The game finishes 2-1 to Manchester United at the Hawthorns, as Steven Reid turned the ball into his own net late on. There was little blame for the defender, however, with little else he could do after a fine penetrating run from Ashley Young, whose ball into the box proved too difficult for the West Brom defence to deal with.
It was a deserved win for Manchester United, who started the game extremely strongly, Rooney and Ashley Young linking up superbly early on before the former turned and clipped a low shot into the bottom corner of the West Brom goal. Nani was presented with two opportunities to make it 2-0 to the Red Devils, but both were squandered as he failed to convert two close-range chances.
Soon afterwards, a speculative low drive by Shane Long from an acute angle surprisingly squirmed under David De Gea’s dive – ensuring yet more scrutiny of the Spanish keeper, who has not enjoyed the best of starts so far at Manchester United since signing from Atletico Madrid. He showed further signs of nerviness throughout the half, with West Brom ending on top as they took advantage of some hesitancy and uncertainty in the Manchester United defence.
After half-time, it was a more even contest, with both sides enjoying good spells but failing to create any clear chances. Chris Brunt was superb for the home side, providing some dangerous crosses and also tracking back superbly to deny Fabio and Ashley Young’s forays into the West Brom area.
There was more worry for Manchester United when defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were both withdrawn, to be replaced by Jonny Evans and Phil Jones. However, both defenders provided important blocks and interceptions to keep West Brom at bay.
And in the end, it was Ashley Young who stepped up for United, turning Chris Brunt inside out before driving into the area and sending in a dangerous cross which Steven Reid turned in to give Manchester United a late winner. Seemingly, no matter how many players change, some things always remain the same.