Manchester United gave their top four ambitions a huge shot in the arm with a 2-0 win at home to Brighton, even though Ralf Rangnick’s side remained largely unconvincing.
Cristiano Ronaldo blasted home the game’s opening goal at the start of the second half, with United then aided by a red card for Brighton defender Lewis Dunk following a VAR review.
Prior to that, the hosts had been indebted to a wonderful save from David de Gea to keep out Jakub Moder as Brighton had dominated much of the first period, with Yves Bissouma also going close to provide what would have been a deserved lead.
But in injury time Bruno Fernandes wrapped up the win for the hosts following a fast break away as United moved back up to fourth spot in the table, above West Ham.
The match wasn’t televised live in the UK, and so if you missed some of these key moments then read on to find out what happened.
De Gea comes to United’s rescue again
There can be little doubt that United’s season would be a lot worse if it wasn’t for the heroics of De Gea.
The Spaniard’s form had certainly dropped in recent years, and at times last season was nothing short of a nightmare for him, but with those in front of him often letting themselves down this season, Dea Gea has stood up.
He did so again shortly before half-time with a superb save from a Moder header which seemed destined to find the back of the net.
De Gea impressively sprang to his right and turned the ball away, just as Modern must have thought he’d given Brighton what would have been a deserved lead.
United fans bring their own boos
Some United supporters could be heard jeering when their side trudged off after being held to a draw at home to Southampton on Saturday, and the boos were back again at half-time here.
Brighton were dominating on almost every attacking statistic at the break, including their eight shots to United’s three, and many supporters made their voices heard as the players trudged off the pitch at half-time.
Boos could often be heard in the troubled latter days of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reign, but they have become a new and unwelcome part of Rangnick’s United tenure.
It certainly wasn’t a commanding section of the fans who booed, but there were enough.
Ronaldo ditches the trademark celebration
Having failed to score in his six outings before this one, perhaps Ronaldo forgot how his usually celebrates his goals.
The trademark run, jump and spin is something that we’ve got all too used to seeing by now, with the – slightly annoying – “siu” shout involved too, but here Ronaldo just looked relieved as he sprinted towards the fans and punched the air.
His fine run and blast into the back of the net was the moment that United needed to break open a game which had threatened to get away from them, with Dunk’s red card then making it all easier for them to hang onto the result.
Ah yes, the red card.
Referee Peter Bankes opted to dismiss Dunk after consulting VAR, with the centre-back having initially been given a yellow card card for hauling down Anthony Elanga.
Adam Webster did appear to be on the cover, but Bankes clearly felt that Elanga was racing away and into the penalty area.
Harsh? Almost certainly, and Brighton have every right to feel hard done by.