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Four things we learned from Manchester United 2-0 Brighton

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Manchester United beat Brighton 2-0 at Old Trafford in what was a crucial three points for Ralf Rangnick’s side.

Here are five things we learned from the Premier League clash at the Theatre of Dreams…

David de Gea comes up trumps once again

Jakub Moder’s wait for his first Premier League goal goes on, but he would have been forgiven for thinking he had opened his account with a goal against the Reds.

If it wasn’t for de Gea, the Polish midfielder could have had two goals to his name.

The Spanish international’s first save after five minutes was impressive, but his second one was simply world class.

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Moder’s header looked destined to find the back of the net, but United’s in-form number one somehow managed to tip the effort round the post.

And when Moder did have de Gea beaten his second half effort came crashing off the bar.

Ronaldo’s goal drought is over

The 37-year-old was visibly annoyed with Jadon Sancho when the England international didn’t play the ball back to him in the opening minutes.

But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was never going to allow his goalscoring drought to extend to seven matches.

After picking up the ball from Scott McTominay, Ronaldo clinically smashed the ball past Robert Sanchez into the bottom corner.

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Instead of the iconic ‘Siuu’ celebration, United’s number seven threw out a knee slide and breathed a sigh of relief that his worst barren spell in front of goal since 2009 was over.

The Portuguese international took his tally for the season up to 15.

United back up to fourth

After three straight 1-1 draws, United produced an abject first half against the Seagulls which only brought one shot on target.

But after Ronaldo’s moment of brilliance was quickly followed by a Lewis Dunk red card, Old Trafford seemingly breathed a huge sigh of relief.

The win against Graham Potter’s side moved us back above West Ham and into fourth place, in the quest for Champions League qualification.

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Potter’s suffering against United continues

Graham Potter came into the clash at the Theatre of Dreams hoping to improve on his miserable record against Manchester United.

In the five previous meetings against the Red Devils, prior to tonight’s clash, the former Swansea man had lost all five encounters.

In his pre-match press conference, Potter said he was looking forward to pitting his wits against Ronaldo, who he described “out of this world”.

So often the man to come up with the goods in the clutch moments, Ronaldo once again proved to the matchwinner.

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Man United enter ‘final negotiation’ to sign £64,000-week-star

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Manchester United are in final negotiations with Barcelona to sign USA defender Sergino Dest, according to Spanish publication Sport.

The Red Devils are keen on bolstering multiple positions before the transfer deadline, and a new right-back is said to be among priorities.

Earlier this month, it was claimed that United are prepared to accelerate Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s exit in order to secure the services of Dest.

It is now reported that United are in the final phase of negotiations with the Blaugrana for Dest, who started his playing career at Ajax.

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There has been talk over a loan deal with an obligation to buy, but the Catalan giants are quite clear that they want €20 million (£17m) to offload him.

Dest was initially reluctant to leave Barcelona, but has now changed his stance. The 21-year-old is said to welcome a reunion with Erik ten Hag.

Dest would be an ideal right-back for Erik ten Hag

United lacked creativity from the right-back position last term. Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka failed to register a goal or an assist in any competition.

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The trend has remained the same this season. Dalot is now the first-choice, but the Portuguese has started the new campaign in a relatively poor fashion.

Hence, there are no surprises that United are looking to land Dest. The United States star has not lived up to his expectations at Barcelona, but was impressive at Ajax.

Under Ten Hag, he made his debut for the Amsterdam giants in 2019/2020. He had a solid maiden campaign with eight goal contributions from 38 appearances.

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A reunion with Ten Hag at United could bring the best out of him. Graduating through the Ajax system, he should be familiar with the playing style under the Dutchman.

At £17m, it seems a no-brainer signing for United. He has not even entered the prime of his career, and won’t command big wages. He is currently on £64,000-a-week.

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Oleksandr Zinchenko left Arsenal teammates to shame in dust with unreal skills in training

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Oleksandr Zinchenko has had a superb start to life at Arsenal.

The versatile Ukrainian signed for the Gunners in a £32 million move from Manchester City this summer.

He has hit the ground running, starting at left-back in each of Arsenal’s opening two Premier League games of the campaign.

Arsenal have won both of those games with Zinchenko even recording an assist in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

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Zinchenko’s impressive technical ability has been on full show so far this season.

And he has shown just how good his ball control is in a recent video posted by Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta gave his players a keepie uppie challenge in training.

Players were tasked with keeping the ball in the air from one side of the pitch to the other.

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If a player let the ground hit the floor they had to go back to the start line and start all over again.

The person that was last to complete the drill was given the forfeit of having to buy the rest of the squad breakfast the following morning.

The drill starts and Arsenal players are nearly all of the players start steadily with the focus on not letting the ball touching the ground.

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Zinchenko didn’t have that mentality, though. The 25-year-old went all out from the start and raced well clear of his teammates.

You can watch it in the embedded video below:

 

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Barcelona were offered the chance to sign Manchester City fullback – report

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A recent report from Diario SPORT explores Barcelona’s pursuit of a new right-back in these remaining weeks of the summer transfer window.

Unhappy with the performances and overall growth of Sergino Dest, Xavi is actively looking for various options in the market. The likes of Juan Foyth and Thomas Meunier have emerged as the prime targets for the club.

But as per the report, Barcelona were offered the opportunity to sign another option in the form of Issa Kabore. The Manchester City youngster was handed to the Catalans, who had not ruled out the option in light of the desperation in the right-back unit.

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Formerly of Mechelen, Kabore is one of the brightest defensive talents coming out of Belgium in recent years. He notably enjoyed a breakthrough season on loan at Troyes last season, racking up 31 league appearances and even registering two assists.

Manchester City offered Barcelona the opportunity to snap him up for a fee of just €10 million. However, the club failed to secure the services of Kabore, who has recently joined Olympique Marseille.

Following his breakthrough in Ligue 1, the French giants were determined to sign the youngster in the summer. They were able to secure his signature as well, reaching a loan agreement with Manchester City that will keep him at OM until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

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There are reports that the Premier League giants have reserved the right to re-sign the player in the future, should he join Marseille permanently in the summer of 2023.

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Barcelona, for their part, might not be fazed by Kabore’s move to Olympique Marseille. However, the Catalans are desperately looking for a new right-back and must quickly make a move in the market, if they are to find a reliable replacement for Sergino Dest this summer.

Thomas Meunier and Juan Foyth are the two players targeted by the Blaugrana, although it remains to be seen whether any of them are up for sale, especially in these late stages of the summer transfer window.

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