London, 26 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Bruno Fernandes scored an injury-time penalty in the 100th minute to earn Manchester United a remarkable 3-2 victory on Saturday against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Neal Maupay gave Brighton the lead with a 40th-minute penalty after Fernandes brought down Tariq Lamptey in the box, but a Lewis Dunk own-goal soon restored parity before half-time.
The hosts were denied another penalty at the start of the second half and, 10 minutes later, Marcus Rashford remained composed under pressure to finish off a fine solo effort to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side ahead.
Brighton hit the post five times but their luck finally turned when Solly March nodded in a free header to level the scores again in the sixth minute of added time.
But a handball in the box from Maupay moments later allowed Fernandes to snatch three points with the last kick of the game.
“We got away with one. Maybe one point we deserved, we didn’t deserve more,” United manager Solskjaer said.
It was a game filled with dramatic moments. Aside from the five goals, there were two more United goals disallowed and one penalty decision overturned. Brighton were left to rue their bad luck with the goalposts.
“I don’t know what the shot count was but we were dominant,” Brighton boss Graham Potter said.
“We deserved something from the game to say the least. Sometimes life isn’t fair and it feels like that at the moment.”
Mason Greenwood thought he had rediscovered the form that brought him 17 goals for United last season but the 18-year-old’s goal on 33 minutes was ruled out because Rashford was in an offside position.
Portugal midfielder Fernandes then fouled the hosts’ rising talent, 19-year-old Lamptey, in the box.
Maupay produced a fine touch from the spot, confidently chipping in a Panenka-style penalty to move the Seagulls ahead.
Fernandes soon redeemed himself, delivering a free-kick to the far post that found Nemanja Matic, who knocked the ball into the centre for it to find the net off Brighton defender Dunk’s foot.
It was a frantic start to the second half. Sixty seconds after the restart, United’s Paul Pogba couldn’t believe that referee Chris Kavanagh had pointed to the spot again when the Frenchman tangled with Brighton’s Aaron Connolly. But, after consultation with the pitch-side monitor, the decision was reversed.
Rashford scored two goals in as many minutes. One was disallowed for offside but the other could not be denied and came after a move of individual brilliance.
The 22-year-old England international sprinted half of the pitch and used great footwork to lose marker Ben White before placing a perfect strike into the top corner.
Brighton kept fighting to level the scores but they were denied twice more by the woodwork.
In the sixth minute of injury time, a lapse in concentration by United’s defence allowed Brighton striker March to score unchallenged from close range.
Brighton celebrated like they had earned a deserved point but the drama was not over.
The referee had blown his whistle for full-time but the video assistant referee (VAR) asked referee Kavanagh to check for a handball by Brighton striker Maupay after he raised his arms while defending a header from Maguire.
Maupay had his head in his hands and could not watch as Fernandes ran away to celebrate a match-winning penalty as the referee blew the final whistle a second time.