Saturday December 29, 2012 Day 20 Finished Old Trafford

Manchester United 2 - 0 West Bromwich Albion

  • McAuley 9’ (o.g.)
  • van Persie 90’

  1. Premier League - United edge West Brom at rain-soaked Old Trafford

    Premier League - United edge West Brom at rain-soaked Old Trafford

    Old Trafford survived a pitch inspection before Manchester United scratched their way past West Brom for a 2-0 win in the Premier League. More

  • Live Commentary

    • Manchester United
    • West Bromwich Albion
    • - Don't forget you can watch highlights of this match, along with every Premier League game, from 00:01 on Monday morning (UK only).
    • - You can chat about this game or anything that takes your fancy with me on Twitter @Mark_Eurosport FOLLOW HERE
    • 90+4' FULL-TIME: Manchester United come through for another victory. It was rarely pretty on a muddy Old Trafford pitch, but they got the job done, and Robin Van Persie came on to finish it off. Thanks for joining us.
    • 90+3' Check in on those results as they come in across the Premier League. FOLLOW LIVE
    • 90+2' Robin van Persie scored his 27th Premier League goal of 2012, and 14th in the division this season to become outright top scorer. (Infostrada)
    • 90+1' It will look good on the scoresheet, but this has not been an easy afternoon for Manchester United.
    • 90' RVP MAKES IT TWO! Left-footed strike from just outside the area simply too good for Foster - a moment of class finally settles those nerves.
    • 89' WELBECK SO CLOSE! What a save from Foster, who denies a placed finish from the striker. Four minutes of stoppages to play.
    • 88' Ferguson spotted holding on to the ball for an awful long time on the touchline as it breaks his way. Not time-wasting, surely?
    • 87' Speculative hit from Odemwingie, but only just wide of the far post. Not miles away from a little deflection via Lukaku either.
    • 86' Still WBA have had more second-half possession than United (51-49). Still this game not put to bed.
    • 85' Great challenge from McAuley! It looked as if RVP had played Welbeck in for an almost-certain goal - McAuley kept his head to intercept on the stretch.
    • 84' Spotted: Ferguson smiling on the touchline. That makes a bit of a change after some of this week's reactions...
    • 83' A change for each side - Dorrans replaced by Fortune, Scholes on for Cleverley.
    • 82' VAN PERSIE! So close after Evra's pass through. Tamas a bit slow to react, but Foster wasn't - he makes a good stop.
    • 81' United still on track to win this one and stay seven points clear at the top, but they're not doing it in style.
    • 80' Welbeck tries to skim around Tamas with a long first touch - and then goes down as he races for the ball - no foul given.
    • 79' Dorrans spins his way out into a little space, but just as he gets ready to shoot Evans is all over him again. He's been busy, Evans, even if he's been caught out on occasion.
    • 78' Young with half a chance from a tight angle on the left - Foster grabs on.
    • 77' Ridgewell clatters into Van Persie who winces and rubs his knee after that tackle. He looks as if he's alright, though.
    • 76' Just the one goal here but it's a goal-fest in the Premier League this afternoon. Every game LIVE
    • 75' Important charge-down by Evans on Odemwingie - he had time to place a shot from the edge of the area after set-up play from Morrison and Lukaku. The subs making an impact.
    • 74' Change for the Baggies - Brunt off, Morrison on.
    • 73' United just trying to string some passes together, and get back in control of the game. Fergie said not to expect January dealings in his programme notes today.
    • 72' Welbeck wins a throw halfway into the West Brom half. A chance for United to build, although the ball quickly goes out on the full on the other side.
    • 71' Ridgewell now with a cross from the left. United on the ropes a bit here. Scarcely seen Van Persie since his introduction.
    • 70' WEST BROM HIT THE BAR! It's McAuley's header, and he's so close to undoing the own goal that put his side behind early on.
    • 69' West Brom have even shaded the possession stats so far in this second half. How often does that happen at Old Trafford? Evans has to give away a corner under pressure from Jones.
    • 68' Clumsy tackle from Brunt on Young, and that releases a bit of pressure on the Red Devils.
    • 67' And there's a change for WBA as well, with Lukaku replacing Rosenberg. Another body up front for the visitors.
    • 66' Here's United's first change - Van Persie on, Kagawa off.
