Manchester United are aiming to get their 10th away win in the Premier League this season as they face a relegation battling West Brom side. They were unable to get that, settling for a 1-1 draw – which means Man City now have a 7 point gap at the top of the table with a game in hand.
The Red Devils started the game in very sloppy fashion and were punished in the 2nd minute when Mbaye Diagne outjumped Victor Lindelof to score a strong header into the net.
But United were able to equalize just before the half-time whistle, with Bruno Fernandes blasting a sweet left-footed volley past Sam Johnstone in the 45th minute. The Red Devils tried their best to get the winner in the second half, but some fantastic saves from Johnstone & atrcious refereeing denied them that.
United remain on 2nd place with a point and stretch their undefeated away run to 19 games, but their performances against bottom sides remain a worry – with this one also being an underwhelming one.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs West Brom
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5.5) –
Solskjaer probably went with his most attacking formation, but reliance on the likes of Martial, Fred and Lindelof ultimately cost him. Did well to ensure his side dominated possession and recovered well from a horrible start, but United were still not efficient, ruthless enough to ever look like winning. His struggles against relegation contenders with a low defensive block continues.
David de Gea (7.0) –
Had no idea what hit him when Diagne’s header flew past him into the net. But makes a superb save in the 27th to deny West Brom a second. Then makes another terrific stop to deny Diagne his second in the 77th with a couple of great saves. Ultimately saved United from a loss today and redeems himself after last week’s disaster.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5) –
The Englishman is being tested to the limit because of West Brom’s tendency to attack through his side, but looks composed at the back. Defensively he never looked too problematic and dealt with all little of West Brom’s pressure well. Some of his crosses were nice but unable to get that assist today.
Harry Maguire (6.5) –
Maguire is being worked more offensively than defensively today and made some decent forward runs to force some chances in the first half. Bit undone by poor refereeing in the second half, as a penalty for United involving him was overturned and another clear foul before Diagne’s chance wasn’t given.
Then even more unlucky in added time when his goalbound header was saved brilliantly. A pretty nice return from last week’s horror show.
Victor Lindelof (4.0) –
Continues his poor form from the last league game, getting outmuscled by Diagne to allow his strike. Doesn’t look comfortable playing today at all. Looked poor against Diagne and outdone too many times. If his poor form continues, he’s not keeping his space in the team for much longer.
Luke Shaw (7.5) –
Shaw gets another assist to his tally today, putting in the smart cross for Fernandes’ equalizer. Looked really good romping forward, linked up brilliantly on the left and created a ton of great chances. Defensively solid too and should’ve gotten a late assist when his cross for Maguire’s header was saved brilliantly. Best left-back in the league in current form.
Scott McTominay (7.0) –
Having scored in his last 3 for United, can McTominay score again today? Almost does in the 69th minute, only to see his goalbound shot saved off the line! Looked pretty efficient with his attacking product today, making clever forward runs and some nice passes. Dealt strongly against West Brom’s physicality and helped his defence with some solid challenges.
Fred (5.5) –
The Brazilian’s 100th appearance for United today. Should’ve done better to close down and stop Gallagher from making that easy cross leading to the goal. Struggling to make incisive forward passes and losing possession quite a lot of times. His recovering of possession and defensive work was decent, but still attacking product remains questionable. Not really the most memorable performance in his 100th.
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
After being extremely quiet all half long, Bruno pulls off the special with an incredible left-footed volley to equalize for United before the break. Takes an ambitious shot from outside the area in the 58th, only to see the deflected attempt saved. Then attempted another long-ranger in added time which went straight into Johnstone’s hands. Ultimately won his side a point.
Anthony Martial (5.5) –
Martial’s back at left-wing today and needs a goal to build his confidence. Recovered the ball in a promising area and was almost through on goal deep into the first half, only for the referee to horribly blow the whistle at the worst time possible. But never got kicking in the game and wasn’t as active as Solskjaer needed him to be.
Edinson Cavani (5.5) –
Cavani is looking to get a birthday goal today. Didn’t really get any proper chance to score with multiple defenders flanking him. His link-up play remained pretty good, but the Uruguayan lacked that extra sharpness inside the box. Should’ve predicted some of Rashford’s crosses better and gotten a few shots on goal.
Marcus Rashford (7.0) –
Rashford’s back in that uncomfortable right-wing role today, but looks decent with his movement today. Puts in a stunning cross from the byline in the 23rd, only to see it wasted. Then produces another terrific cross in the 50th, but nobody can get a foot onto it again!
His movement tormented West Brom but never able to get a proper swipe at goal. Could’ve gotten an assist if someone could convert his amazing crosses today.
Mason Greenwood (6.5) –
Almost made an immediate impact after coming on, when his clever shot in the 69th being saved well. His unpredictable movement were a real problem and showed more dedication than Martial with his driving moves. On another day, could’ve scored the winner.
Donny van de Beek (N/R) –
The Dutchman again couldn’t make any real impact, being too safe with his passes and not being driven enough to trying anything special.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno ultimately won United a point with his wonder strike. He gets my MOTM again today.