Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed Sergino Dest is having a medical with the club ahead of a potential move from Ajax.

The 19-year-old United States international has been strongly linked with a €25million move to either Barca or Bayern Munich, but it appears the Catalan club have won the race.

Dest, an attack-minded right-back, was spotted arriving in Barcelona on Tuesday, giving rise to increased speculation that the deal was practically closed.

And Koeman, who tried to persuade Dest to represent the Netherlands when he coached the Oranje, confirmed the teenager is having a medical as he plans to take the well-trodden path from Ajax to Camp Nou.

"Dest is doing his medical, we still have to sign [the contracts]," Koeman told reporters in his news conference on Wednesday. "Until he signs I will not comment

"We are going to have a young full-back – it is a matter of changing things and having young players for the future of the club is important.

"It is good because he has played in the Champions League and I am sure that, when all the contracts are signed, he will be very useful for Barca."

One player strongly linked with leaving Barca is Ousmane Dembele, who is reportedly being lined up by Manchester United as an alternative to Jadon Sancho.

The French winger has only been able to show glimpses of his ability since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 due to injuries – in 2019-20 he featured just five times in LaLiga.

While Koeman claimed no knowledge of any potential transfer for Dembele, he insisted that he sees a future for him at Barca.

"Those decisions are made by the club and the player. As we have seen, I am going to count on him," Koeman added.

"He did not play from the start [against Villarreal] because there are more players and Ansu [Fati] has proven to be very good for this team.

"He was better physically the first few weeks, but today he trained well and I'm going to count on him."

Dembele's future could be tied to that of Memphis Depay, who is said to be Barca's primary target in attack, and while Koeman would not specifically name his compatriot when asked about signings, he made no secret of his desire to add options in that department.

"We have to analyse the squad, analyse what we lack," he continued. "We know that financially the club has its problems, like everyone else.

"There are one or two positions where we need to improve, and I'm not going to lie to you, we are working.

"There are options but it is very unsafe. The club is going to work hard. If not, we will use our players because I have no complaints with the ones we have.

"We want to have two or three players per position. We have put Leo [Lionel Messi] as a nine, [Antoine] Griezmann can play there, but they are different players. Martin [Braithwaite] is more than a nine and will have his chances but we want one more."

Ousmane Dembele has been linked with a move to Manchester United before the transfer window closes.

Dembele is seen as an alternative to Jadon Sancho, who remains at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

But Dembele is reportedly against leaving Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE NOT INTERESTED IN UNITED

Ousmane Dembele does not want to leave Barcelona amid interest from Manchester United, claims Sky Deutschland via Inside Futbol.

Dembele has emerged as an option for United, who have failed to prise number one transfer target Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

As Dortmund refuse to lower their demands, United reportedly want Dembele on loan, however the France international is happy at Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

United are also eyeing former Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid's Luka Jovic, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. Desperate to reinforce their squad, United are set to attempt to sign free agent Cavani or Jovic on loan. Jovic has also been linked to Roma, Milan and Inter.

- Fabrizio Romano says Tottenham remain in talks with Inter for Milan Skriniar. Spurs are determined to sign the centre-back, though Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger – also linked to PSG – is an alternative.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is interested in joining Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, reports Sky Germany. The Chelsea winger has previously been linked with Bayern, and he has struggled to cement his position in London.

Lucas Torreira's agent is set for transfer talks with Atletico Madrid as the Arsenal midfielder looks to leave London, reports Romano. It comes as Gunners full-back Sead Kolasinac nears a switch to Bayer Leverkusen.

It's fair to say not many viewers think Manchester United deserved to beat Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend. 

Aside from Bruno Fernandes scoring a penalty after the initial full-time whistle, the Red Devils were largely outplayed and outfought by Brighton, who hit the woodwork a record five times and still contrived to lose 3-2. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka had a more difficult game than most. It was his error that led to Neal Maupay opening the scoring from the penalty spot and he was nowhere to be found when Solly March scored in the 94th minute to make it 2-2. 

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to deflect the blame away from Wan-Bissaka, saying United need to do more collectively to prevent crosses, adding: "Every player in this league has got strengths and weaknesses. We all know Aaron's strengths. One of his strengths is he wants to learn and wants to improve." 

And yet, the criticism of Wan-Bissaka has been building quietly in 2020. Unquestionably a good one-on-one defender, the £50million signing from Crystal Palace has been questioned over what he does when he actually has the ball at his feet, both in his own half and the opposition's. 

