Brighton 1-0 Man United: Mac Allister scores 99th-minute penalty to boost Seagulls' top-four hopes. United's Champions League hopes suffer a setback.
|Alexis Mac Allister blasted home from the spot at the death to hand Brighton a precious win against Man United at the Amex. Brighton won 1-0. (Photo credit: BBC)|
Brighton took a bold step towards a possible Champions League qualification on Thursday with a clinical 1-0 win over Man United at the Amex Stadium.
Roberto Di Zerbi restored Kaoru Mitomo, Moises Caicedo, and Mac Allister to the starting lineup.
But the Ecuadorian midfield enforcer had to deputise at right-back following the unavailability of Veltman and Pascal Gross.
Man United had dumped Brighton from the FA Cup on penalties after 120 minutes of goalless football.
And Thursday seemed like the perfect revenge for the Seagulls, as it took one last-gasp penalty to break the hearts of the visitors.
Erik Ten Hag picked Aaron Wan-Bissaka to play at right-back and Diogo Dalot at the other end.
The England fullback struggled to contain Mitoma, but the Japanese player couldn’t make the most of his chances as the game remained goalless.
Jason Steele and David De Gea were immense for their respective sides with top saves.
And it seemed like the game was going to end goalless when a moment of madness from Luke Shaw ruined the script for Man United.
A last-gasp set-piece presented a chance to Brighton, and it felt like a missed chance when the ball was kicked out of the United area.
Referee Andre Mariner was told to hang on by the VAR, and the replay showed Shaw’s hand hitting the ball in the air.
Top four battle heats up
Alexis MacAllister blasted the resulting penalty home without pressure to hand United the defeat that would now invite pressure on the top-four front.
Liverpool sits just four points off Manchester United, but the Red Devils won’t be playing top-eight opponents anymore this season.
"Last minute, last action really. I got a little nudge, but of course, the hand shouldn't be there," Shaw told Sky Sports after the game. "I own up to it; take it on the chin; it cost us the game, but it is tough. I can't even explain why my hand is up there.
"I got a nudge; maybe that helps with my hand going up, but it shouldn't be there."
Man United has a game in hand on Liverpool, but they must be wary of Brighton.
The Seagulls have two games in hand, and that could get them closer to Manchester United. Interesting times lie ahead in the top-four race.