Manchester United 2 West Brom 2
Sir Alex will be fuming that United once again threw away two points, against West Brom, after being in the driving seat for long periods of the first half.
All the speculation relating to whether Wayne Rooney would be recalled after missing the trip to Sunderland was ended when Sir Alex named his starting eleven. Rooney was on the bench with his place being taken by our young Mexican striker, Javier Hernandez, who`d got on the score-sheet for Mexico in a 2-2 draw with Venezuela.
Also missing out were Fletcher and Scholes. Scholes was on the bench whilst Fletcher was rested altogether.
Team - Van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Nani, Anderson, Giggs, Berbatov, Hernandez
Subs - Kuszczak, Rooney, Smalling, Scholes, O`Shea, Macheda, Gibson
West Brom, buoyed by their recent success at Arsneal, started well and had the first chance when Morrison crossed but Brunt couldn`t capitalise on the headed chance. But United didn`t take too long to punish the Midlands side for that missed chance when Hernandez opened the scoring with only five minutes on the clock. The goal coming after United had won a free kick and the keeper, Carson, spilled Nani`s free kick for Hernandez to tap home.
Manchester United 1 West Brom 0 (Hernandez - 5 mins)
West Brom responded well and United were lucky not to concede a corner, after one spell of pressure, when Rafael was clearly the man that turned behind a dangerous looking ball from Fortune.
United responded and Berbatov drilled a shot wide from twenty yards out. United won a free kick, in a central position just outside the box, after Giggs was fouled, unfortunately the free kick was slammed into the defensive wall. Evra produced a cross into the six yard box but Hernandez couldn`t quite reach the ball to double his tally for the day.
Berbatov then had a golden opportunity but side-footed three yards wide from close range after a great cross from Carrick when it looked easier to score. The respite for West Brom was brief though with Nani finally doubling United`s lead. The goal coming after Nani exchanged passes with Berbtov to capitalise on a slip from Shorey.
Manchester United 2 West Brom 0 (Nani - 25 mins)
West Brom tried to respond but despite the best of intentions the visitors were careless with their ball retention giving possession away far too easily and as half time approached Giggs limped off to be replaced by Gibson.
Half Time - Manchester United 2 West Brom 0
United could have extended the lead in the very early stages of the second half when Nani produced a great cross that saw Vidic`s diving header hit the woodwork.
West Brom then reduced the arrears minutes later when Brunt drove a low cross in that took a couple of touches before Van der Sar clawed it away from behind the line. Did Vidic or Evra or Tchoyi get the last touch?
Manchester United 2 West Brom 1 (Tchoyi - 50 mins)
A further came minutes later when West Brom equalised courtesy of Van der Sar dropping a simple cross from Brunt for Tchoyi to have the easiest of finishes.
Manchester United 2 West Brom 2 (Tchoyi - 55 mins)
West Brom had United rattled and Tamas shot wide when it would have been more productive to drill in a low cross. Anderson then forced a save from Carson that saw the keeper push the ball towards a lurking Hernandez who couldn`t take advantage of the chance.
Scholes and Rooney were introduced as Sir Alex tried to get United back in front with Carrick and Anderson going off. Still West Brom pushed forward and Morrison was another who took the wrong option when handily placed.
United won a free kick, eight yards out, after a Tamas pass back was harshly awarded. West Brom stuck all eleven players in the box and with Nani, Berbatov and Rooney all poised to score it was cleared off the line by Tamas after Rooney finally struck the ball.
West Brom, all credit to them, continued pushing forward and were having the better of things although that final, crucial ball was letting them down. United, going route one, found Berbatov and his knock down was ahead of Rooney and Hernandez.
Dorrans wasted an opportunity, dallying too long when in the box and as we entered the four minutes of stoppage time announced the game was still anyone`s. Scholes and Nani both looked to carve out chances with West Brom, perhaps for the first time, hanging on. But time ran out and United had once again thrown two points away!
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