Match ends, Manchester United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.
Manchester United 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Manager Jose Mourinho said Brighton provided his Manchester United side with "probably the hardest match we've had this season" after a narrow win for the hosts at Old Trafford.
An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal was enough to earn United an 11th straight home win and cut Manchester City's lead at the top to five points ahead of their game at Huddersfield on Sunday.
Brighton had been the better team up until Ashley Young's attempt from the edge of the area hit Dunk and looped over keeper Mat Ryan into the net.
Earlier, Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross both went close after getting behind the United defence.
'Brighton deserve more than the result they got'
"Honestly, I think Brighton were very good," said Mourinho.
"I want to be honest and give them what they deserve, for me probably they deserve more than the result they got.
"They played really well, they had a good defensive organisation and then when they had the ball they were dangerous.
"They gave us probably the hardest match we've had this season."
Ryan produced a double save to keep out Romelu Lukaku's header and Paul Pogba's follow-up on the stroke of half-time.
Yet Brighton, who remain ninth in the table, were more than a match for United.
"In a tight affair we were good value and I'm really disappointed not to come away with anything," said Seagulls boss Chris Hughton.
"We looked to get into that final third as often as we could. I thought we were very brave on the ball."
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Slice of fortune seals it for United
Mourinho offered Hughton a hug at the final whistle - the Red Devils boss clearly relieved to have won a match despite a far from vintage display.
It required a huge slice of luck to finally breach the Seagulls defence in a scrappy game as Dunk, who also scored an own goal against Manchester City in August, become the first player in Premier League history to score past his own keeper against both Manchester clubs in the same season.
Young, who has not scored since May 2016, celebrated wildly. The dubious goals panel could yet rule in the former Aston Villa's player's favour.
United are now unbeaten at Old Trafford in 39 league and cup games - their last home defeat coming against Manchester City on 10 September 2016.
City are the next Premier League visitors to Old Trafford on 10 December and Mourinho knows his side will have to produce a better performance than this to beat their title rivals.
Lukaku looked flat throughout and now has one goal in his past 10 games while Paul Pogba was unable to have as much influence as he enjoyed the previous week against Newcastle.
This will go down as an ugly win but Mourinho and his players will not care if they are top of the table next May.
Positives for Hughton in defeat
Brighton failed to win any of their first three league games during a tough introduction to Premier League life.
Yet they showed on their first league visit to Old Trafford since 1983 that they have adapted to this level.
Having lost 2-0 earlier in the season to both Manchester City and Arsenal, the Seagulls will treat this latest defeat against one of the big Premier League heavyweights as another lesson in their first season at this level for 34 years.
They were well organised, hard working and deserved something from the game.
Gross was a constant menace while Bruno caused problems with his pace.
Even when United did get behind Brighton's defence, they found Ryan in fine form - his double save at the end of the first half added to the home team's frustration.
"We've played three of the big six and we play Liverpool next Saturday," added Hughton. "We haven't been humiliated in any of them. That will go some way with confidence in the changing room."
Man of the match - Pascal Gross (Brighton)
Clean sheet kings - the stats
- United have conceded just six goals this season, their lowest total after the first 13 league games of the season since 2007-08.
- Jose Mourinho's side have recorded a clean sheet in 26 of their 51 Premier League matches since the start of 2016-17 - more than any other side.
- Anthony Martial has scored just one goal in his five Premier League starts this season, compared to netting four goals and making two assists in seven sub apps.
A midweek trip to Watford is next up for Manchester United. They face the Hornets at Vicarage Road in the league on Tuesday (20:00 GMT), the same night as Brighton host Crystal Palace (19:45 GMT).
- 1de Gea
- 25A Valencia
- 8MataSubstituted forIbrahimovicat 62'minutes
- 19RashfordSubstituted forFellainiat 80'minutes
- 11MartialSubstituted forMkhitaryanat 71'minutes
- 9R Lukaku
- 22DuffyBooked at 87mins
- 13GroßSubstituted forBrownat 88'minutes
- 20MarchSubstituted forIzquierdoat 75'minutes
- 17MurrayBooked at 59minsSubstituted forHemedat 74'minutes
- Neil Swarbrick
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.
Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt missed. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Paul Pogba.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Isaiah Brown replaces Pascal Groß.
Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Pascal Groß with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Nemanja Matic (Manchester United).
Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt blocked. Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dale Stephens.
Attempt missed. Chris Smalling (Manchester United) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Shane Duffy.
Attempt blocked. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Pogba.
Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Marcus Rashford.
Attempt blocked. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Attempt blocked. Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Pascal Groß.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. José Izquierdo replaces Solly March.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Tomer Hemed replaces Glenn Murray.
Attempt blocked. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Glenn Murray.
Substitution, Manchester United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaces Anthony Martial.
Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.
Own Goal by Lewis Dunk, Brighton and Hove Albion. Manchester United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.
Attempt missed. Ashley Young (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Solly March.
Foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United).
Gaëtan Bong (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Shane Duffy.
Substitution, Manchester United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Juan Mata.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Davy Pröpper (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Dale Stephens tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.
Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.
Foul by Anthony Martial (Manchester United).
Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.