Both sides came into this game desperately needing the points but for different reasons. West Brom in their fight against relegation and United in their pursuit of leaders Manchester City. The home side got off to the perfect start after just two minutes! A Conor Gallagher cross was headed in by new signing Mbaye Diagne and United were stunned. Once again Solskjaer’s side had conceded from a high ball into the box!
It wasn’t the start United wanted and once again they now needed to come from a goal down to win the game. This is becoming a habit that they really need to get out of. Although United were seeing much more of the ball, West Brom were well organized and United were becoming increasingly frustrated. The likes of Rashford and Martial were struggling to have any kind of influence on the game.
For all of United’s attacking talent it was captain Harry Maguire who was carrying the fight to the home side. On a number of occasions the England international had burst into the West Brom box to try and make something happen.
The pressure was growing from United and on half time it paid off. After some good work down the left Fernandes turned in a Luke Shaw cross with a fine left foot strike. Johnstone had no chance and United were level. Superb finish! The teams went in level at half time and United knew they needed a big improvement in the second half.
Although United had started the second half on the front foot the first chance fell to the home side. Pereira found himself with time and space in the box but he dragged his effort just wide of the post. He should of done better. United were moving the ball quicker and looked more threatening in attack but they couldn’t find the goal to put themselves ahead.
There’s been much criticism of VAR but on the 63rd minute it did its job perfectly. Ajayi tangled with Maguire in the box and referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot. But after second viewing on the pitch side monitor he over turned his decision.
Solskjaer had seen enough he felt it was time for a change. Greenwood replaced the disappointing Martial and Rashford came over to to his more natural position on the left hand side. Moments after coming on Greenwood had a great chance to give United the lead but Johnstone saved well with his feet. The West Brom keeper then had Ajayi to thank for his clearance off the line after Scott McTominay followed up the rebound. The home side were living dangerously.
The home side rode the storm and then had a great chance of their own. Diagne got the better of Maguire but couldn’t beat De Gea to give his side the lead. Credit to the Spaniard he made himself bug and made a good save. It looked a clear foul on Maguire but Craig Pawson had seen nothing wrong with it and had Diagne scored it would of counted.
The home side seemed to be growing in belief that they could take all 3 points and why not? Maitland Niles had a great chance to play in Diagne but got his pass horribly wrong and it was a real let off for United. Once again West Brom came forward and had another good chance. A wicked cross found its way to the back post but the De Gea watched the ball sail safely over the bar.
United came forward in desperation trying to find a winner and they nearly got one. Maguire rose highest to meet a Luke Shaw cross and Sam Johnstone made a fantastic save to deny him! Incredible piece of goalkeeping to deny the United captain!
The final whistle went and again United had dropped points to a team in the relegation zone. Once again Solskjaer’s side had made hard work against a team they should be beating. Its another disappointing result that sees United fall even further behind Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.