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Man United’s Andreas Pereira silences doubters vs Brighton

When Sunday’s starting XI was announced, one name drew copious ire from the Manchester United faithful – Andreas Pereira.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown an elevated loyalty to the Belgium-born Brazil international this season; despite entering the weekend with just a solitary assist to his name, the 23-year-old midfielder had featured in all but one of United’s 11 Premier League games by that point, more significantly starting 10 of them.

Perhaps understandably then, some supporters questioned why he was being selected ahead of Juan Mata, a well-established No.10 with 41 Spain caps and 110 Premier League goal involvements on his CV, with one fan even describing Solskjaer’s selection decision as a ‘sucker punch’.

Others, meanwhile, simply fumed at the fact Pereira had been selected for the top flight clash against Brighton as United looked to bounce back from defeat away at Bournemouth. One fan declared that he ‘brings absolutely nothing to the team’.

But it was the 5 foot 10 creator who ended up having the last laugh, silencing his critics by opening the scoring for United. He peeled into space on the edge of the box and applied a finish to Anthony Martial’s delivery that hit an incoming Brighton defender before ballooning past a helpless Mat Ryan into the back of the net.

Perhaps there was a slice of fortune about Pereira’s first goal of the season but it proved to be just one aspect of a productive and busy performance. The one-time PSV youngster created the second-most chances of any United player after Martial with three, completed one dribble and landed the joint-most shots on target of any United player alongside Marcus Rashford – three again.

Whether this proves to be something of a turning point for Pereira remains to be seen – an advanced midfielder for a club of United’s quality should have more than just two goal involvements to his name at this point in the Premier League campaign.

Should Pereira be starting?

Yes

Yes

No

No

But Pereira certainly hushed the starting XI critics on Sunday, vindicating Solskjaer’s decision to give him the nod over the seemingly more popular Mata.

Article title: Man United’s Andreas Pereira silences doubters vs Brighton

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