BRIGHTON – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United were lucky to escape with a 3-2 win at Brighton thanks to a penalty from Bruno Fernandes, awarded on a VAR review after the final whistle had blown.
Brighton hit the woodwork five times and thought they had earned a deserved point when Solly March headed home to equalise five minutes into stoppage time.
However, Neal Maupay’s handball was penalised by referee Chris Kavanagh after he consulted a pitchside monitor, having already blown for full-time, and Fernandes converted from the spot in the 100th minute.
Pre-season hopes that United could mount a title challenge to their biggest rivals Liverpool and Manchester City dissipated after a dire display in losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace last weekend.
And Solskjaer’s were not much better on the south coast with Brighton boss Graham Potter lamenting “life is not fair” as United scored with their only shots on target.
“We got away with one. Maybe one point we deserved, we didn’t deserve more,” said Solskjaer.
“We’ve got to be honest enough to say they created the most chances. They had loads of shots, they had big chances and that’s not what we want. We need to improve a lot in the few weeks coming forward.”
Solskjaer again pointed to a shortened pre-season for his side’s slow start as United had just a month between the end to last season and starting the new campaign.
“The spirit and character of the boys I don’t question. The shaprness, fitness and the form will come,” added Solskjaer. “We have a few weeks to catch up and the more games we play, we’ll get better and better and sharper and sharper.”
Leandro Trossard hit both posts with shots from outside the box, while Adam Webster’s looping header came back off the crossbar as Brighton made the brighter start.