Manchester United head into the international break on a high after beating Brighton with what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called their “best performance of the season”.
There is a sense of optimism around Old Trafford having collected a fourth Premier League win of the campaign by comprehensively overcoming Graham Potter’s Albion on Sunday afternoon.
Andreas Pereira’s deflected effort was swiftly followed by a Davy Propper own goal, with Marcus Rashford hitting a fierce drive off the underside of the bar to complete a 3-1 victory after Lewis Dunk had reduced the deficit.
It was an impressive performance by the Reds having hit three past Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, leaving Solskjaer with a smile on his face.
“Yeah, I think it’s our best performance of the season,” he said. “Of course you can go back to Chelsea but today I thought the reaction after they scored was fantastic.
“Sometimes this season we’ve asked that when you get one or two up to go for the next one… and how we didn’t end up five, six, seven (today) I don’t know, or we don’t know, the players don’t know.
“But exhilarating, entertaining and great to see the boys enjoy themselves.
FULL-TIME Man Utd 3-1 Brighton
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 10, 2019
“These six weeks or whatever it has been since the international break when we started against Liverpool, we had five wins and a defeat after the Liverpool game.
“Of course the Bournemouth game was disappointing but we’ve had loads of answers to what we’re trying to do and if we don’t get confidence from this, I don’t know what to tell them.”
After the game Solskjaer lauded the ever-improving midfielder Fred and summer signing Harry Maguire, who led the side impressively in the captain’s armband.
There was also praise for 19-year-old left-back Brandon Williams following an impressive display on his first Premier League start.
“Brandon was excellent,” Solskjaer said of a player who saw a high challenge checked by the video assistant referee for a possible red card in the second half.
“He’s played well before but of course the first start at Old Trafford in a Premier League is always… you don’t know how he’s going to react, but he seems like he’s looking forward.
“I told him on Thursday ‘just look forward to this one’. I thought it was more fair to him that he didn’t play on Thursday. An excellent performance.
“He’s done nothing wrong since he’s come into the team. He’s making it hard for me to leave him out, definitely.
“He’s really, really impressed me, I have to say. He’s definitely making it hard for me to leave him out.”
It's been a great day for Brandon Williams and it could be for you, too! 🖋👕#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 10, 2019
The only real negative on Sunday afternoon was the sight of Scott McTominay in pain after suffering an ankle injury.
Having been helped off the pitch after treatment, he was taken down the tunnel on a stretcher after several minutes of attention in the technical area. McTominay was able to walk out of Old Trafford, albeit with a bit of a limp, and the severity of the issue will be assessed on Monday.
“He went over on his ankle,” Solskjaer said. “It’s a painful one.
“Sometimes that’s… I’ve had one and I was out for eight weeks. But then again sometimes you’re back in two weeks, so I don’t know.
“He’s in for a scan tomorrow… but it looked painful and he’s not one for rolling around.”
Brighton came into the match looking for a fourth Premier League win in five matches but they left Old Trafford empty-handed and boss Potter had no complaints about the result.
Asked if this was a case of United just being too good for his side, he said: “I think so on the day, yeah.
“They were the better team, deserved to win.
“We tried but we didn’t play as well, the level we can play at, but we have to credit the opposition as well, so a bit of both.”