Monday 20 October 2014
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West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United - Coverage of the Premier League encounter at the Hawthorns, as the visitors look to improve on their indifferent start to the season. United claimed a comfortable 3-0 win in last season's corresponding fixture to avenge a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign, but have yet to win away from home this term
Watch Online - Full Match Replay (Skysports Skysports's Monday Night Football (MNF) Coverage)
Half Time Analysis
Post Match Analysis
United twice fought back from a goal down, with substitute Marouane Fellaini cancelling out Stephane Sessegnon's early opener with his first goal for the club, while Blind fired in an 87th minute equaliser after Saido Berahino had restored the lead for West Brom.
Louis van Gaal had insisted beforehand he was pleased with the progress after steering his new employers within touching distance of the top four, but they remain 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, while Alan Irvine’s side edged further from the bottom three.
Di Maria has provided plenty of attacking artistry since his move from Real Madrid, but for once he unleashed an ugly, scuffed effort that failed to trouble Boaz Myhill.
The energetic Wisdom then cut out a dangerous cross from Robin van Persie as United gave another glimpse of their threat, but Juan Mata made a real mess of a promising free-kick, ballooning the ball over.
Just before the break, United’s night nearly worsened when Joleon Lescott nodded over and a concerned Van Gaal appeared to issue orders to Fellaini as both teams trooped off.
The Belgian, one of the few remnants from the short David Moyes reign, came to the aid of his successor after only two minutes of the second half. Di Maria sent over a swirling cross to the tall midfielder and he shrugged of the attentions of Lescott, turned swiftly and drove a rising shot past the helpless Myhill.
United’s skittish players had been injected with fresh belief and Mata’s goal-bound shot was blocked as they searched for more.
But Berahino revived the flagging hosts with a ruthless finish. Chris Brunt slid the ball through a gaping hole in the United defence and the striker raced into acres of space and calmly slid the ball past David de Gea.
There was more cause for dismay amidst the United ranks as they appealed in vain for a penalty after Sebastien Pocognoli handled and Van Persie then took a coat of paint off the post with a dipping effort from outside the area.
But Blind kept his composure during the frantic finale and guided a low shot into the bottom corner after Lescott had only partially cleared a cross from Rafael.
Best of the MatchMan of the Match: Craig Dawson had an excellent game at centre-back and made 17 clearances, which was more than any other player on the pitch.
Goal of the Game: All four were great strikes but, just minutes after entering the game at half-time, Marouane Fellaini outmuscled Joleon Lescott, superbly controlled a ball out of the air and rifled United’s equaliser at 1-1.
Mistake of the Match: Rafael was guilty of a lapse in concentration to allow West Brom to regain the lead at 2-1 as he dropped too deep behind his fellow United defenders and played Saido Berahino onside.
Talking Point: United have still not won an away game this season. Are they showing their hosts too much respect? Is their defending the problem?