But is this criticism justified? As United prepare to face Brighton again in the EFL Cup, we delve into the Opta data to find out.

 

ALL FOR WAN, WAN FOR ALL

Simply put, United have been better at defending since Wan-Bissaka's arrival.

His fee was sizeable for a player with just two seasons of senior football behind him, but United were desperate for a specialised right-back after years of using converted wingers Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young. Wan-Bissaka was an investment for the present and the future.

His impact – and that of Harry Maguire, of course – was immediate. Having conceded 54 goals in the Premier League in 2018-19, United let in just 36 last term, the best record after Liverpool and Manchester City. Their clean sheet tally jumped from seven to 13 and they faced 389 shots compared to 496 the season before.

Wan-Bissaka missed just three league games last season, against Arsenal, Newcastle United and Burnley, and United only won one of those (Burnley away).

 

A WINGER'S NIGHTMARE...

We all know Wan-Bissaka loves a tackle – and he's good at them, too.

Since his United debut, no Premier League defender has attempted (132) or won (83) more tackles than him. His success rate in challenges is a more modest 62.9 per cent, but that's still superior to Kyle Walker (61.3), Ben Chilwell (60.5) and Andy Robertson (58.9) over the same period.

He has won back possession 183 times for United in the league and only been dribbled past 24 times, committing 23 fouls (interestingly, his much-maligned team-mate Victor Lindelof has been dribbled past three times in the same period, the joint-best record in the whole division for a defender).

Similarly, Wan-Bissaka has won 231 duels for the Red Devils, the ninth-best tally among defenders since the start of last season, which gives him an average success rate of 59.5 per cent – not outstanding, but comfortably within the top half of defenders to play at least 20 times since the start of 2019-20.

...BUT A NIGHTMARE WINGER?

Winning the ball back comes easy to Wan-Bissaka, then – but what about using it?

Possessional passing is a problem, for one thing. Since the start of 2019-20, he has averaged an 80.4 per cent completion rate on passes in his own half. Only 14 defenders to play in at least 20 games in that period have a lower number.

Interestingly, his passing accuracy rate jumps to 82 per cent in the opposition half – the ninth highest in the league for defenders – and he is sixth for success rate for passes ending in the final third (78.9 per cent).

Wan-Bissaka is also far better running at players than perception suggests. Since the start of 2019-20, he has completed 54 dribbles – the third highest for a defender – at a success rate of just under 60 per cent.

However, it's how he uses the space he creates for himself that is a cause for concern at times. For a player with such high completed dribble numbers, 14 completed crosses is a poor return. In fact, his success rate of 13.59 per cent is the worst of any defender to complete at least eight crosses since the start of last season.

It follows that he has created only 25 chances in that time, fewer than Matt Targett and Ryan Fredericks, and has just four assists – one more than he managed in 42 league games for Palace, but well behind league leader Alexander-Arnold on 14 since August 2019.

Solskjaer sees in Wan-Bissaka a player who is keen to learn, and he has already improved in his relatively short time at Old Trafford. He is certainly a more rounded full-back than some might think, but there is a long way to go before he reaches an elite all-round level.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane addressed speculation over Luka Jovic's future amid links to Manchester United and clubs in Serie A.

Jovic has struggled for game time since his €60million arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt in June last year, with form, fitness and Zidane's preference to play Karim Benzema up front hindering the Serbia international.

United have emerged as a loan option for Jovic, while Roma, Milan and Inter have also been linked with temporary moves for the 22-year-old.

Asked about Jovic – who was handed a rare start alongside Benzema in the 3-2 win over Real Betis last week – on the eve of Madrid's LaLiga clash against Real Valladolid, Zidane told reporters: "You have to take everything into account.

"Until the fifth [of October], the market is open. We will see.

"The players are fine and that's what interests me."

Jovic endured a turbulent first season with Madrid in 2019-20 following his big-money arrival from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht, managing just two goals in 25 appearances.

The former Red Star Belgrade and Benfica forward was prised from Germany after scoring 27 goals in 2018-19 as Eintracht reached the Europa League semi-final.

Madrid have four points from two games to sit seventh in LaLiga, three points behind leaders Getafe – who have played three matches.

Marco Reus is excited Jadon Sancho will remain at Borussia Dortmund for "at least one more year", with Manchester United seemingly destined to be frustrated in their pursuit of the England forward.

