Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion: Premier League Ė as it happened

Rob Smyth on 21 November 2020

Thatís it for tonight - Iíll leave you with Jamie Jacksonís match report. Goodnight!

Full time: Man Utd 1-0 West Brom

Peep peep! Manchester United move up to ninth after a laboured victory over West Brom. As usual, it was all about VAR. West Brom were awarded a penalty which was controversially overturned on review; a few minutes later, Bruno Fernandes scored a twice-taken penalty at the other end. Itís Unitedís first league win at Old Trafford this season, but it was an underwhelming performance.

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90+2 min Martial is denied a goal by a brilliant last-ditch tackle from one of the West Brom defenders. Iím not sure who it was but well done them.

Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion blocks a shot from Anthony Martial of Manchester United.
Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion blocks a shot from Anthony Martial of Manchester United. Photograph: Ian Hodgson/NMC Pool

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90+1 min Cavani is booked for leaving some on Gallagher.

90 min Four minutes of added time.

88 min The match is petering out. If West Brom do equalise, United will regret their laziness in possession in the last 10-15 minutes. Theyíve been playing at walking pace half the time. This has been a very odd game.

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85 min Unitedís last home win in the league was a thrilling 5-2 defeat of Bournemouth. It feels a long time ago, and not only because it was a long time ago.

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83 min United make their final change. Scott McTominay, penalty king, comes on for Fred.

80 min ďThe West Bromwich body language,Ē says Ian Copestake, ďseems to reflect an absence of the will to live.Ē

Ian, what have I told you about projecting.

79 min West Brom make their final change - Filip Krovinovic replaces Branislav Ivanovic. And Manchester United bring on Donny van de Beek for Marcus Rashford.

78 min Some 1-0s feel safer than others. This is somewhere in the middle. A West Brom goal wouldnít be a shock, but it would be against the run of play.

77 min Fernandes and Telles try the old Beckham/Scholes corner. Fernandes angles the ball back to Telles, who blooters a volley over the bar.

76 min Fernandes drives a beautiful pass over the defence towards Rashford, but his first touch is poor and the ball runs away from goal. Gallagher was booked for a foul on Fred just before that.

West Bromwich Albionís Conor Gallagher (left) is tackled by Manchester Unitedís Fred.
West Bromwich Albionís Conor Gallagher (left) is tackled by Manchester Unitedís Fred. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/AFP/Getty Images

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75 min After a good move from United, Bruno Fernandesís first-time shot from the edge of the area is blocked.

74 min Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea, has had a fine game in midfield for West Brom. Heís only 20 and could become a really good player.

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72 min Bartley blocks another Cavani shot, this time after a nice through pass from Fernandes.

71 min Fernandesís corner is flicked on by Cavani and comes to Maguire at the far post. He drags a shot into the ground that bounces up and is palmed away by Johnstone. That was a more comfortable save for him, though still a decent one.

70 min Martial crosses low to Cavani, whose first-time shot is well blocked by Bartley.

67 min: Johnstone makes another brilliant save! Heís having a blinder against his old club. Fernandesís low ball across the area reached Rashford at the far post, six yards out. He dummied to shoot and then sidefooted the ball back across goal. It looked certain to go in, but Johnstone flew to his left to make an outstanding reaction save.

Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion saves from Marcus Rashford of Manchester United .
Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion saves from Marcus Rashford of Manchester United . Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

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66 min ďI would love it,Ē says Ian Copestake, ďif a ref stopped Fernandes doing his penalty hop citing ungentlemanly conduct and human rights violations.Ē

65 min: Robinson hits the bar with a glorious effort! Oh my. Robson-Kanu lost three players on the halfway line with a Cruyff turn (hello Belgium) and found Gallagher on the left. He gave the ball to Robinson, who whipped an extravagant curling shot from the edge of the area that beat de Gea and clattered off the bar. I think those were Robinsonís first touches of the game.

