Writer: Red Boy
Date:Sunday August 14 2011
United started the season with an away win but at a price losing both Vidic and Ferdinand to injuries.
Sir Alex selected a young side, average age just 24, for the trip to West Bromwich as Manchester United started the defence of their 19th top flight title.
Team - De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio, Anderson, Nani, Young, Cleverley, Rooney, Welbeck
Subs - Lindegaard, Jones, Evans, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Berbatov
First Half - United kicked off and were immediately on the offensive playing some slick, passing football. Some early pressure saw Young playing a prominent part, first winning a corner that Foster flapped at and then picking up a free kick, out wide, that went for a second corner that Foster eventually cleared.
West Brom responded with a long range shot from Scharner that drifted well wide, but it did signal the start of a period of West Brom pressure that saw a shot from Tchoyi blocked and then a respite in the action after a second corner saw the referee award a foul.
Thirteen minutes into the action United took the lead. Rooney fed the ball to Young who played it back to him; Rooney stepped into the area and hit a low shot past Foster, to open his account for the season.
West Brom 0 United 1 (Rooney - 13 mins)
United could have doubled their lead but Rooney drilled a shot wide after a slick and quick United break. Morrison tried to test De Gea from distance but was off target before Nani missed a great chance, from eight yards, to double the lead by firing over the bar.
West Brom started to apply some pressure forcing two corners with De Gea making a decent save from Scharner. But with thirty-seven minutes on the clock West Brom were level. New signing Long tried his luck, after cutting inside the area, and De Gea didn`t exactly cover himself in glory letting the cross-shot slip through his arms.
West Brom 1 United 1 (Long - 37 mins)
As half time approached, Young shot wide and it was honours even.
Half Time - West Brom 1 United 1
Second Half - Despite Vidic appearing t be struggling with an injury, Sir Alex made no changes at half time, although Vidic was to last only seven minutes before being replaced by Jonny Evans.
United didn`t start the half as well as the first taking nine minutes to create a chance with Rooney flicking a header wide from a Young free-kick. Play was flowing that smoothly and any set-pieces being won were thwarted by free kicks being awarded for fouls.
Sir Alex tried to shuffle things introducing Dimitar Berbatov for the fading Welbeck. Young, by far the brightest spark on the pitch saw a dipping cross-cum-shot just evade the far post before a Fabio cross saw Nani divert a header well wide.
Seventy-five minutes into the game United lost a second centre-back when Ferdinand limped off, to be replaced by Jones, with what looked like a hamstring problem.
West Brom, by now, were having slightly the better of things and De Gea looked far form solid when it came to dealing with crosses. But just when you thought a point might be all United would be getting fortune favoured Sir Alex`s side.
Young cut into the area and his low shot took a deflection off of Reid before nestling in the far corner of the net.
West Brom 1 United 2 (Reid og - 81 mins)
West Brom responded to going behind for the second time in the match well. De Gea was forced to save from Brunt low down and with four minutes of stoppage time announced the young keeper positively collected a looping header from Ben Foster who`d come up for a free kick.
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Date:Sunday August 14 2011
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