United's interest in taking Sancho to Old Trafford has been no secret, but Dortmund have been steadfast in their refusal to sell him for anything under their reported €120million (£108m) asking price.

Sancho is under contract until 2023 and Reus is delighted at the prospect of another campaign alongisde the former Manchester City youth player at Signal Iduna Park.

"For us it's great. We were all excited that he will stay at least one more year," Dortmund captain Reus told reporters. "Simply because he keeps on delivering goals and assists via which we will collect a lot of points."

Reus does not yet know the extent of Sancho's potential and is unwilling to say whether he has the promise to perform at the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He's a crucial player for us and if he one day will be as big a player as the other two [Ronaldo and Messi] we will see.

"He simply needs time, a lot of experience, and there will be times where everything's not going that well and one will see how he will get through that.

"But I think he has got the necessary confidence and quality to succeed."

Dortmund face Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup on Wednesday, having suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Sancho was extremely influential as Dortmund finished second in the Bundesliga last season.

His 17 league goals trailed only Robert Lewandowski (34) and Timo Werner (28). Thomas Muller (21) was the lone player to have more assists than Sancho's 16 in the Bundesliga in 2019-20.

Manchester United youngsters can smell their opportunity to make a first-team breakthrough with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager, says defender Luke Shaw.

Shaw is hoping to see some of United's younger talent thrive when the club travel to play Brighton and Hove Albion in the EFL Cup fourth round on Wednesday.

It will be United's second match against Brighton in the space of five days after they somehow escaped with a 3-2 Premier League win in an incredible first meeting on Saturday.

Discussing the likelihood of changes to the team for the EFL Cup, Shaw told MUTV: "I think that is something those younger players need to smell and know with this manager that they are going to get a chance.

"They are always working hard, always pushing themselves and they know they will get a chance if they keep working.

"Hopefully we can see some more youngsters on Wednesday and they can show what they can do.

"Of course, it is a competition we want to win, but it gives the manager that opportunity to give chances to other players that are on the bench and on the fringe, who are training very hard to get chances.

"Games like this are perfect for them. It is good that we have got a very strong squad with players who are ready to play and are ready to take their chance.

"I am sure the players are looking forward to that on Wednesday.

"Matches are coming thick and fast. They are competitions that we want to be strong in, we want to be winning and be challenging in, but it is also a chance for players to get game time and sharpness."

Brighton hit the woodwork five times in the league meeting and netted a 95th-minute equaliser, only for Bruno Fernandes to score a match-winning penalty in the 10th minute of added time.

That came after a VAR review for handball went in United's favour despite the final whistle being blown between the incident and the check.

"Ups and downs really," reflected Shaw. "It was a game that was very important points-wise, although obviously we as players and the manager know we can perform much better.

"Brighton are a really good team, they played really good football and had a lot of chances."

Borussia Dortmund are reportedly maintaining a firm stance over Jadon Sancho, while Barcelona still want Memphis Depay.

The Sancho transfer saga continues to dominate talk as Manchester United chase the Dortmund star.

But the Bundesliga club are seemingly unmoved.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND ADAMANT SANCHO WILL STAY

Dortmund are adamant Sancho will not be sold this transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

United have continued to be linked with the England international, who scored 17 goals and provided 16 assists in 32 Bundesliga games last season.

However, Dortmund's asking price of £108million (€120m) has reportedly proven to be a stumbling block.

 

ROUND-UP

- Late in the transfer window, there may still be movement at Barcelona. Sport reports Ronald Koeman still wants Lyon star Depay. It also says Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is close to signing, while Porto are trying to loan midfielder Riqui Puig. Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo says Barca will make a new offer for Eric Garcia after Manchester City signed Benfica defender Ruben Dias.

- Amid uncertainty over Luka Jovic's future at Real Madrid, AS reports LaLiga's champions want the forward to make a loan move. Jovic struggled in his first season at Madrid in 2019-20.

- There could be more movement at Chelsea. Fabrizio Romano says the Premier League club are still looking at West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as their main target, but will first try to sell players.

- Antonio Rudiger could be among the exits at Chelsea. Sky Sports reports Tottenham are interested in signing the defender.

- Talk about Rhian Brewster's Liverpool future continues. The Sun says Sheffield United are offering £17m for the forward and are prepared to agree to a buy-back clause of around £40m. The Blades have failed to score in their first three Premier League games and are second bottom.

- Lyon are reportedly chasing Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 club offered to take the 23-year-old on a one-year loan with an €18m purchase option, a deal which was rejected. However, it reports Lyon will return with an improved offer.

Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi hailed Andreas Pereira as a "quality" player as the Manchester United midfielder nears a move to Serie A.

Reports in Italy have suggested Lazio will look to sign Pereira on loan with an option to buy, having missed out on the chance to bring in David Silva.

Pereira, who has been at United since the age of 15, has fallen down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the arrival of Donny van de Beek is likely to limit his first-team chances further.

It looks likely Pereira will undergo a medical in the coming days ahead of a move to the Stadio Olimpico, and Inzaghi seems excited by the prospect of his arrival.

"I know him, he's a quality player who could help us a lot," Inzaghi said on Monday, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

"Right now, I don't want to talk about players who are not ours. We're fortunate to have [sporting director Igli] Tare, who knows how to do things. We'll see if he gets it done or not."

Pereira made 40 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring two goals, but he struggled to make a consistent impact under Solskjaer.

The 24-year-old has started only four Premier League games in 2020 and just one of those, a 4-0 defeat of Norwich City in January, ended in a victory for United.

RB Leipzig have splashed out a reported €19million on Dinamo Zagreb defender Josko Gvardiol, perhaps preparing them for life without Dayot Upamecano.

Gvardiol, 18, was heavily linked with Leeds United and Lille but has signed a five-year contract with Leipzig, who he will not join up with until July 2021.

The Croatia Under-21 international has been touted as a replacement for reported Manchester United target Upamecano.

However, with Gvardiol remaining at Dinamo for the rest of 2020-21, it remains to be seen if Leipzig will part with Upamecano before the transfer window shuts on October 5.

"I am very happy to be able to take the step to RB Leipzig," Gvardiol said in a statement. "It is one of the top clubs in the Bundesliga and has a clear style of play.

"It was important for me to join a club that could enable me to take the next steps as a professional footballer and as a young player. That is exactly what RB Leipzig embodies.

"The club has proven time and again how well you can develop and improve here. I'm very grateful to Dinamo Zagreb for making this jump possible.

"Until my move to Leipzig, I will do everything I can to achieve the utmost success with Dinamo."

Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche said: "With Joski Gvardiol we were able to sign of the greatest European defensive talents. As a left-footer, we will have even more variety with him in the squad.

"At the age of 18 he is of course still a young player, but his overall development – both physically and personally – is already very mature.

"Josko will be able to gain more experience and match practice in professional football in Zagreb over the next few months before he joins in 2021.

"We will then continuously build up and further develop Josko according to our philosophy."

Gvardiol, a former team-mate of Leipzig midfielder Dani Olmo at Dinamo, earned his senior debut in October 2019 and has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the Croatian champions.

Will he or won't he?

That's the question regarding Jadon Sancho and a possible move to Manchester United.

United, however, are reportedly bullish about their chances of prising the England international from Borussia Dortmund.

 

TOP STORY – SOLSKJAER CONFIDENT IN SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho he expects the blockbuster transfer to be completed, according to Dagbladet.

United have so far been unable to prise Sancho from Dortmund, who refuse to budge on their £108million (€120m) asking price, with the transfer window set to close on October 5.

However, Solskjaer appears confident of landing his number one target.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona could announce the signing of Ajax full-back Sergino Dest on Tuesday, reports Fabrizio Romano. Bayern Munich are also trying to prise the United States international from Amsterdam.

- The Telegraph says Tottenham are eyeing Bournemouth forward Josh King, who was previously linked to United.

United are closing in on Porto full-back Alex Telles. Romano claims personal terms have been agreed, with final details and agents commission remaining as United and Porto negotiate a fee.

- The Guardian reports Tottenham have not given up on signing Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar. Inter are holding out for £55m (€60m) but Spurs are only prepared to pay between €30m-€35m. Napoli's Nikola Maksimovic could reportedly replace Skriniar in Milan.

- According to L'Equipe, Leeds United are nearing a deal to sign Bayern midfielder Michael Cuisance. Leeds have been unable to meet Udinese's demands for star Rodrigo De Paul.

Marcelo Brozovic has realised Inter want to sell him as the Croatia international eyes an exit, reports Calciomercato. It comes as Inter chase Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has since been linked to United.

- Romano says Milan are confident of completing a deal for Bodo/Glimt star Jens Petter Hauge, who impressed during the Europa League qualifier at San Siro.

Ruben Dias is on the verge of leaving Benfica.

The Portugal international is wanted by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

Could he help City dethrone Premier League champions Liverpool?