    • 65' SHOT FROM VALENCIA! Looks like he should cross as the angle gets narrower, but he tests Foster at his near post and the keeper has to make a good stop.
    • 64' There's a bit of tension around Old Trafford. United have failed to kill the game off when the going was good. The last half an hour could be very scrappy.
    • 63' The rain really starting to come down at Old Trafford as well now - given the pitch was getting muddier anyhow, that's not great news for fans of flowing football.
    • 62' Yellow for Valencia following a less than clever tackle on Odemwingie.
    • 61' Young with half a chance - but the ball goes straight through his legs as he tries to pull the trigger. United do however have the consolation of a corner.
    • 60' United really need the likes of Vidic and Carrick to take control back of this game. Another goal would quieten things, too. But for now, West Brom playing well.
    • 59' Dorrans tries a shot from outside the area after a run to the byline from Odemwingie. It's blocked - but West Brom are looking like the better side at present.
    • 58' Horrible crossfield pass from Chris Brunt - out on the full, some 20 yards over everyone. Cue ironic cheers at Old Trafford.
    • 57' Six matches underway in the Premier League, and there's plenty of incident. Every game LIVE
    • 56' Another United corner - this time Young whips it towards Vidic and Evans - neither quite manages to direct an effort on goal.
    • 55' VALENCIA! The ball breaks to him after Young's cross. Valencia takes his time to find an angle, but ends up seeing his low shot deflected for a corner.
    • 54' West Brom's best spell of the match, this - a series of good passes, concluded by a cross from Long. Doesn't find its mark this time, but the Baggies are settling down.
    • 53' Odemwingie punished for climbing over Smalling as he tried to meet a cross at the far post.
    • 52' United lead on shots 9-4 - and on shots on target 6-2 - but West Brom are only one moment of magic away from spoiling Sir Alex's birthday on New Year's Eve.
    • 51' Another set piece from distance for West Brom - and Brunt's delivery picks out Tamas at the far post - that could have been trouble for United...
    • 50' Clean strike from Chris Brunt - hit at pace from 25 yards - it was straight at De Gea so the Spaniard could save, but anything to his left or right would have been a real test.
    • 49' West Brom at the moment really managing little more than to keep United at arm's length. When they're already behind, it doesn't bode well. But they're hanging in.
    • 48' Kagawa and Valencia combine down the right, waiting patiently for an opportunity to cross that doesn't come. In the end it's down to Cleverley, whose effort is blocked at the near post.
    • 47' Some predictions from you on Twitter - Hilma Hazmi: "Kagawa look decent this afternoon, a goal from him might come in the 2nd half. 2-0 win for Man utd!" - Joseph Sleiman: "Lukaku and rvp to both come on and score. Man U win 2-1" and this from Declan Judge on Cleverley: "looks like management have had a strong chat with cleverly past few days, he's really trying to get thru his passing range"
    • 46' West Brom kick us off in the second half!
    • - What did you think of that half? Is there any way back for the Baggies? Tweet me your thoughts and predictions to @Mark_Eurosport FOLLOW HERE!
    • 45+1' HALF TIME: The wall stands firm and despite a couple of wobbly moments at the end of this half United go in ahead and good value for their lead.
    • 45' United not dealing with that particularly well, and Rosenberg taken out on the edge of the area by Cleverley as the ball rebounds. One added minute to play - this set piece surely the last action of the half.
    • 44' Long goes to ground in a challenge with Evans, and West Brom have a useful set-piece position with the half drawing to a close.
    • 43' CLOSE! Foster almost loses his footing and lets in an embarrassing goal after a passback - was that the pitch at work? Either way, Danny Welbeck very nearly picked up a cheap goal.
    • 42' Shake of the head from Jonny Evans as he wallops the ball out of play after the ball hits a divot.
    • 41' It's not been an unqualified success for United, but they have looked very comfortable. And they still have RVP waiting on the bench if need be.
    • 40' From absolutely nothing Odewingie drifts in beyond Smalling and Valencia from the left, then fires a low shot wide of De Gea's goal. Just a reminder that West Brom have an attacking threat - we've not seen much of it yet.
