Manchester United beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday evening. It was a match that I expected more from but a penalty was all that sealed the victory. Some will say that it was a controversial match with the Baggies’ penalty not being given after consulting with VAR then United winning one, seeing it saved By Sam Johnstone, who had a great game against United, only for it to be retaken. Bruno Fernandes was involved in almost everything against the strugglers with United sealing the win with a clean sheet. They will be back in action in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, against Istanbul Basaksehir.
United started well against the Baggies, who were playing in a defensive formation with players back to deal with the threat of the Red Devils. Former United academy goalkeeper Sam Johnstone played his first match at Old Trafford against United and in the first half, made a few good saves to deny United from taking the lead. United found themselves in some good positions at times, playing some good football but Johnstone’s personal form stopped them from taking something from the match, which was a shame for United. The Red Devils has five shots, three of which were on target in the first half. They need to be better in the second half.
At the start of the second half, the Baggies won a penalty for what seemed like slight contact. The referee then went to look at the replay on VAR and did not give the penalty, to the commentary team’s dismay on BT Sport. Minutes later though, United had a penalty of their own. Bruno Fernandes took it and Johnstone saved it, but he came off his line before the ball was struck, so the penalty needed to be taken again. This time, Fernandes found the back of the net to put United ahead for the first time in the match. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 63rd minute of the match with Edinson Cavani replacing Juan Mata.
United had few chances to cement their victory against the Baggies as the away side were getting back in number to avert any damage from United. Solskjaer made his second substitution in the 79th minute with Donny van de Beek replacing Marcus Rashford. That gave United more dominance in the midfield to break through the extra numbers at the back for the Baggies. Four minutes later, Solskjaer made his final substitution with Scott McTominay replacing Fred. It would seem like United have thrown at they can at this match and will have to settle for the victory they got from the penalty, ensuring that they did not concede.
Goals: Bruno Fernandes 56′ penalty
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Fred (McTominay 83′); Mata (Cavani 63′), Fernandes, Rashford (Van de Beek 79′); Martial
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Williams, Tuanzebe; James
Bookings: Edinson Cavani 90+1′; Connor Gallagher 67′
Written by John Walker