63 min ďI donít understand why that penalty against Fernandes was overturned,Ē says J.R. in Illinois. ďDid they think there was no contact? Or did they think he got some of the ball first? As opposed to the call in the Villa game where Solly March clearly got the ball before making slight contact, the only thing I saw Fernandes make contact with was Gallagherís shin. And though I canít prove it, Iím not just saying that because Iím a West Brom fan. Totally bogus, man.Ē

He touched the ball first - only slightly, but there was a touch before he followed through into Gallagher. Whether thatís enough to overturn the decision... I havenít a clue anymore.

62 min And United bring on Edinson Cavani for Juan Mata. Martial moves to the left and Rashford to the right.

62 min Both teams are going to make a substitution. West Brom first: Hal Robson-Kanu and Callum Robinson replace Grady Diangana and Karlan Grant.

58 min Thatís twice this season that Fernandes has missed a penalty and then scored the retake. The same thing happened at PSG in the Champions League.

57 min West Brom will feel pretty aggrieved, and you can understand why. The decision against Furlong was correct under the new interpretation of the handball law, but that interpretation is horse pucky.

GOAL! Man Utd 1-0 West Brom (Fernandes 56 pen)

Fernandes scores this time, sidefooting the ball high to his left. Johnstone went the right way but couldnít reach it.

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United scores his retaken penalty.
Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United retakes his penalty. .. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United scores a penalty 1-0
And he fires it home. Photograph: Ian Hodgson/NMC Pool
West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic kicks a can of drink.
West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic is frustrated. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/NMC Pool/Reuters

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FERNANDES' PENALTY IS SAVED - BUT IT WILL BE RETAKEN!

54 min Fernandes did his usual skip but Johnstone went the right way, to his left, and pushed it away. It was a brilliant stop - but replays showed that he was off his line when the kick was taken.

West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saves the first penalty attempt from Manchester Unitedís Bruno Fernandes.
West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saves the penalty attempt from Manchester Unitedís Bruno Fernandes. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Images
West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone (centre) reacts after saving Manchester Unitedís Bruno Fernandesí penalty before it is ordered to be retaken.
West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone (centre) reacts after saving Manchester Unitedís Bruno Fernandesí penalty before it is ordered to be retaken. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/NMC Pool/PA Images

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54 min: Penalty given.

54 min Furlongís hand was away from his body, though he wasnít even looking at the ball. Itís being checked by VAR. I doubt this will be overturned.

53 min: Penalty to United! This one is for handball against Furlong.

52 min: Good save by de Gea! West Brom have been the better team since half-time. A right-wing cross found its way through to Townsend beyond the far post. He controlled the ball on the chest and hit a low drive that was brilliantly saved with his legs by de Gea.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (right) saves from West Bromwich Albionís Conor Townsend.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (right) saves from West Bromwich Albionís Conor Townsend. Photograph: Martin Rickett/NMC Pool/Reuters

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49 min Rashfordís wobbling long-range strike is palmed round acrobatically by Johnstone.

No penalty! On BT Sport, Glenn Hoddle and Peter Walton both think the decision should not have been overturned - Hoddle thought it was a foul, Walton thought it wasnít a clear and obvious error. I can see both sides!

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The referee David Coote is going across to look at the monitor. This is very similar to the one that was overturned in the Villa game this afternoon.

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Bruno Fernandes has been penalised for a tackle on Conor Gallagher. I thought he got the ball, and itís being checked by VAR.

Manchester Unitedís Bruno Fernandes appeals to referee David Coote after a penalty was awarded for his foul on West Bromwich Albionís Conor Gallagher .
Manchester Unitedís Bruno Fernandes appeals to referee David Coote after a penalty was awarded for his foul on West Bromwich Albionís Conor Gallagher . Photograph: Catherine Ivill/NMC Pool/AFP/Getty Images

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PENALTY TO WEST BROM!

46 min Peep peep! West Brom begin the second half. If theyíre not very careful, they could end up winning this game.

ďEvening Rob,Ē says Neil Carter. ďNo BT Sport so following the blog whilst watching Strictly (whilst keeping an eye on the Strictly blog). Saturdays are strange these days mate, much like a Manchester United home performance. My God itís tedious. I literally donít know what to say any more other than this doesnít surprise me at all [pours another G&T].Ē

The one thing I donít understand about games like these is the absence of van de Beek.