    • 39' Valencia fizzes in a low cross into a swarm of bodies in the West Brom six-yard box - the ball pings out towards safety. United continue to push.
    • 38' Cleverley overhits a crossfield pass to Smalling, and that kills off United's momentum for a moment. The midfielder looks frustrated with himself.
    • 37' Vidic gets a head to the ball at the far post, but cannot steer it on target. West Brom clinging on, fingernails only, at present.
    • 36' Kagawa almost on the end of Cleverley's through ball - corner again for the Red Devils.
    • 35' Steve Clarke looks utterly miserable. Someone ought to remind just how brilliant his West Brom tenure has been thus far...
    • 34' Odemwingie at the other end tries a deep cross, which goes the whole way across the goalmouth and out for a throw.
    • 33' CARRICK NOW CLOSE! Fearful defending from West Brom, who just cannot get rid. Vidic gets the ball stuck under his feet but somehow still tees up a shot for Carrick. Somehow the visitors survive.
    • 32' WHAT A SAVE FROM FOSTER! Young denied by the former England keeper despite a vicious half-volley! Corner.
    • 31' Rosenberg now getting involved as West Brom pass the ball in United's final third - but where's the cross?
    • 30' Clumsy from Evra - Dorrans gets in front of the Frenchman and Evra simply sticks an arm out to try and get back on terms. Free kick for the visitors in a useful position.
    • 29' Ashley Young over the bar with a header after a deflected cross from Welbeck. United getting closer once again.
    • 28' The Baggies are just beginning to string a few passes to together. Not much in the way of purpose or direction yet, but they have to start somewhere.
    • 27' If Odemwingie were unable to continue, the presence of Lukaku could yet unsettle the United defence. Might not be the worst thing to happen to West Brom.
    • 26' The physios are now coming to Odemwingie who has been caught in a challenge. He's made his way off the field, so play will continue.
    • 25' Vidic tries a ranging ball out of his own half. Welbeck hurts himslef to clamber over the back of Ridgewell.
    • 24' The pitch is beginning to scuff up, however, particularly down the middle. It could look very different to play on this ground after 90 minutes.
    • 23' United working neatly in tight spaces - Kagawa and Cleverley particularly effective.
    • 22' Plenty of goals going in across the Premier League at present. Every game LIVE
    • 21' Possession stats have just flashed up on our screens - 79% to Manchester United so far. It's been one-way traffic.
    • 20' Welbeck penalised for handball instead, trying to control the ball with his back to goal.
    • 19' The Old Trafford crowd goes up for a penalty for handball as Tamas blocks Kagawa's cross. Ambitious - it was at point-blank range for one, and it hit Tamas' chest for another. They settle for a corner.
    • 18' WELBECK! Draws a save from Foster as United look to double their advantage - the placement good, but he couldn't quite find the power.
    • 17' Another superb pass from Cleverley - must have gone all of 60 yards to Welbeck, who was a whisker away from controlling and being one-on-one.
    • 16' Gareth McAuley scored his first ever career Premier League own goal. It was the fifth total own goal scored at Old Trafford this season (and first by the away side) – the most own goals there than any other stadium. (Infostrada)
    • 15' West Borm really struggling for possession here. Even when Odemwingie intercepts he's driven back towards his own corner flag by Smalling.
    • 14' Curious pass from Smalling - turning back and chipping long to his central defenders.
    • 13' Kagawa dropping deep and linking things up well. Looks effortless on the ball.
    • 12' Dorrans goes long as well, this time trying to feed Long. Vidic on hand to do the defensive work.
    • 11' Cleverley pings out a ball towards Welbeck - would have been quite something had it come off. Not quite.
    • 10' United have made an unfortunate habit (well, it's been great fun to watch) of giving goals away and having to dig themselves out of trouble - they've made the early running here this afternoon.
    • 9' UNITED LEAD! IT'S AN OWN GOAL! Ashley Young finds the ball bounce his way via Kagawa's flick - Young drills it across goal at pace, and McAuley paddles the ball past his own keeper.
    • 8' You can see that it's been raining a lot in Manchester - but it's something of a surprise that we were talking about a possible postponement earlier. The Old Trafford pitch is playing well.
