Six things we learned from Brighton's win against Manchester United

Action from Albion's win against Manchester United. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Action from Albion's win against Manchester United. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton sealed their place in the Premier League for another season with a 1-0 win against Manchester United. Here's six things we learned from the game.

We are staying up!

Albion sealed their place in the Premier League with an outstanding team performance.

After promotion last year, the Seagulls have not been in the bottom three all season and they again showed their character, determination and resilience to beat Manchester United.

It was Albion's first win over United for 35 years and just the club's second over the Red Devils in the club's history.

There's no getting away from the fact it was a poor performance from United, who were heavily criticised by boss Jose Mourinho afterwards.

However, Brighton manager Chris Hughton deserves all the plaudits which come his way. He's done an outstanding job on the South Coast since taking charge four years ago.

Albion were one of the favourites to be relegated at the start of this season but this year - like the promotion-winning campaign - will live long in the memory for all Albion fans, who created a rocking atmosphere inside the Amex.

United's unwanted hat-trick

For the first time in their Premier League history, Manchester United have lost away to all three of the teams who came up from the Championship.

United lost 2-1 to Huddersfield, were beaten 1-0 at Newcastle and now 1-0 to the Seagulls.

It was also the Manchester giants' first ever Premier League defeat on a Friday.

The win also showed how far Albion have come in the last 21 years. On May 3, 1997, Brighton drew at Hereford to stay in the Football League.

Twenty-one years and a day later, the Seagulls beat Manchester United to stay in the Premier League. Both days will never be forgotten and will be talked about for years to come!

Early scare

United had the ball in the back of the net inside three minutes but the offside flag came to Brighton's rescue.

With Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez both ruled out, United went with a front three of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata as Jose Mourinho made six changes from their 2-1 win at home to Arsenal last weekend.

Rashford was fouled by Shane Duffy on the edge of the penalty area early on and his free kick was poked home by Marouane Fellaini but the Belgian midfielder had made his move a fraction early and was a yard offside.

It was one of few scares for Brighton as they defended resolutely to limit United's chances throughout the game and deservedly won through Pascal Gross's goal.

Number one

United keeper David De Gea showed why he is regarded as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League with a world-class save in the first half.

The Spaniard has been named in the PFA Premier League team of the year for the past four seasons and five times in total and was also United's player of the season for the fourth time this year.

De Gea first kept out Glenn Murray's half-volley from 25 yards as he dived across goal at full-stretch to push the ball just past the post.

United's stopper then denied Jose Izquierdo later in the half by pushing the Colombian winger's rasping strike over and was also quick off his line to block Pascal Gross's cross-shot when the German midfielder got to the byline.

At the other end, Mathew Ryan made a smart save to push away Marcus Rashford's second-half strike but the defence in front of him stood firm to deny United too many clear opportunities.

Albion's player of the year stars again

Not much more can be said about how well Pascal Gross has adapted to English football.

The £3m signing from Ingolstadt last summer has deservedly had many superlatives written about him this season and the 26-year-old was also named Albion's player of the season last month.

He went into the game having scored six goals and eight assists in the Premier League and had been involved in 44 per cent of the goals Albion had scored this season. That was the second highest involvement in the Premier League this season, behind only Mo Salah, who has been involved in 50 per of Liverpool's goals.

Gross got Albion's winner tonight when his header from Jose Izquierdo's cross was adjudged to have crossed the line by goal-line technology before Marcos Rojo could clear.

Goal-line technology joy for Albion

Albion will forever be grateful for goal-line technology after Pascal Gross's goal was only given after referee Craig Pawson consulted with his watch.

It was a matter of only an inch - if that - over the line but Seagulls fans will not care.

Goal-line technology only came in at the start of the 2013/14 season. On first viewing, it appeared Marcos Rojo had cleared the ball off the line as play continued for a good few seconds and Davy Propper even had a goalbound shot blocked, before Pawson awarded the goal.

Brighton players ran to the North East corner to celebrate and goalkeeper Mathew Ryan sprinted to join the celebrations as has become custom this season.