Match Report: Man United vs WBA

West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United - Barclays Premier League

TKTG brings together the best articles from around the web on Manchester United’s 2-0 won over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.

 

Match Report:  BBC Sport

Manchester United will start 2013 with a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after a hard-earned win over West Bromwich Albion.

Gareth McAuley deflected Ashley Young’s cross past Ben Foster for the opening goal at a rain-lashed Old Trafford.

Foster tipped a Young effort onto the bar, before West Brom’s Gabriel Tamas wasted a great close-range chance.

But United substitute Robin van Persie sealed victory with a curling finish in the 90th minute.

This was not as comfortable for United as the scoreline might suggest, with the leaders forced to weather a spirited second-half display from the Baggies.

Nevertheless the outcome was a welcome early birthday present for Sir Alex Ferguson, who is 71 on Monday.

The United manager starts the new year with a 13th Premier League title firmly within his sights after his side ended a trophyless 2012 with a victory sprinkled with positives.

Read the BBC Sport report by Neil Johnston

 

Match Analysis – ESPNFC

Albion’s performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday was truly the definition of “Jekyll and Hyde”. West Brom did go into the game with a depleted first XI, with key players Youssuf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob and Jonas Olsson ruled out through injury, whilst Zoltan Gera missed out on the game after playing 90 minutes at QPR on Boxing Day.

Even with those injuries, West Brom managed to field a more than respectable side packed full of internationals. Before I go onto the match, I just thought I’d highlight this as evidence for just how far The Baggies have come in a couple of seasons. An injury list like this in previous seasons would have left the head coach really scraping the barrel, rather than having the option to bring some players in who need game-time.

Unfortunately, the first half was a rather timid affair from a West Brom viewpoint, a bright enough start saw Shane Long have one driving run at the defence and on another occasion being challenged by Chris Smalling, a challenge that from one angle looked a foul whilst from another angle didn’t.

Some poor defending from a chipped ball from Shinji Kagawa allowed Ashley Young to get in and put the ball into the box, deflecting into the net off Gareth McAuley. In general the Baggies showed far too much respect to their opponents in the first half, something that often happens at Old Trafford. George Thorne was nervy early on in his first Premier League start for West Brom since January, with Albion struggling to hold the ball on occasions.

Read the ESPNFC report by Matthew Evans.

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