Man Utd 2-0 Brighton: Player ratings as Ronaldo scores 1st goal of 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo's first goal of 2022 and a Bruno Fernandes strike were enough for Man Utd to earn a crucial win over 10-man Brighton at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

The first goal came at the start of the second half, when CR7 rifled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box, before Fernandes scored in the last minute to seal all three points. Sandwiched in-between those goals was a Lewis Dunk straight red card.

It was a fun opening to the game, full of mistakes, chances, and high pressing...from Brighton obviously.

A Man Utd mistake almost proved costly inside five minutes, as a misplaced Fred pass led to Jakub Moder finding himself through on goal on the right hand side of the penalty area. The attacking midfielder couldn't find a way past David de Gea with his resulting effort on goal however.

Moments later, a Brighton mistake at the other end gifted the Red Devils an opening. A poor touch from Adam Webster allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to steal in and backheel the ball through to Jadon Sancho. Like Moder, Sancho couldn't find a way past the keeper with his subsequent strike.

The latter mistake was the only real only opportunity Man Utd had to look like a remotely competent football team in the opening half. For the most part, Brighton were able to pen the home side back into their own defensive third with relative ease - largely due to Fred and Scott McTominay's inability to pass the ball three yards.

This dominance was almost rewarded in the 38th minute, when Moder rose highest in the penalty area to connect with a cross from Joel Veltman. De Gea was on hand to leap across his goal, however, and palm the German's thunderous header wide of the post.

All Brighton's good work in the first 45 was quickly erased at the start of the second when United bagged the opening goal in the 50th minute.

Yves Bissouma was caught in possession, before Ronaldo moved the ball past Webster quickly on the edge of the box and fired into the top corner - netting his first goal in nine games.

Three minutes later, the Seagulls' self-implosion continued - Dunk being sent off for pulling Anthony Elanga to the ground after being dispossessed by the youngster on the edge of his own box.

It was, as expected, all Man Utd thereafter. Robert Sanchez denied Ronaldo a second goal with a brilliant save from a patent CR7 header on the hour mark, and the keeper again was called into action (by himself - he literally gave the ball to Ronaldo) again when Ronaldo squared to Fernandes, who saw his effort on goal saved by the Spaniard.

With a quarter of an hour remaining Ronaldo spurned another chance to double his side's lead, heading wide from four yards out.

The Red Devils were almost made to pay for missing all those chances before the end of the game. First when Moder cannoned a 25-yard effort off the crossbar, and in the 90th minute when substitute Danny Welbeck headed well wide from eight-yards from goal.

Man Utd finally put the game to bed in the last second of the game, with Bruno Fernandes firing finishing off a quick counter attack to make it 2-0.

Man Utd player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

De Gea was on form again | Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

David de Gea (GK) - 6/10 - Kept Man Utd in the game with two saves in the first half.

Diogo Dalot (RB) - 5/10 - Deserves his place in the side.

Victor Lindelof (CB) - 5/10 - The better of Man Utd's defensive pair. Should really start alongside Raphael Varane in future.

Harry Maguire (CB) - 4/10 - Passing was very wayward in the first half.

Luke Shaw (LB) - 4/10 - Honestly didn't even know he was on the pitch in the first half. A bit more active in the second.

2. Midfielders

Fred was very bad | Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Scott McTominay (CM) - 3/10 - Just did not do enough. He was horrific in possession.

Fred (CM) - 1/10 - His performance in a word? Hopeless. Just hopeless.

Bruno Fernandes (AM) - 7/10 - Came to life a bit in the second half after a rather poor first. Put a few great balls into the box and scored a lovely goal in the last second.

3. Forwards

Ronaldo finally scored | James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Anthony Elanga (RW) - 7/10 - Played without fear and tried to take players on at every opportunity. Got Dunk sent off after some great pressing.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - 8/10 - Scored a great goal but missed a few big chances too. Better than his recent performances, however still a lot of room for improvement.

Jadon Sancho (LW) - 7/10 - Spurned a decent chance in the opening 10 minutes, but was very good at times. Finally looks right at home at Man Utd.

4. Substitutes

Paul Pogba - 6/10.

Alex Telles - N/A.

Marcus Rashford - N/A.

Brighton player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Dunk was sent off | Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Robert Sanchez (GK) - 6/10 - Made some good saves in the second half when Brighton were down to 10 men.

Joel Veltman (RB) - 5/10 - Got forward well until Brighton went a man down. He couldn't after that.

Lewis Dunk (CB) - 0/10 - Shambolic red card.

Adam Webster (CB) - 2/10 - Clumsy in possession throughout. Shane Duffy is much, much better than Webster.

Marc Cucurella (LB) - 5/10 - Basically omnipresent in the first half. Basically non-existent in the second.

6. Midfielders

Not the greatest Bissouma performance | Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Yves Bissouma (DM) - 3/10 - Solid in the first half, then lost possession in the lead up to Man Utd's opener.

Pascal Groß (CM) - 4/10 - Ok for 45, not so ok for the other 45.

Alexis Mac Allister (CM) - 4/10 - Needs to play higher up the park. Looked a bit lost deeper in midfield.

Jakub Moder (AM) - 6/10 - Had Brighton's two best chances in the first half, but De Gea was equal to them. Hit the crossbar with a ridiculous effort in the second.

7. Forwards

Maupay tried...which is something | Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Neal Maupay (ST) - 4/10 - Worked hard but really doesn't have the quality to be a top half Premier League team's main striker.

Leandro Trossard (ST) - 3/10 - A quiet game for the Belgian.

8. Substitutes

Tariq Lamptey - 5/10.

Steven Alzate - 4/10.

Danny Welbeck - 2/10 - Came on and missed a great chance.

Source : 90min