Ashley Young has admitted that Manchester United were well below bar during their 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho‘s men begun the game slowly, with Chris Hughton’s side maintaining a solid shape, and came closest on the stroke of half time when Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba forced a double save from Matthew Ryan.
Their intensity in possession improved in the second half and Young, who impressed on the left hand side, finally broke the deadlock with a heavily deflected strike after 66 minutes.
But the Englishman, speaking to MUTV after the game, noted that he was pleased with the three points but encouraged his teammates to make a better start next time around.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 25, 2017
Sometimes, a game like this will come around: tired legs from midweek exertions, a visiting side with a solid core and nothing to lose, a slightly flat atmosphere, and an even flatter performance.
Mourinho noted after the game that Brighton gave United their biggest challenge at home this season and you can see what he means. They defended in numbers, hassled United physically, committed men forward and never looked out of position.
And United, in response, had to put some elbow grease into the affair, hoping something went their way. And thankfully they received a stroke of luck that proved to be the difference between a solid win and ignominy.