It wasn’t the most convincing of victories but that won’t matter too much to Jose Mourinho, his players and most Manchester United supporters.
The Red Devils were expected to beat Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford with relative ease on Saturday afternoon but ended up labouring to a rather unconvincing 1-0 victory.
A Lewis Dunk own goal midway through the second half was the only thing that separated the two teams at the full-time whistle.
“We had amazing chances a couple of days ago and we couldn’t score, today we did it,” Mourinho, referring back to United’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League in mid-week, was quoted as saying by his club’s official website.
“Congratulations to them for their performance, congratulations to my boys. My boys, they didn’t play well but they gave everything. The boys, they don’t deserve bad words from me.”
Excellent weekend so far for United
With Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all dropping points in the positions behind them in the Premier League table, it’s been a fantastic weekend so far for Mourinho’s men, who close the gap on league-leaders Manchester City to five points.
Pep Guardiola’s side, however, can restore their eight-point advantage when they take on Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Football fans had to wait until MOTD to watch the highlights
Back to United’s win over Brighton and football fans in the UK, because the match took place at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, had to wait until the evening to watch the highlights.
They already knew one thing, though: that Lukaku had kicked out at Brighton full-back Gaetan Bong moments before Ashley Young’s deflected strike found its way into the back of the net but wasn’t punished for his actions by referee Neil Swarbrick.
They were eager to find out what Match of the Day’s pundits, Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas, made of the incident - only to be left utterly bemused when nothing was said.
Fans vent their anger on Twitter
Despite the fact we could all see Lukaku’s kick on Bong, nothing was made of the incident on MOTD, much to the anger of football fans…
They've all got a point
You can understand their reaction.
This incident took place seconds before the only goal of the game. If Swarbrick and his assistants had spotted Lukaku’s kick, the goal would surely have been disallowed.
So, why did Shearer, Jenas and Gary Lineker gloss over it?
Should the own goal have been disallowed? Have your say by leaving a comment below.