Alexis Mac Allister Penalty Secures Huge Win In Brighton's Quest For Europe

Brighton defeated Manchester United 1-0 on Thursday
22:12, 04 May 2023

Alexis Mac Allister’s 99th-minute penalty recorded a huge win for Brighton & Hove Albion in their quest for European football as they defeated Manchester United 1-0 at the Amex Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday evening.

The Argentine was the coolest man in the stadium to score what could be a vital goal for the Seagulls’ season as they avenged their FA Cup semi-final heartbreak, significantly boosting their chances of finishing in the top six, the position they now occupy as a result. The spot-kick was awarded after a VAR review which showed Luke Shaw had handled the ball and this goal will act as a huge catalyst for Brighton as they still have one or two games in hand on the sides above them.

The attacking intent from the two sides was just as gripping as the FA Cup semi-final two weeks ago. David de Gea and Jason Steele were called into action to make some huge stops for their teams as nothing could separate them, in the same way their FA Cup semi-final could only be separated by penalties. The two teams cancelled each other out for much of the game  again with two goalkeepers on song and two defences that were alert.


Both teams had some really nice link-up play on show when building up to the final third. Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were telepathic at times when combining and when the Seagulls got forward, they knocked the ball around with such grace.

Just like at Wembley Stadium a fortnight ago, there was another excellent battle between Kaoru Mitoma and Aaron Wan-Bissaka down the left flank, further highlighting the full-back’s position as one of the best one-on-one defenders in the world. The Japanese winger loves to cut in on his right foot but Wan-Bissaka’s positioning and body shape always shifted him onto his left.

It wasn’t just United’s right-back who was putting in a shift as Moises Caiicedo slotted in perfectly on the right side of defence for Brighton. The midfielder has been widely praised for his contributions in the middle of the park this year, and it appears that the Colombian can play anywhere he is told to play on the pitch and will be just as effective.

Brighton started to take control of the game in the second half as United started to get frustrated with the intricate passes the hosts were making as they were progressing through the lines. They had some great opportunities to break the deadlock but they were either snuffed out by good defending from the Red Devils, or players weren’t hitting the target. Substitute Solly March went on a great dazzling run late on, skipping past several red shirts, but when it came to pulling the trigger, his shot sailed past the post while he also had options around him.

De Gea was put to the test late on to deny a flurry of chances, including one from Mac Allister that looked destined for the back of the net. The Spaniard was then unable to thwart the Argentine's sublime spot-kick which had the Amex bouncing. The scenes at full time were as if European football was secured - that is how big that goal was for them.

This game had a huge billing in the build-up because both sides are battling for European football next term - United for the Champions League and for Brighton the Europa League. Erik ten Hag’s were defensively solid for much of the game and were rather unfortunate with the late penalty, but Brighton merited the win for their application in such a crucial game. The Red Devils still boast a four-point gap over rivals Liverpool and have a game in hand on them. Their destiny is still very much in their hands

As for Roberto De Zerbi’s men, they have shown they have what it takes to stay in contention for a European spot this year. They have moved back in front of Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur and momentum is now with them to seal their position in Europe next year. From the talent they have and the way they play, the Seagulls wouldn’t look out of place on the European stage.

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