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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
September 28, 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 75042
W. Rooney 57'
West Bromwich Albion
M. Amalfitano 54'
S. Berahino 67'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells, today. It's been a pleasure reporting on what was an excellent game of football and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Until next time, farewell.
West Brom, meanwhile, will be absolutely delighted with both their performance and their result. Summer signings Sessegnon and Amalfitano were sensational, causing United endless problems as the former harried and hustled all game long, while the latter played a defining role in both goals. They were good value for their win and never looked overly troubled by their opposition's ample attacking ammunition. Steve Clarke must be buoyed by that win as they seem to have overcome their poor early season form with their second Premier League win in succession.
Manchester United will be desperately disappointed by today's showing; they will, perhaps, be more concerned with the actual performance than the result. They failed to carry any real threat throughout the game and looked the worse side, both offensively and defensively. The Baggies' first goal will rankle with both Moyes and Ferdinand, while their inability to muster up any real opportunity after the second is yet more cause for concern. It seems as though much work is to be done as United head into Europe in midweek.
90' + 4'
And, as Rooney desperately launches a long ball forward, the referee blows the full time whistle! It's a memorable win for the Baggies as their sterling performance earns them a three points that puts David Moyes under some real pressure!
90' + 3'
Berahino, also really impressive today, earns his side a corner as West Brom look as though they're going to run down the clock and earn themselves a well-deserved three points.
90' + 2'
Carrick forces Myhill into a sharp save! After Rooney spurns what seemed like a shooting opportunity by passing to a West Brom man, the ball falls to the midfielder who strikes goalwards with real venom. The goalkeeper palms away, before Januzaj forges another opportunity of his own, though he fails in his attempt to find the opposite corner. A rare spell of concerted pressure from the away side there.
Four minutes injury time are called and West Brom are sitting extremely deep - this could be a tense final few minutes!
West Brom make another substitution - their second in about four minutes as Rosenberg replaces the sensational Stephane Sessegnon. He, along with Amalfitano, has really shone today and he deservedly takes a break as the Baggies look to see out a good day's work.
West Brom have another opportunity to extend their lead after an unconvincing Fellaini header affords Berahino a half-chance on the edge of the United area. He attempts to find the far corner but gets his strike slightly wrong, putting it well over the bar.
Amalfitano earns his side a corner after some good work down the right. Three minutes remain and United look increasingly desperate but the Baggies are affording their opposition very little, as they have done all game long.
Yellow CardMorgan Amalfitano
Amalfitano brings Nani down in a dangerous area, earning both a booking and some theatrics from the winger in the process. Rooney whips in the free kick but Myhill is there to, again, somewhat unconvincingly, punch the ball clear.
Fellaini scores but it's deemed offside! Nani plays a nice one-two with Van Persie before finding the former Everton man at the far post. The midfielder taps home but it transpires that he went too early; it was the correct call but it's still desperately disappointing for United - if only he had held his run.
Januzaj, once again, does really well to beat a couple of men, leaving the evidently tiring Ridgewell in his wake before firing an effort towards the far post. Sterling work but Myhill palms away well, allowing his defence to complete the clearance.
Januzaj does really well to beat a couple of men but he overdoes it slightly and is eventually crowded out by the persistent West Brom backline.
Rooney whips a free kick into the West Brom area, clearly aiming for Fellaini. The Baggies defenders head the ball clear but, in any case, the former Everton man is called offside. It was a correct call - quite why the midfielder found himself beyond the defenders there is anyone's guess.
Nani goes on a spectacular run, beating Yacob with nice footwork before ghosting past Ridgewell and putting the ball into the area. Olsson does really well to clear but that was lovely work from the Portuguese winger who, though impressive in the first half, has failed to really show up in the second.
West Brom almost grab themselves a third! The ball falls to Sessengon just inside the area after Evans clears unconvincingly under duress from Anichebe. The former Sunderland man miscues his effort though, striking wide of the near post.
That's better from United as Van Persie looks to test Myhill. Januzaj whips in a cross and the Dutchman gets a flick on the ball. It's not enough though as the fairly tame effort is picked up with a fair amount of ease by Myhill.
Rooney attempts to find Van Persie but the move proves slightly too intricate. Myhill claims the ball, taking his time before clearing the ball downfield.
The Red Devils really haven't caused West Brom too many problems since that Berahino goal. They concede possession after some aimless passing in the middle of the park - this is not a typical United performance, that much is evident.
A poor Rooney touch from a Carrick pass invokes an audibly irritated response from the home support; you wouldn't be surprised, if United are unable to overturn this one goal deficit, if the full-time whistle is greeted with boo's from the home fans.
Yellow CardAlexander Büttner
West Brom aren't just sitting back here, they've just enjoyed a good spell of possession in the Manchester United half as they force their opposition back.
Buttner earns a booking for a rash challenge on Sessegnon. He's caused them endless problems today - United have looked ill-equipped to deal with the diminutive dangerman.
Van Persie, on as a substitute shortly after that United equaliser but quiet thus far, earns a corner off Olsson. The ensuing corner, taken by the Dutchman, doesn't beat the first man - desperately disappointing for Moyes' men.
