Sunday, 8 November 2015

Man Utd Vs West Brom

- Van Gaal a 'happy manager' after victory
- Blind praises United's patience
- Lingard on target for the Reds in fine display

Scorers: Lingard 52’, Mata (pen) 90+1' | 7 November
2015 | Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,410

Manchester United got back to winning ways in the
Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 win against
West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday.
After long spells of fruitless first-half pressure from
the Reds, the breakthrough finally came early in
the second period when Jesse Lingard fired home a
super finish, bagging his first goal for the club as
his star continues to rise. Juan Mata then secured
the victory from the spot in injury time as United
stayed fourth in the league, notching a sixth clean
sheet in seven in the process.
Louis van Gaal named an unchanged side from the
XI that had overcome CSKA Moscow in midweek,
although Cameron Borthwick-Jackson became the
latest youngster to be included in the Dutchman’s
16, following Axel Tuanzebe’s appearance on the
bench against Crystal Palace last week.
Keen to build on the aforementioned Champions
League win, the Reds started brightly and
dominated possession, though did little to trouble
Boaz Myhill’s goal in the opening 10 minutes. The
first chance of note came just after the 15-minute
mark, when Bastian Schweinsteiger found Wayne
Rooney, who turned well and was able to prod ball
into the path of Mata. The Spaniard arced his body
to curl a shot past the reaches of Myhill, but also
narrowly past the post.
Meanwhile, West Brom, who fielded a side
containing Old Trafford old boys Darren Fletcher
and Jonny Evans, continued to defend with the
tirelessness and commitment that those players
had come to embody during their time at United,
frustrating the home side for long periods. With the
Baggies happy to sit back and soak up the play,
the onus was on United to break them down, yet,
despite the relentless pressure and possession, few
clear-cut chances were created.
Left-sided duo Marcos Rojo and Lingard did provide
a bright spark for the Reds, keeping West Brom
right-back Craig Dawson on his toes, and it was the
latter of the United pair who was next to go close.
Mata collected the ball on the edge of the area
before arrowing an expertly-weighted ball to the far
post looking for the young winger, but just as it
seemed destined to provide Jesse with the chance
of the half, Dawson intervened with a perfectly-
timed header to clear the danger. Lingard enjoyed
another opportunity late in the half, having been
put through on goal by Anthony Martial, but Evans
stood firm, diverting the ball out of play.
Seemingly not content with creating chances,
Martial then tested Myhill himself, but his stinging
drive was thwarted by the stopper as the score
remained goalless at the interval.

Possession: United 76% West Brom 24%
Shots at goal: United 7 West Brom 2
Shots on target: United 1 West Brom 0
Corners: United 2 West Brom 1

There were no changes to personnel from either
side at the break and nor was there a change to
the state of play, as United began to take the
game to the visitors from the get-go.
Buoyed by chants of ‘Attack, Attack, Attack’, it
wasn’t long before the Reds finally turned
possession into a tangible advantage and,
unsurprisingly, it was the excellent Lingard who
broke the deadlock.
With just over 50 minutes on the clock, Martial sent
a ball into the area looking for Rooney, only for
Chris Brunt to clear the danger. Thankfully, the
Ulsterman’s clearance only went as far as Lingard,
who took a touch before bending a superb effort
past the beaten Myhill. The Warrington-born
winger’s first goal for the club was one that belied
his young years and was greeted by a deafening
roar from the Stretford End, stirred from its first-
half slumber.
The goal gave everyone of United persuasion a real
lift going into the start of an important second half,
but chances were still at a minimum, despite the
home side’s continued forays forward.
As the half drew on it was West Brom who began
to show more ambition going forward and Evans
might well have drawn the visitors level as he
seized upon confusion in the United defensive
ranks, possibly caused by a double substitution for
the Baggies shortly before a free-kick. It was a let-
off for van Gaal’s men, who then received another
huge slice of luck two minutes later when
substitute Saidy Berahino headed over from point-
blank range.
Borthwick-Jackson and Ander Herrera were then
brought on in quick succession in place of Rojo and
Rooney, following the earlier introduction of Phil
Jones at right-back. The changes seemed to take
the sting out of the game, with United now back in
control, and the home side earned the chance to
seal the points in added-on time.
The ever-sprightly Martial seized upon the tired
legs among the Baggies defence and looked set to
fire home before being chopped down by Gareth
McAuley. The West Brom man saw red for the late
challenge, allowing Mata to step up and coolly slot
home from 12 yards – job done.

Possession: United 68% West Brom 32%
Shots at goal: United 13 West Brom 4
Shots on target: United 3 West Brom 0
Corners: United 5 West Brom 1
United: De Gea; Young (Jones 62’), Smalling, Blind;
Rojo (Borthwick-Jackson 76’); Carrick,
Schweinsteiger; Mata, Rooney (Herrera 81’),
Lingard; Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Memphis, Schneiderlin,
Booked: Rojo
West Brom: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Brunt
(McManaman 85’), Morrison (Lambert 72’),
Fletcher, Yacob, McClean, Sessegnon, Rondon
(Berahino 72’).
Subs: Lindegaard, Olsson, Gardner.
Booked: Dawson, Rondon, Brunt
Sent off: McAuley
Another fine display from Jesse Lingard , this time
capped with a goal, caught the eye of Reds fans on
Twitter, who voted the Englishman Man of the
Match. The tricky forward scooped 63 per cent of
the votes in the poll on @ManUtd, with Bastian
Schweinsteiger (26 per cent) and Chris Smalling
(11 per cent) also commended following fine

Louis van Gaal: "Goals are always the most
important thing in a game but we're still not giving
many chances away. We have won a difficult game
that we lost last year and have improved again."
Daley Blind: "A lot of teams come here to get a
point so we have to be patient and move the ball
quickly. Sometimes it takes a while before you get
a chance, but in the end we got the three points
and that’s the most important thing."


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