Bruno Fernandes’ twice-taken second-half penalty was enough to give Manchester United their first Premier League victory of the season at Old Trafford over a battling West Brom outfit.
Former United keeper Sam Johnstone included a splendid save from the initial kick amongst a string of superb stops to deny his old club.
However, VAR intervened as Johnstone was clearly off his line and Fernandes made no mistake with his second attempt. The effort ended a wait of 324 minutes for a United goal in the Premier League on home soil – and that was also a spot-kick from the Portuguese against Tottenham.
It was harsh on the visitors, who were awarded a penalty themselves a minute after the restart when Fernandes caught Conor Gallagher. But after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor, referee David Coote decided the United man had just touched the ball, much to Baggies boss Slaven Bilic’s frustration.
The result leaves West Brom, who were without captain Jake Livermore and defender Kieran Gibbs because of positive coronavirus tests, still waiting for their first win of the season.
After successive victories, United are in the top half of the table for the first time this season. And, given the pressure he was under before the win at Everton on 7 November, there must be some satisfaction for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in going above Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the table.
It is only the second time Solskjaer has done that, and the previous occasion – after the first game of last season – only lasted a week.
More to follow.
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West Bromwich Albion
- 1de Gea
- 17FredSubstituted forMcTominayat 84′minutes
- 8MataSubstituted forCavaniat 63′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 18Bruno Fernandes
- 10RashfordSubstituted forvan de Beekat 79′minutes
- 34van de Beek
- 20IvanovicSubstituted forKrovinovicat 79′minutes
- 12Costa Pereira
- 18GallagherBooked at 76mins
- 11DianganaSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 62′minutes
- 29GrantSubstituted forRobinsonat 62′minutes
Match ends, Manchester United 1, West Bromwich Albion 0.
Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, West Bromwich Albion 0.
Attempt blocked. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Darnell Furlong.
Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Edinson Cavani (Manchester United).
Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion).
Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.
Substitution, Manchester United. Scott McTominay replaces Fred.
Substitution, Manchester United. Donny van de Beek replaces Marcus Rashford.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Filip Krovinovic replaces Branislav Ivanovic.
Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Fred (Manchester United).
Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Alex Telles (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes with a cross following a corner.