Manchester United look devoid of ideas here as West Brom invite their opposition onto them. Carrick drifts in a fairly aimless ball that is cleared with ease by McAuley.
The goal prompts Moyes into his third and final substitution, bringing on his reliable footman Fellaini in place of Anderson. Can Manchester United come back here? That remains to be seen but one thing is for certain, we're set up for an entertaining last twenty minutes here!
Januzaj does well down the right as United go in search of another equaliser, getting himself into a good crossing position. His cross is deflected away by McAuley, however, and the danger is averted.
GOAL! And it's absolutely fantastic from West Brom! A beautifully worked move results in Sessegnon playing into Amalfitano, who flicks deftly into the path of Berahino. The youngster makes no mistake, striking first time into the far corner, leaving De Gea with no chance. That was a lovely goal and no less than the Baggies deserve - they've responded really well to that fortuitious United equaliser. 2-1!
Yellow CardPhil Jones
Amalfitano takes the free kick and almost makes it 2-1! He curls the ball over the wall and into the top corner but De Gea is equal to it, palming behind adeptly for a corner. A good save from a similarly good free kick there.
Sessegnon leaves Carrick trailing in his wake as he dribbles brilliantly into the United half. Jones, seeing the danger, brings down the dangerman, earning himself a booking in the process.
Anderson, in a move that sums up his game thus far, does really well to, again, glide (perhaps not the right word for the Brazilian, actually) past several men before giving possession away with a misplaced pass. The mistake incites howls of derision from the home support, palpably frustrated in spite of their equaliser.
It's West Brom's turn to attack now and Anichebe lays off to Sessegnon on the edge of the area. The former Sunderland man can't keep the ball down, however, sidefooting his effort well over the bar.
Anderson does really well to drive into the West Brom area, picking up a pass from Rooney and surging past Olsson. His touch is slightly too heavy, however, and Myhill dives at his feet to claim.
Though West Brom are undoubtedly kicking themselves at giving away their lead in the space of three minutes, they don't look like a team licking their wounds as they rattle the crossbar from a corner! Olsson heads Amalfitano's delivery goalwards and is inches away from putting the Baggies back in front, rattling the post with a good effort.
Robin van Persie
West Brom attempt to forge an instant response, getting forward and putting the pressure on the home side. It's Berahino who eventually strikes at goal but he skews his effort, putting the ball quite a margin wide of the near post.
GOAL! And it's Rooney who grabs the equaliser! The forward whips a cross into the far post and, somewhat fortuitiously, the ball finds its way into the far corner. Noone managed to get a touch on the ball but the runs distracted Myhill - unfortunate for West Brom, now it's their turn to respond. 1-1!
Buttner does well down the left to earn a free kick from the backtracking Jones. It's in a dangerous area and Rooney looks as though he'll whip it into the area.
It'll be interesting to see how United respond to that setback; they haven't played particularly well and will definitely need to step up a gear if they are to claw this one back. A loss here, I think it's fair to say, would really put the pressure on Moyes, even at this early stage of the season.
GOAL! And it's Amalfitano with a beautifully taken goal! From Manchester United's perspective, however, that is a shocking goal. The West Brom winger ran from the halfway line, practically unchallenged but for a weak attempt at an intervention from Ferdinand, before finding himself in on goal. He made absolutely no mistake in his one-on-one with De Gea, waiting till the last moment before dinking over the Spaniard. A lovely goal but absolutely terrible from the home side.
United fans, perhaps frustrated by the lack of goals, are indulging themselves in a chant of "attack, attack, attack, attack, attack". Not the most original of chants but it certainly gets the message across.
Buttner and Januzaj link up well down the left but McAuley does well to intervene, outstrengthing the latter to avert any potential danger.
Anichebe is still limping; the former Everton man found himself curtailed towards the end of the first half by some kind of knock and it appears be hindering him once more. Could there be another enforced change imminent for the Baggies?
It's a lively start to the second half as Old Trafford as both sides look eager to force the issue and open the scoring. Anderson has another opportunity on the edge of the area after a Rooney cross is cleared. He volleys well over the bar, though, to be fair to the Brazilian, it was a difficult chance to take.
Amalfitano does well again down the right, recovering a seemingly overhit pass to forge himself a crossing opportunity. The cross, as with the pass seconds earlier, is also overhit, however, and Anichebe, in an attempt to retrieve it, brings down Jones.
Sessegnon continues his excellent work from the first half, driving forward and beating a couple of players before playing in Berahino for a shooting opportunity. The youngster attempts to find the opposite corner but De Gea blocks adeptly.
Anderson feeds Chicharito in the West Brom area who turns and shoots in typical fashion. Olsson blocks well though and another chances goes begging for the home side.
And Manchester United get us underway in this second period! Moyes has made one change, introducing Janujaz in place of Kagawa.
The teams are back out on the pitch now as both sides look to go in search of a goal in the second period.
