Premier League
West BromWest Bromwich Albion0Man UtdManchester United3

West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Manchester United

By Mandeep SangheraBBC Sport
Man Utd defender Phil Jones heads his side into the lead at West Brom

Manchester United kept their slim hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive with victory at lowly West Brom.

A Rafael header was tipped onto the crossbar before United took the lead when Phil Jones powered in a header.

The Baggies exerted some pressure in search of an equaliser and striker Victor Anichebe angled a shot wide.

However, United secured the win when Wayne Rooney headed in from close range and Danny Welbeck provided a cool finish after a well-worked move.

Moyes praises 'creative' United

It was a comfortable victory for the visitors as they restored some pride after the 2-0 Champions League defeat by Olympiakos in their previous game, and avenged a 2-1 defeat by the Baggies in the reverse fixture in September.

The Red Devils are nine points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who have two games in hand, and 11 adrift of both Liverpool and Arsenal, who - like United - have played 28 matches.

West Brom, meanwhile, are still searching their first win under Pepe Mel, who after seven matches in charge sees his side only above the relegation zone on goal difference, having won just once in 18 league games.

The Spaniard is coming under increasing pressure, with games against fellow relegation rivals Swansea, Cardiff and Norwich to come in the next month.

But for United counterpart David Moyes, the victory will help ease the burden after he admitted this week he had endured a more "difficult" campaign than he envisaged when he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson's farewell after more than 26 years in charge came with an action-packed 5-5 draw at The Hawthorns at the end of last season, but this match took a while to spring to life.

The first piece of goalmouth action came when United midfielder Marouane Fellaini's header was nodded towards his own goal by Baggies skipper Chris Brunt, but Youssouf Mulumbu cleared off the goalline.

United soon went close again as Adnan Januzaj crossed to the far post, where the unmarked Rafael's header was tipped onto the crossbar by Ben Foster.

The home side failed to heed the warnings and went behind when Robin van Persie whipped in a pacy free-kick and centre-back Jones powered a header past Foster.

The goal belatedly stirred Albion into producing a greater attacking threat, and Claudio Yacob sent an effort just over from close range, the ball flying off his shoulder.

Anichebe then held off Jones before turning and angling a shot wide as the home side went close again.

Both sides then felt decisions went against them. First Foster came out of his area to make a clearance only to miss the ball, which bounced up and struck his hand.

Referee Jon Moss took no action, and also kept his card in his pocket when the home side felt Van Persie should have been booked for a second time for a challenge on Steven Reid.

And Albion were punished for those earlier missed chances when Rafael crossed for Rooney to head in at the far post.

Welbeck put the finishing touch to the victory when, after Fellaini and Rooney combined to tee him up, he controlled expertly before slotting past the advancing Foster.

West Brom boss Pepe Mel:

"Manchester United is a big club and a strong team but today, for us, it is about luck.

Van Persie should have been off - Mel

"We had three players come off injured and Van Persie not getting a second yellow is very important in the match. It is a yellow, but the referee is the boss."

Asked about his future: "It doesn't depend on me. The only thing I am thinking about is working tomorrow and putting all my energy into making sure West Brom win at Swansea.

"The next four matches are very important for us. We need 11 men, 11 good professional players and a good mentality."

Manchester United manager David Moyes:

"It was more like it. We were more creative and played well. It's never the easiest of places to come and we had lost to them earlier in the season so it was good to get a good result.

"We earned the right to be in front. When we did, we sort of controlled chunks of the game.

"I think the [Van Persie] tackle is a foul but not a second booking. If it is, we are all going soft.

"All areas pleased me today. There were some very good performances. Marouane Fellaini did really well, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were excellent.

"I thought the two boys up front were fabulous, with Juan [Mata] and Adnan [Januzaj]."


West Brom

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Foster
  • 2ReidSubstituted forSessegnonat 60'minutes
  • 6Ridgewell
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 23McAuley
  • 3Olsson
  • 18Amalfitano
  • 5YacobSubstituted forMorrisonat 40'minutes
  • 16AnichebeBooked at 90mins
  • 22Gera
  • 11BruntSubstituted forBerahinoat 66'minutes


  • 7Morrison
  • 13Myhill
  • 20Vydra
  • 25Dawson
  • 29Sessegnon
  • 38Berahino
  • 50Bifouma Koulossa

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 2da SilvaSubstituted forVidicat 87'minutes
  • 3Evra
  • 16Carrick
  • 12Smalling
  • 4Jones
  • 8Mata
  • 31Fellaini
  • 20van PersieBooked at 50minsSubstituted forWelbeckat 63'minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 44JanuzajBooked at 13minsSubstituted forKagawaat 76'minutes


  • 11Giggs
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 15Vidic
  • 18Young
  • 19Welbeck
  • 24Fletcher
  • 26Kagawa
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Manchester United 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Manchester United 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Michael Carrick with a headed pass.

  4. Post update

    Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion).

  6. Booking

    Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stéphane Sessegnon.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Nemanja Vidic replaces Rafael.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Morgan Amalfitano with a cross.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! West Bromwich Albion 0, Manchester United 3. Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a through ball.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Morgan Amalfitano.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Zoltán Gera (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Morgan Amalfitano with a cross following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

  17. Post update

    Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by David de Gea.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Zoltán Gera (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Victor Anichebe.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Shinji Kagawa replaces Adnan Januzaj.

As It Stood

4Man City26183569274257
6Man Utd28146846311548
10West Ham2887133135-431
11Aston Villa2887133138-731
16Crystal Palace2883171938-1927
17West Brom28413113142-1125
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