Manchester United are desperate to get their first win at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season when they face a struggling West Bromwich Albion side. The Red Devils quite barely got the job done with a 1-0 win, finally ending this winless curse at home in the league.
After a lethargic first half, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side woke up in the second half and after narrowly avoiding conceding a penalty of their own, they earned a penalty in the 53rd-minute, which Bruno Fernandes converted on his second attempt to give his side the lead!
The Red Devils then clamped down to protect their lead and wore out a narrow win to finally get a win at home! It may have been one of the worst performances (in a winning situation) this season and they might’ve been really lucky, but United will be glad to finally get 3 points at Old Trafford and head into the next key games with a surge in confidence.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs West Brom
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5.5) –
Solskjaer might be pleased to finally get a league win at Old Trafford, but he can’t be happy about that performance. Despite testing the West Brom goalie on a number of occasions, United still looked really lethargic and were too cautious for their own good. Ole just can’t seem to make them be creative enough to break down stringent backlines and his side were frustrated today due to their predictable style.
He will take this win, but Ole needs to add a more unpredictable edge to his side and add more creative heads to his side to maintain a winning streak over the next few weeks.
David de Gea (7.5) –
De Gea was mostly untested in the first half but rose up to make a big save in the 52nd minute, showing excellent reflexes to deny a guaranteed goal minutes before United’s penalty. Ultimately, that save ensured the win for United – so De Gea definitely deserves all the praises he’s getting today.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.0)-
Wan-Bissaka seems to have taken a more defensive role today and was unable to create anything going forward in the first half. Spider-Wan looked really sharp at the back, making key tackles and challenges to dispossess his opponents and completely nullified their movement down his side. Almost got a late assist when his clever pass to Martial in added time saw the Frenchman’s shot blocked off.
Harry Maguire (7.5) –
The United captain is enjoying a bright reign of form and looks confident today. Made a great interception to kickstart the move for Martial’s big chance in the 16th. Maguire looked a bit shaky against a few of West Brom’s counter-attacks but completely shut down their normal attacking style.
Won everything in the air, made some clutch challenges and kept a composed presence in the defence to help United see through the gritty win.
Victor Lindelof (7.5) –
Lindelof passes a late fitness test to start this game. Getting hold of a lot of possession but showing impressive composure to move the ball forward well. The Iceman was really sharp at the back, sniffing out West Brom’s attacks and making timely clearances. A very tidy performance to help United get a much-needed clean sheet.
Alex Telles (7.0) –
The Brazilian left-back finally gets his first PL start of the season! Really proactive with his movement diligent work early on. Telles’ long-balls and set-pieces were quite menacing, but he didn’t get as much freedom going forward as he’d like. Maintained his resolve defensively and helps United grind out a clean sheet in his league debut.
Fred (7.0) –
Fred is being given more freedom to operate in a more attacking role than usual but hasn’t been able to find those cutting-edge passes early on. Despite his indecisiveness in the final third, the sparky Brazilian made some key interceptions and recovered possession 12 times (!) to help United maintain possession and stop fast-breaks. Will be kicking himself for not creating enough.
Nemanja Matic (7.5) –
Matic is dealing pretty well against West Brom’s physicality and stopped a number of counter-attacking opportunities with his clever challenges in the first half. The Serbian juggernaut rugged his way to bully opponents in midfield and covered up really well for his fellow defenders to close down spaces for West Brom. A really sturdy performance from Matic, who played a big role to help United grind out this win.
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
After his brilliant performance against Everton, Bruno will be motivated to produce similar goods today. Laid out a perfect scoring chance for Martial in the 16th only to see it saved. Gets another penalty which he misses in the first attempt, only to be lucky enough to get a second try – which he scores in convincing fashion. Almost set up another with a clever pass to Rashford in the 67th, only to see him botch his attempt.
Makes another terrific defence-splitting pass to send Cavani through on goal in the 72nd. Unlucky not to get an assist late on, but rewarded for his hard work by ultimately getting the winner in the game.
Juan Mata (5.0) –
Playing against an ultra-defensive side today, Mata’s creativity is key to unlocking West Brom’s defence. Despite lacking creativity the whole game, it was his cross that earned United the penalty! Despite that slight contribution, Mata just didn’t look clever nor agile enough to warrant a start in the Premier League. Just doesn’t seem to have the legs to play a PL game anymore.
Marcus Rashford (5.5) –
Rashford will hope to operate more centrally today with a wing-back like Telles beside him. Doesn’t look too comfortable alongside Telles and struggling to move inwards into the middle. Got one swipe at goal in the 49th, forcing a good save from the goalie. Found himself in a brilliant scoring position from point-blank range in the 67th, but couldn’t put one past Johnstone a few yards out from goal.
Marcus made some clever passes to unlock West Brom’s defence, but unable to be decisive when needed and scuffed an easy scoring chance. Didn’t look that fit either after coming out of a slight knock.
Anthony Martial (5.5) –
A really sharp start to the game for Martial, forcing a swift save from Sam Johnstone with his clever header on goal in the 2nd minute. Received a big chance to score in the 16th, but saw his delicate shot from close range saved expertly.
Moved wide to the left-wing after Cavani’s inclusion and had another formidable scoring chance in added time, but despite a clever first-touch, his attempt was blocked. Still lacking that ruthlessness or hunger of a clinical No.9.
Edinson Cavani (6.0) –
The Uruguayan looks full of energy after coming on. Almost slithered into a great scoring position in the 72nd, but saw his rugged shot blocked from close range. Worked his socks off in the little cameo but unable to make a difference like he did against Everton.
Donny van de Beek (N/R) –
Van de Beek was again subbed in too late into the game and despite a few clever touches, he was unable to influence anything positive for United.
Scott McTominay (N/R) –
McTominay was brought in late to help get the job done & he did so pretty well, helping block off West Brom’s attempts and get the win secured for his side.
MAN OF THE MATCH
This game was too cagey to validate any real standouts, but Bruno Fernandes ultimately got the winner and looked the brightest in attack for United. He was lucky to see his clumsy foul leading to West Brom’s penalty turned down & for his first pen saved, but scored the winner & should’ve gotten an assist late on. He deserves the MOTM in this scrappy game.