|West Brom||1-2||Manchester United|
|Long 37||Rooney 13|
|Reid (O.G.) 81|
Manchester United became one of only three teams to claim three points from the first two days of Barclays Premier League 2011/12, as a late Steven Reid own goal gave them a 2-1 away win over West Bromwich Albion on the afternoon of Sunday 14th August 2011.
But Roy Hodgson’s West Brom left the Hawthorns rueing what might have been after proving equal to the 2010/11 Champions for much of the 90 minutes.
Early in the match, it appeared to be business as usual as Wayne Rooney hammered home a low shot following good work from newcomer Ashley Young on the flank. United, the holding Champs, were 1-0 up after 13 minutes.
But West Brom came in at half time with the scoreline at 1-1 after Shane Long, making his Premier League debut for the Baggies, hit a somewhat hopeful shot that David De Gea, the new young United stopper, contrived to let slip under his body in the 37th minute. It is the second match in succession that De Gea has made an important blunder that has resulted in a goal: his nerves better settle soon, for there is a line of high-quality ‘keepers just waiting for a chance to establish themselves as number one right behind the young Spaniard, regardless of the price-tag he carried in the summer.
West Brom more than matched their illustrious opponents for the duration of the rest of the match, and in fact hit more shots on target than their visitors, despite United enjoying far more possession of the football, so it came as something of a blow to their home fans when, in the 81st minute, another good Ashley Young move this time ended with a shot that found its way into the goal. The ball ricocheted off Steven Reid and nestled in their net, having beaten former United goalkeeping understudy, Ben Foster, for what was classified as an Own Goal. The score was 2-1, with ten minutes remaining.
United, as they are apt, closed out the match.
Sir Alex Ferguson and his men traveled back to Manchester pleased with a job well done, but the 2-1 victory was everything but convincing at this early stage. However, as in so many seasons gone by, United are a side prone to winning matches they could easily have drawn. United, despite the retirement of three key players, and several fresh faces around Old Trafford, remain, it seems, a team full of winners.
West Brom can carry much confidence from this performance, however: if this level persists, they’ll be easily top-half come the season’s end.
West Brom v Manchester United – Barclays Premier League 2011/12 – Squads
(YC) = Yellow Card. (RC) = Red Card. Substitutions in brackets with time in minutes.
|West Brom||Man Utd|
|01 Foster||01 De Gea|
|03 Olsson||05 Ferdinand (Jones 75)|
|20 Shorey||12 Smalling|
|30 Tamas||15 Vidic (Evans 52)|
|05 Tchoyi||20 Fabio Da Silva|
|07 Morrison||08 Anderson (YC)|
|11 Brunt||17 Nani|
|12 Reid (YC) (Jara 85)||18 Young (YC)|
|21 Mulumbu||23 Cleverley|
|33 Scharner (YC)||10 Rooney|
|09 Long (Cox 87 (YC))||19 Welbeck (Berbatov 65)|
|13 Fulop||34 Lindegaard|
|18 Jara||04 Jones|
|25 Dawson||06 Evans|
|17 Dorrans||11 Giggs|
|29 Thorne||13 Park Ji-Sung|
|31 Cox||16 Carrick|
|32 Fortune||09 Berbatov|