The club's chairman Tony Bloom said: "When we finally got to the Premier League, it was about nights like tonight. The players have been brilliant all season, and tonight was perhaps our best performance." Hughton's counterpart Jose Mourinho gave forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial a rare start together but they failed to impress as the visitors looked disjointed and bereft of ideas, with their final pass going astray all evening. In fact, only a string of good saves by keeper David de Gea kept United afloat in the opening half as he kept out long-range efforts from Glenn Murray and Izquierdo before he denied Gross from close range.
"Mourinho doesn't like some of those players. He's had enough of them and they are going to go."— Sky Sports PL (@SkySportsPL) May 5, 2018
Gary Neville sums up an "absolutely terrible" Manchester United display. pic.twitter.com/kHlFcfpHRm
There was nothing the Spaniard could do after Izquierdo got the rub of the green to get past his marker and find Gross at the edge of the six-yard box, with the 26-year old from Mannheim showing sharp instincts in front of goal. United, who had 68 percent possession but few meaningful attempts, launched a fierce onslaught in the closing stages but Brighton's defence held firm. An ecstatic Gross revealed he was initially unsure whether he scored before referee Craig Pawson awarded the goal.
Brighton secure survival by beating Man Utd https://t.co/XTk3EwCkl7— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 4, 2018
"I wasn't sure," said Gross. "Heading is not my strength, I tried to get it on target. We worked so hard all season but we always believe. We never stop and that's why I think we won it." Although Mourinho declined to name the players who performed below par, his scathing criticism made it clear who he was unhappy with. "You have the answer now when you ask 'why always (striker Romelu) Lukaku?'," he said. "We are probably not as good as people think we are individually. The players that replaced others did not perform at a good level and when individuals do that it is difficult for the team to play well."
"Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? You have the answer why always Lukaku!"— Sky Sports PL (@SkySportsPL) May 4, 2018
Jose Mourinho laid into his Manchester United players following the 1-0 defeat by Brighton https://t.co/eMteDZReAF pic.twitter.com/UFJfasKdJb