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Half time: Man Utd 0-0 West Brom

Peep peep! Another 45 minutes of frustration for Manchester United. Sam Johnstone made one outstanding save and one decent one, both from Anthony Martial, but that aside United struggled against a dogged West Brom defence. See you in 10 minutes for the second half.

45 min One minute of added time.

42 min: Chance for Bartley! Gallagherís inswinging corner is headed onto the roof of the net by Bartley. It was a really clever effort - he was facing away from goal, under pressure from Maguire, so he improvised a backheader that almost sneaked in the net. United fans have seen that one before.

Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion (second left) heads at goal.
Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion (second left) heads at goal. Photograph: Ian Hodgson/NMC Pool
Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion (second left) sees his header just go over the bar.
Bartley (second left) sees his header just go over the bar. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images
West Bromwich Albionís Kyle Bartley reacts after a missed header at goal.
Bartley reacts after his close effort. Photograph: Martin Rickett/Reuters

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41 min The confident Gallagher does well to find Diangana on the edge of the area. His shot hits Wan-Bissaka and deflects behind for a corner.

40 min West Brom are really well organised defensively. They are limited, we know that, but their spirit is admirable. I donít think theyíre nailed on to be relegated.

39 min ďLooking through all the old Twin Peaks vids now,Ē says Bill Hargreaves. ďThatís happening again. Seemingly wide open league this year. Please thatís being returned to, too.Ē

I think Liverpool will retain the title it at a canter, though I would love Jose Mourinho to win it and turn his acceptance speech into a breathless five-hour score-settler.

38 min Telles threatens to get round the back for the first time in the match, but Ajayi recovers well and forces him away from goal.

36 min Fernandesís corner flashes across the face of goal and eventually reaches Maguire, whose stinging volley flattens Kyle Bartley. It hit him straight in the coupon. I think Maguireís shot was going in, although there was probably a push from Maguire on Ivanovic just beforehand.

Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion is hit in the face by a shot from Harry Maguire of Manchester United.
Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion is hit in the face by a shot from Harry Maguire of Manchester United. Photograph: Bradley Ormesher/NMC Pool

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34 min Itís now five hours since United scored a league goal at Old Trafford. In that time they also beat Leipzig 5-0 in the Champions League. I have no idea.

33 min Fernandes drives a stunning angled pass over the defence to find Mata on the right edge of the six-yard box. His cushioned volley towards Martial is intercepted by Townsend, and Johnstone nips in front of Martial to push the loose ball to safety. The pass from Fernandes was glorious

West Bromwich Albionís goalkeeper Sam Johnstone thwarts Manchester Unitedís Anthony Martial.
West Bromwich Albionís goalkeeper Sam Johnstone thwarts Manchester Unitedís Anthony Martial. Photograph: Martin Rickett/NMC Pool/AP

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30 min Itís 0-0 after half an hour. All bets are thus off.

29 min ďEvery minute that passes without a United goal just tightens the noose around Oleís neck,Ē says Mary Waltz. ďUnfair but reality.Ē

28 min Pereira pulled Martialís shirt for a split-second, which is why he went down and appealed for a penalty. Sometimes theyíre given, sometimes not.

27 min: No penalty. We havenít seen a replay yet.

27 min That penalty appeal is being checked by VAR. Play continues for now.

26 min Martial appeals unsuccessfully for a penalty after a challenge by Pereira.

Anthony Martial of Manchester United battles for possession with Matheus Pereira of West Bromwich Albion.
Anthony Martial of Manchester United battles for possession with Matheus Pereira of West Bromwich Albion. Photograph: Martin Rickett/NMC Pool/Getty Images

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24 min Hereís some footage from a Manchester United supportersí watch party.

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23 min Fredís through ball towards Martial is crucially intercepted by the last man Ajayi.

