Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United were far from at their best but praised his players’ late reaction as they secured a dramatic, last-gasp 3-2 win at Brighton on Saturday.
United edged a topsy-turvy affair at the Amex thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ penalty – the last kick of the game – in a clash where VAR played a huge role.
The winner came after referee Chris Kavanagh had blown for full-time but VAR correctly ordered him to check a handball from Neal Maupay and Fernandes stepped up to give the visitors all three points.
Maupay had started the scoring from the spot before a Lewis Dunk own goal and a brilliant individual effort from Marcus Rashford put United ahead. The Seagulls pressed for an equaliser and got what their play deserved when Solly March headed home in injury time but there was still time for the definitive late drama.
Despite the victory, which saw the Red Devils bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace, Solskjaer was far from satisfied with his side’s performance and claimed his players are not yet fully fit.
He said: “We need to stop crosses better. We need to block off in the box better, of course [they hit the] crossbar a few times. David [De Gea] had most under control but they did create chances and, with better finishing, they would have had three points.
“We know we’re not fit yet. You can see they’re fitter than us. They are one of the fittest teams in the league, so we knew it was going to be a difficult game physically because we’re not there yet.
“We’ll get there but the reaction was brilliant to both goals. We didn’t play before the first goal and that’s something we need to address. The reaction to the last one as well was great.”
Meanwhile, Everton moved top of the Premier League table after a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace as Carlo Ancelotti’s side made it three wins from three.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin maintained his personal fine start to the campaign with his fifth league goal of the season to open the scoring before Cheikhou Kouyate headed Palace level.
Richarlison’s penalty five minutes before the break put the Toffees back in front and they deservedly held on to make it nine points from nine.
On Sunday, there are four games in the top flight with a Yorkshire derby between Sheffield United (7/4) and Leeds (17/10) kicking things off before Spurs (9/20) host Newcastle (13/2), Leicester (9/1) go to Manchester City (3/10) and West Ham (11/4) entertain Wolves (23/20).