Belfast Telegraph

Points are more important than performance for Manchester United, insists defender after narrow Brighton victory

Manchester United 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

By Simon Peach

Manchester United's win against Brighton was not pretty but Victor Lindelof believes it was an important show of strength at the start of a crunch week.

Jose Mourinho's second-placed side began the weekend eight points behind runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, so needed to keep pace when promoted Albion arrived at Old Trafford.

Chris Hughton's Seagulls threatened to cause an upset on their first visit to United since 1993, but the hosts secured a narrow 1-0 win after Ashley Young's strike went in off Lewis Dunk.

United were far from their best but Lindelof knows eking out victory was important ahead of the upcoming trips to Watford and Arsenal.

"It was a tough game," the Sweden international said.

"We got the three points and that is the most important thing. We didn't play our best game ­today but we got the win and that shows strength. We tried to do our best out there, we tried to play our game but it didn't work out so good today.

"But we still got the win and that is the most important thing."

Lindelof has struggled since his big-money summer move from Benfica, but the defender was one of few United players to impress on Saturday. The 23-year-old was named man of the match and his crunching second-half tackle on Anthony Knockaert brought the biggest cheer before the goal.

"I think it was a good challenge," Lindelof said, smiling.

"It was a 50-50 ball and I just thought 'I have to win this ball' and I did."

Mourinho, meanwhile, admitted his side were far from their best. "Our creation was poor," he said.

"The three players who played with (Romelu) Lukaku, they didn't get the ball, they were not successful in the one against one. Marcus (Rashford) did not have a happy match at all."

Promoted Brighton can justifiably feel hard done by given their impressive display. It brought Albion's five-match unbeaten run to an end but Glenn Murray is keeping positive ahead of Tuesday's derby clash against his former club Crystal Palace.

"I can't really remember one moment in the game where we were carved open and to only concede from a deflected shot is something to take a lot of positives from," the striker said.

"We're getting better all the time and when we had the ball, we did well with it."

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