Joe Cole took aim at Aaron Wan-Bissaka after Manchester United scraped past Brighton in a dramatic 3-2 victory, claiming the defender failed to pick up on the many ‘warnings’ he was given prior to Solly March’s late goal at Amex Stadium.
The Premier League encounter was action-packed from start to finish and March’s stoppage time effort looked to have sealed a point for Brighton after an impressive all-round performance, in which they struck the woodwork five times.
However, Bruno Fernandes kept his cool to convert from the spot five minutes later – after Neal Maupay’s handball in the area – to secure a dramatic victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, their first of the season after a shock defeat to to Crystal Palace last weekend.
Maupay had earlier broken the deadlock with a spot-kick before Lewis Dunk’s own goal and an exquisite solo strike from Marcus Rashford put United back in control of the match.
Wan-Bissaka produced a shaky performance across the 90 minutes on the south coast and will have breathed a sigh of relief as Fernandes’ penalty struck the back of the net in the 10th minute of stoppage time.
United’s right-back switched off and allowed March to ghost in at the back post, leaving the Brighton man with the simplest of jobs to squeeze the ball past David de Gea – and it wasn’t the first time he had threatened United’s goal.
‘Solly March found himself in this position on numerous occasions,’ former Chelsea and England star Cole said on BT Sport.
‘I’m here and I was screaming at Wan-Bissaka: “Look over your shoulder, look over your shoulder!” He had a warning.
‘He’s not done anything, Solly March, it’s a lovely ball into the position, he’s ghosted in and he’s finished it. He could have got three or four from there.
‘One of the things we picked up 20 minutes before that happened was Wan Bissaka’s body shape in that situation… he got caught three or four times.
‘You don’t get the chance at this level to be given a warning that many times.
‘They deserved at least a point out of this game, Brighton, and you do feel for them.’
‘I don’t think we learned anything new about Manchester United today,’ the ex-United defender said.
‘They were fantastic going forward at times, world-class players at the top end of the pitch who are difference-makers in games and get them out of sticky situations like they did last season, but they’re far too easy to play through.
‘There’s no press from the front boys, they sliced through the midfield at times and get opportunities – I’ve got 14 or 15 opportunities on goal in this game.
‘That’s just crazy.’