- Albion suffer a fifth league defeat of the season at Old Trafford
- Two first-half goals in two minutes put United in control
- Lewis Dunk pulls one back with his first goal of the season
- Albion drop to 11th in the table ahead of international break
Two goals in as many minutes in the first half by Andreas Pereira and an own goal by Davy Propper put United in control.
Head Coach Graham Potter made two changes at the break and another on the hour, and they had the desired effect as skipper Lewis Dunk pulled one back with a powerful header in the 64th minute.
But within two minutes Marcus Rashford had restored United’s two-goal cushion and there was no way back for the Seagulls.
Potter had made two changes with Shane Duffy, a goalscoring substitute against Norwich last time out, replacing the injured Adam Webster, and Leandro Trossard coming in for Pascal Gross, who dropped to the bench.
Ten previous visits to Old Trafford have yielded just two draws for the Seagulls, but after back-to-back home wins, 2,000 Albion fans were in good voice although it was United who started on the front foot.
Dale Stephens was booked for an early foul on Fred, before Rashford cut in from the left and skipped past a couple of challenges and let fly, but Maty Ryan saved his right-foot shot from just inside the box.
Albion enjoyed some decent spells of possession but two goals in two minutes put them on the back foot – although on both occasions United benefitted from good fortune.
The hosts broke in the 17th minute to find Pereira in space in the box and his left-foot shot took a huge deflection off Dale Stephens and left Ryan with no chance.
Dunk was then booked for a foul on the right – which means he now misses the Leicester City game on 23rd November - and Fred’s free kick was nodded down by Harry Maguire to McTominay, who forced it over the line, although the last touch came off the unfortunate Propper.
It was a big setback but Albion worked their way back into the contest and went close in the 29th minute. Trossard’s free kick from the right was flicked on by Dunk and Duffy was inches from getting a decisive connection.
Trossard provided another superb set-piece four minutes before the break, but this time Aaron Connolly, under pressure from Maguire, could not direct his header on target.
Martin Montoya and Dan Burn made it four Albion yellow cards before the break – Propper followed them into referee Jon Moss's notebook in the second half - and Potter reacted by making two changes at the break, with Glenn Murray and Solly March replacing Connolly and Martin Montoya, with Steven Alzate dropping into right-back.
Albion looked more solid as a result, and although Ryan had to save Pereira’s shot, United were fortunate not to go down to ten men for Brandon Williams’s studs-up challenge on Alzate’s chest. Referee Moss showed him yellow card instead of a red, which a VAR check confirmed as being the right call.
Gross replaced Trossard on the hour, but Ryan had to have his wits about him when Fred let fly from distance, as the keeper pushed the ball onto the bar before grabbing the rebound.
Patient build-up by the visitors ended with Gross nodding the ball into the six-yard box, but at full stretch, Neal Maupay was unable to poke it past David De Gea. Moments later, though, Albion were back in it. Gross’s corner from the left found Dunk, who rose inside the six-yard box and headed powerfully past De Gea.
Game on – but Albion’s joy didn’t last long. On 66 minutes Anthony Martial burst into the box and although Duffy’s sliding challenge prevented him from getting a shot away, the striker had the presence of mind to tee up Rashford, whose shot went in off the underside of the bar.
Rashford somehow fired wide from five yards then Ryan pulled off superb saves to deny Williams and Daniel James, as United exploited the space as Albion looked for a route back into the contest. It wasn’t to be and after the international break, Potter’s men face another tough challenge against Leicester City at the Amex on 23rd November.
ALBION: Ryan, Montoya (March 45), Duffy, Dunk, Burn; Trossard (Gross 64), Stephens, Propper, Alzate; Connolly (Murray 45), Maupay.
SUBS NOT USED: Button, Balogun, Mooy, Schelotto.