20 min: Just wide from Grant! More good play from West Brom. Pereira nutmegs Matic and slides a pass down the inside-right channel for Grant. He drives a low cross-shot that takes a slight touch off Lindelof and drifts just wide of the far post. From the resulting corner, Ivanovic heads over from six yards. He was running away from goal so it wasnít much of a chance.

Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion has a shot on goal.
Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion has a shot on goal. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

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20 min That really was an outstanding save from Johnstone a few minutes ago. Heís quite a big lad but he got down so quickly.

19 min Townsend plays a nice give-and-go with Diangana, dances round Maguire in the area but then runs the ball out of play. West Brom will be pleased with how theyíve started this game.

16 min: Brilliant save by Johnstone! That was a lovely move from United. Maguire nicked the ball on the halfway line, surged forward and found Rashford on the left. He fizzed a square ball towards Bruno Fernandes, who was in a bit of space at the far post. Fernandes laid the ball off first time to Martial, who sidefooted a low first-time shot towards goal from eight yards. Johnstone got down superbly to his left to push it away.

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15 min United can be such slow starters, especially at home, and tonight has been no different.

13 min Fernandes plays a good pass down the right to Martial. His low cross is slightly behind Rashford, who dummies the ball at the near post in the hope that Fred arrives in the area in time. He doesnít.

12 min West Brom look quite bright going forward, Diangana and Gallagher in particular.

11 min United are already looking a bit frustrated, Bruno Fernandes in particular.

8 min Maguire moves forward with the ball and finds Rashford on the left. His inswinging cross just evades the stretching Fernandes and goes out for a goalkick. Itís been a scruffy start to the game.

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5 min West Brom have had plenty of the ball in the first few minutes. I thought they might park the bus but that hasnít happened yet.

2 min Martial beats three players down the right before being fouled by Barkley. Mataís free-kick is headed on at the near post by Martial and pushed away by the diving Johnstone. That was a pretty good save.

1 min Peep peep! Bruno Fernandes gets the match underway for United, who are kicking from right to left.

West Brom are in their evocative yellow and green change strip. United are in red; both teams are wearing black armbands in tribute to Albert Quixall.

ďRob,Ē says Stig. ďAppreciate that Utd are struggling, but would any of the WBA players make it into the Utd team?Ē

No.

Ten minutes until kick-off. A victory would move United into the top half of the table, perhaps as high as seventh. If West Brom win they will move out of the relegation places.

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In other news

Hereís more on a very good night for Jose Mourinho

United have won none of their last six league games at Old Trafford, which I think is their worst run since the bleak winter of 1989-90. They have plenty of incentive to win tonight, not least because it would move them above Manchester City. Solskjaer out!

Team news

Unitedís new left-back Alex Telles makes his Premier League debut. He is returning after Covid-19, as are Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira in the West Brom side. But West Brom have lost two more players to Covid, with the captain Jake Livermore and Kieran Gibbs unavailable.

Donny van de Beek is still only on the bench for United, while Paul Pogba isnít in the squad. He has an ankle injury.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1) de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Fred, Matic; Mata, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
Substitutes: Henderson, Tuanzebe, Williams, James, McTominay, van de Beek, Cavani.

West Bromwich Albion (5-4-1) Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, Bartley, Townsend; Pereira, Sawyers, Gallagher, Diangana; Grant.
Substitutes: Button, OíShea, Phillips, Harper, Krovinovic, Robson-Kanu, Robinson.

Referee David Coote.

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Preamble

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Manchester United v West Brom from Old Trafford. Itís 14th versus 18th in the league - or, if you look at the relevant home and away tables, 19th versus 19th. Both teams have picked up one point in four games, with United scoring two goals and West Brom conceding 10. Itís the resistible force versus the movable object.

Most people will expect a comfortable home win; we always do when West Brom go to Manchester. But they have won three of their five games at Old Trafford since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, including a shock win in 2018 that confirmed Manchester City as champions.

Itís hard to know what constitutes a shock these days, particularly with a team as mercurial as United. They were excellent in their last league game, the 3-1 win at Everton, and if they score early tonight they could win handsomely. But if itís still 0-0 after half an hour, all bets are off.

Kick off 8pm.

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