    • 7' Vidic nods this set piece over the bar. He's a strong presence but he got that one wrong. United just starting to throw their weight around a little, however.
    • 6' Cleverley and Valencia combine on the right - but somehow there's no cross at the end of it. Valencia gets a second chance and wins a corner.
    • 5' Manchester City have started supremely well at Norwich by the way; they already lead 2-0. Every game LIVE
    • 4' Speculative shot from Dorrans from all of 30 yards. He's hit one or two crackers from that kind of distance - this was not one of them.
    • 3' Will be interesting to see how the pairing of Kagawa and Welbeck get on - leaving out Hernandez and Van Persie is a big call from Fergie. Not much to report yet.
    • 2' United settle into the match early, with Young trying to whip in a cross from the left. West Brom clear.
    • 1' Away we go at Old Trafford!
    • 14:55 The teams come out at Old Trafford. It has stopped raining and at first glance the pitch doesn't look too bad - we'll see how it holds up throughout the afternoon.
    • 14:50 A quick look at the Premier League table - United come into this game seven points clear at the mid-point of the season. WBA are a highly-impressive sixth and could mathematically be third by the end of the day, though that would require them to win by six or more goals. Which seems unlikely. Premier League table
    • 14:45 Good as he has obviously been, Robin van Persie's scoring record in 2012 is significantly less prolific than last year. Van Persie has scored 26 goals in 38 Premier League appearances in 2012, compared to 35 in 36 games in 2011. Maybe that's why he's been dropped.
    • 14:40 There's more: "The problem for me is that the profile of this club is huge. Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me. He is the worst at haranguing referees. He shoves them and makes a joke of it. How he can criticise me is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way."
    • 14:40 Clearly Alex Ferguson's comments about Alan Pardew won't have passed you by, but let's remind ourselves of one of the season's top rants to date: "The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy. It is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. Not Newcastle, a wee club in the north east."
    • 14:35 An interesting stat from Opta as a postscript to the Jonny Evans shemozzle from Boxing Day: Before 2012-13 Man Utd had only scored 7 own goals at Old Trafford in 20 PL campaigns. This season they have 4 already.
    • 14:30 We're getting to the sharp end of the early kick-off between Sunderland and Tottenham./ I won't tell you the score, but I will let you know that Gareth Bale has just been booked for diving. Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur: LIVE
    • 14:25 This game almost didn't happen. It has been peeing it down in the North-West for days, and the Old Trafford ground staff had the pitch covered until a few hours before kick-off - the surface came through a 1.15pm pitch inspection by ref Jon Moss.
    • 14:20 Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to our coverage of Manchester United v West Brom. Will you look at that Manchester United team selection! Nemanja Vidic and Shinji Kagawa both start, but Van Persie, Hernandez and Ferdinand are all on the bench. Meanwhile George Thorne makes his second Premier League start for West Brom.
    • 14:15 MAN UTD: De Gea; Smalling, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young; Kagawa, Welbeck... Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Hernandez, Van Persie, Scholes, Buttner. // WEST BROM: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell, Thorne, Brunt, Rosenberg, Dorrans, Odemwingie, Long... Subs: Myhill, Lukaku, Morrison, Jara Reyes, Fortune, Dawson, El Ghanassy.
  • Summary

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Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      7.2 7
      6.5 7
      7.7 7
      6.9 7
      7.1 6
      6.8 6
      Substitution Out83′ 7.2 8
      Yellow Card 6.8 6
      6.7 7
      Substitution Out66′ 7.3 7
      5.8 6
      Substitution In83′ 6.3 -
      Substitution In66′ Goal 8 8
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      6.1 8
      5 7
      Own Goal 5.1 6
      5.6 6
      4.9 6
      4.9 5
      Substitution Out75′ 5.1 6
      6 6
      Substitution Out83′ 5.5 6
      Substitution Out67′ 5.4 6
      5.3 7
      Substitution In83′ 3.9 -
      Substitution In75′ 4.4 7
      Substitution In67′ 6.3 7