 

TOP STORY – DIAS SET FOR CITY

Benfica defender Ruben Dias will join Manchester City, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Pep Guardiola has been eyeing defensive reinforcements following Nathan Ake's arrival from Bournemouth, and now Dias is set to swap Benfica for City.

As part of the deal, veteran centre-back Nicolas Otamendi will move in the opposite direction.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Barcelona rejected a €150million offer for teenage sensation Ansu Fati from an unnamed club. Manchester United have been linked previously.

Sergino Dest will travel to Camp Nou to complete his move to Barca, reports RAC1. The Ajax full-back is also wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Milan and Roma are both interested in signing Norwich City right-back Max Aarons, says Sky Sports. The Englishman has previously been linked to Barca and Bayern.

- According to Sportitalia, West Ham are in talks with Serie A holders Juventus for defender Daniele Rugani.

- Lyon want €50million (£46m) for in-demand star Houssem Aouar amid interest from Arsenal, claims RMC Sport. Paris Saint-Germain, City and Chelsea have also been linked.

It was another day of drama as Chelsea became the first team for nine years to avoid a Premier League defeat after being three goals down at half-time and Manchester United rocked Brighton and Hove Albion.

West Brom led Frank Lampard's side 3-0 after only 27 minutes, but Tammy Abraham's stoppage-time goal rescued a 3-3 draw at The Hawthorns.

A Bruno Fernandes penalty 10 minutes into stoppage time snatched a 3-2 victory for United at Brighton following a VAR check, which took place after the final whistle had blown, for handball against Neal Maupay.

Everton have made their best start to a season for 27 years after a controversial 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, while Southampton striker Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game at his former club Burnley.

With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on a pulsating Saturday.

 

Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Manchester United: Fernandes stuns luckless Seagulls

To say it was one of those days for Brighton would be a massive understatement, with Fernandes snatching all three points from the penalty spot right at the death.

The midfielder, who has now been involved in 17 goals in 16 Premier League games (9 goals, 8 assists), slotted in the latest goal in the top flight since Juan Mata's strike for Chelsea against Norwich City after 100 minutes and three seconds nine years ago.

Brighton hit the woodwork five times, more than any team since Opta started recording the data in 2003-04, and were left to rule their luck after it seemed Solly March had secured a draw five minutes into time added on.

Leandro Trossard was particularly unfortunate, becoming the first player to hit the woodwork in a Premier League match three times since Cristiano Ronaldo versus Newcastle United in 2006.

Lewis Dunk will also want to forget the five-goal thriller in a hurry, having scored his fifth own goal in the competition - two more than any other player since his Premier League debut in August 2017.

 

Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton: Richarlison keeps Toffees perfect

Everton have won their first three games of a Premier League season for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign but they were fortunate to beat Palace.

All the goals came in the first half at Selhurst Park, the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin putting Carlo Ancelotti's side in front to become the first player to score in each of Everton's opening three games of a season since Steven Naismith six years ago.

Cheikhou Kouyate brought Palace level but Richarlison won it with a penalty after a hugely contentious decision saw Joel Ward adjudged to have handled.

Brazil striker Richarlison has scored 31 of his 32 Premier League goals from inside the penalty area and the winner was his first from the spot in the competition. One concern for Everton is that they have shipped more goals (18) from set-pieces than any other side since the start of last season.

 

West Brom 3-3 Chelsea: Abraham completes comeback after Blues' defensive horror show

Chelsea looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats when a Callum Robinson double and Kyle Bartley put Albion three up.

Marcos Alonso and Premier League debutant Thiago Silva gave the Baggies a big helping hand with errors that took Chelsea's number of mistakes directly leading to goals this season to three, as many as they made in the entire 2019-20 campaign.

The Blues have only kept one clean sheet in 21 Premier League away games under Frank Lampard, while they have conceded more goals (42) on their travels than any other side since the start of last season.

They were able to salvage a point, though, courtesy of second-half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Abraham.

Slaven Bilic's side are the first team to ship 11 goals in the opening three games in the top flight since Arsenal in 1963-64 (12).

 

Burnley 0-1 Southampton: Ings returns to haunt toothless Clarets

Prolific striker Ings was on target early on to give Southampton their first Premier League points of the season.

It was Saints' first win at Turf Moor in the league since back in 1971, ending a six-match winless run.

Burnley fans will not want to know that the last time they lost their opening two matches of a Premier League season was in a 2014-15 campaign that saw them relegated.

