting a similar display today, however, things were quite easier this time with Scott McTominay’s 44th-minute header that set them on the path for an encounter with their former boss, Jose Mourinho.

The first half was rather quite a stale game, with few chances being created by both sides. Among the many culprits who fluffed their chances was Odion Ighalo who missed a glorious opportunity to put his name on the score sheet.

Interestingly, on the 26th minute, Dean Henderson got down low to his right to deny Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s effort room on the edge of the box.

Scott McTominay draws first blood for Manchester United

Few minutes to end the first half, Mata managed to win a freekick as he was brought down by Dan Burn. A beautiful in swinger from Juan Mata did the trick as McTominay stretched from the back of the wall, unmarked to knock the ball into the twine to give Manchester United their first goal.

However, in the second half, Graham Potter pulled off a fast one. With some few changes made by Brighton, the game came back alive with the presence of Neal Maupay and then Leandro Trossard coming on.

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Manchester United pip Brighton
Mata celebrating his sublime finish with his colleagues on the pitch

Leandro Trossard, however, had the best chance to level things up, but his efforts was curtailed by Manchester United shot-stopper, Henderson in the 67th minute. The brilliant pass by Pascal Gross was not enough to pull parity.

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After failing to draw equal blood, Mata capped it up with a superb sublime finish in the 73rd minute. The sublime finish was commenced by himself by exchanging some brilliant passes with new signing, Van De Beek, as he gave him a cheeky flicked pass to sublimely put the ball with his unusual right foot into the bottom corner to set the pace for a quarterfinal berth for Manchester United who would eventually edge Brighton out of the competition.

“Prodigal son” Paul Pogba put the game beyond reach with a perfect free-kick which took a deflection on one of the defenders and curled into the top corner inside the near post.

SOURCE: ONESIPHORUS OBUOBI

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