Victor Lindelof shines light on how Manchester United turned the game around vs Brighton
Victor Lindelof has explained how Manchester United were able to turn the game around against Brighton and Hove Albion in the second half. His side won 2-0 on the night through goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, which took them to fourth in the Premier League table.
The scoreline does not tell the whole story as Brighton and Hove Albion were clearly the better side in the opening 45 minutes. David de Gea had to intervene excellently to keep them off the scoresheet, which eventually laid the foundations for their second-half improvements. Now, the centre-back has explained how the team turned things around after the halftime break.
Speaking in the post-match interview (h/t Manchester Evening News), Lindelof mentioned that they made two mistakes in the first half- sitting too deep and pressing issues. He added that the team noticed the problems and rectified them by being more proactive and aggressive after coming out of the half-time break.
“I don’t think we played that good in the first half. We didn’t get the press right and we were a bit too deep, so we talked about that at half-time. I think we came out in the second half as a new team and performed much better. We were more on the front, more aggressive. That makes it easier for everyone if we defend forward and put them under pressure because then they can’t play through us easily. I think that’s the main thing, we were more aggressive to win the ball back.”
Finally a break!
The Swede himself would not have started the game if things went to plan, but Raphael Varane was diagnosed with an illness not long before kick-off. That paved the way for him to start his first PL game for us since the 2-1 win against Brentford.
He had a solid performance alongside Harry Maguire as we finally managed to keep an important clean sheet. Varane may well be back for the game against Leeds United, but if he isn’t, the Swede isn’t a bad player to bank your hopes on.
Despite the win, there are still concerns about how we were not more dominant against the Seagulls in the first half. Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal was well deserved but a 54th-minute red card for Lewis Dunk really made things easy for us.
De Gea kept us in the game around 10 minutes before the halftime break with a stunning save. Had it not been for that save and Dunk’s red card, we could have been in trouble for the third league game in a row.
But as things turned out, we secured a much-needed win. It is perhaps more important to get back to winning ways first and then focus on improving the finer aspects of our game.
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There are a lot of positives to take from this game, but we must continue to raise our standards. The current performance is not enough to mount a top-four finish in the remainder of this season. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are breathing down our necks and given that we have a harrowing fixture list in March ahead of us, things must improve if we want to have a strong finish to the season.