The 400th match of Sean Dyche's managerial career proved to be one to forget, with Ings netting his 10th goal in 12 Premier League appearances since the resumption in June following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba is still not fully fit but backed the Manchester United midfielder to "get better and better" after the dramatic 3-2 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Pogba did not have a full pre-season with United after testing positive for coronavirus last month.

The France midfielder was ineffective as the Red Devils slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace in their first game of the Premier League season last weekend.

Pogba was taken off midway through the second half of that surprise loss at Old Trafford and was also withdrawn after 65 minutes of a thriller against Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

United boss Solskjaer defended the former Juventus man, after Bruno Fernandes snatched all three points with a penalty 10 minutes into time added on following a VAR check that took place after the final whistle had blown.

Solskjaer said of Pogba: "He missed a lot of pre-season because of his illness. He's not had internationals or the friendly against Villa.

"The two 65 minutes he's had will help him along and he'll just get better and better."

Brighton hit the woodwork five times and had a penalty decision overturned but looked to have earned a point through Solly March before the late twist.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted a lack of sharpness was the reason behind Manchester United conceding goals as he ruled out adding a centre-back in the transfer window.

United secured a 3-2 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday thanks to a last-gasp penalty from Bruno Fernandes, who converted from the spot in the 10th minute of additional time.

However, having conceded three times when losing their Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace, defensive deficiencies were again a topic of conversation after the final whistle on the south coast.

Neal Maupay and Solly March both scored for Brighton, the latter in the 95th minute to make it 2-2, while the home side were denied five times by the woodwork as they had 18 attempts at goal.

Leandro Trossard was particularly unlucky, becoming the first player to hit the woodwork on three occasions in a Premier League match since Cristiano Ronaldo in October 2006, as Solskjaer retained faith in Victor Lindelof despite his difficult outing against Palace.

"We've got many defenders here and I put Eric (Bailly) on to bolster the defence, following the runs of Trossard and Maupay," Solskjaer said in his media conference.

"For me, we've got enough good centre-backs here at the moment.

"When you concede chances and concede goals, there are two different things you can look at - it's either the team shape, or are there any individual mistakes.

"We're not in our best shape of form, our shape isn't there, we're not sharp enough to stop crosses or follow the runs.

"We're a little bit behind, that's more structural mistakes than individual mistakes. I thought Victor did well today."

United have been linked with a new defender, media reports suggesting they are interested in Porto left-back Alex Telles.

Solskjaer promised the players he currently has in his squad will improve as they play more matches after a shortened pre-season. They play Brighton again on Wednesday, this time in the EFL Cup. 

"We've got to be honest enough to say they created the most chances. Maybe 50-50 possession but they had loads of shots, big chances and that's not what we want. We need to improve a lot in the weeks coming forward," the Norwegian boss said.

"The spirit and character of the boys I don't question at all, the spirit is there. The sharpness and fitness might not be, but it is going to come.

"We've got three or four weeks to catch up and the more games we play, the more 90 minutes we get, we'll be sharper and sharper."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United "got away with one" after stealing a last-gasp 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in an instant Premier League classic.

Bruno Fernandes' stoppage-time penalty, awarded after the final whistle had initially been blown, was the last twist in an astonishing match at the Amex Stadium, where the hosts struck the woodwork five times.

Brighton had levelled with an injury-time goal of their own from Solly March to seemingly earn a richly deserved share of the spoils, but Neal Maupay – who had earlier netted a Panenka spot-kick – was penalised for a handball in the box and Fernandes sealed the points in dramatic fashion.

"We got away with one to be fair," United boss Solskjaer told BT Sport after a game in which Lewis Dunk scored an own goal and Marcus Rashford netted a superb solo strike.

"When they equalised you thought that's two points lost, or maybe one point was what we deserved.

"I don't think we deserved more, but the character they showed deserved more. The reaction to the first goal, we started playing, the reaction to the second goal as well, we went straight up the other end and created a corner. 

"That's a big thing for us compared to last season. We had too many draws; we were the team that had the least defeats, apart from Liverpool, but we had too many draws, so that's a big plus for us."

Solskjaer gave credit to Graham Potter's side, who will wonder how they emerged empty-handed from a contest in which they were the better side.

"They created too much for my liking, but they are a difficult team to play against," he said.

"We tried to press but they've got really good ball players at the back who played really well.

"We don't have the legs and sharpness still, but we will get there."

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