West Brom, meanwhile, will be pleased with their showing in the first half. They played some lovely football, cancelled out United's threats, Nani aside, fairly well and have enjoyed the better of the chances. Steve Clarke and his men, however, might live to rue the missed opportunities as Berahino and Sessegnon could so easily have made it an even more impressive opening gambit from the Baggies. Still, promising stuff from the away side and they'll be looking to take that momentum into the second half.
Manchester United will be, in all honesty, disappointed at how the first half has panned out. They didn't control proceedings as they might've expected and, despite some decent chances, mainly created by the hitherto impressive Nani, they have looked, if anything, less likely to open the scoring than their counterparts today. Moyes may have to make some changes as he goes in search of a much needed three points in the second period.
45' + 3'
And it's half time at Old Trafford! We go in to the interval goalless in spite of what has been a very lively first half; it'll be interesting to see whether either side make any changes as they try to break the deadlock in the second half.
45' + 2'
Manchester United build up the play well in the West Brom half but they can't find a way through the densely packed ranks, eventually leading to an easily cleared Nani cross.
45' + 1'
Ridgewell and Nani clash again, in similar circumstances to earlier in the half. This time, the Baggies left back gets the decision, though, as the United winger is deemed to have brought him down unfairly.
As we enter injury time, Anderson wastes possession once more, giving Buttner a fairly dismal ball and allowing Jones to nip in before the left back can get there.
Sessegnon misses a golden opportunity from the corner! Yacob wins the header from the corner, flicking the ball to the back post. On his left foot, the former Sunderland man strikes first time but his effort flies well over the bar. He'll be disappointed with that.
Amalfitano causes Buttner more problems down the right but the United left back does well to prevent the winger from getting a cross in, putting in a strong challenge to put it behind for a corner.
Carrick plays a lovely through ball into the path of Rooney, who duly puts Kagawa through. The Japanese international sets the ball back to the advancing Buttner but his shot is blocked. That was nice play from Manchester United - they've played well in fits and starts in this first half.
Anichebe is implored, quite audibly in fact, by the West Brom bench to take on the backtracking Ferdinand but the former Everton man elects not to, instead turning back and playing to Sessegnon. The targetman has been quiet today but the Baggies coaching staff clearly fancy his chances against the Manchester United veteran.
West Brom enjoy a good spell, working the ball nicely down the right wing. The play eventually comes to nothing however as Amalfitano puts in an uncharacteristically poor cross, allowing De Gea to claim with ease.
Kagawa does really well on the edge of the area, sidestepping McAuley with consummate ease and, in doing so, forging a shooting opportunity for himself. His left-footed strike isn't the best though and Myhill gathers the mishit effort.
It's West Brom's turn to try and hit their opposition on the counter and they almost forge an opportunity, only for an overhit ball by Sessegnon to put an end to the attack.
Manchester United are controlling proceedings for now - they're keeping possession well and almost make good use of it, with Buttner attempting to find Nani in the area. The Portuguese winger is crowded out, however, and the danger is cleared.
No is the answer as it's Manchester United who go close with a superb counter attack! Anderson rattles the bar after excellent work from Kagawa down the left, heading against the woodwork after the diminutive Japanese midfielder found him in the area. He was unlucky not to score there, though the linesman, somewhat bewilderingly, flagged for offside so it wouldn't have counted anyway.
Sessegnon, hitherto impressive for the away side, earns his side a free kick in a dangerous area. Amalfitano is set to whip another delivery into the box - can West Brom break the deadlock?
Rooney spurns another good chance and, yet again, it's Nani who provides it. He curls a nice ball into the area and his teammate meets it well but his header is poor, flying harmlessly over the bar.
From the aftermath of the ensuing corner, Anderson picks up the ball on the edge of the area and strikes on his favoured left foot. The Brazilian fails to really catch hold of it, however, and Myhill claims with ease.
To Ridgewell's evident bemusement, the referee gives a corner after Nani appears to bring down the West Brom left back. That did appear to be a foul but the referee clearly didn't see it that way and Manchester United have a corner.
Berahino is inches away from breaking the deadlock! Amalfitano, still on the left from the corner, brings a long ball down superbly before whipping a fantastic delivery into the area. Berahino meets it well, attempting to divert it into the far corner. It's just wide but that was really close! The best chance of the game thus far.
Olsson's back on the pitch now and, as if right on cue, West Brom earn a corner as Sessegnon battles once more, this time down the left.
Nani, probably the most impressive player in the opening stages, attempts to put Rooney through in Olsson's continued absence. The Englishman mysteriously halts his run, however, and the ball runs harmlessly through to Myhill.
Manchester United, with West Brom currently down to ten men once more, create an attack with some neat interplay down the right between Jones and Nani. Jones' cross is deflected behind for a corner as Olsson continues to receive treatment.
The game is halted as Olsson is receiving treatment for a head wound. He'll have to go off as he's got blood on his shirt following a nasty head collision.
Almost the opener there! Nani whips another good ball in and Rooney gets a flick on the ball. His flick fails to find either corner though, instead locating Myhill in the centre of the West Brom goal. Perhaps he could have done slightly better there.
Rooney is caught late by Yacob, giving Manchester United a free kick in a dangerous area, about 35 yards from goal. It looks like Nani is set to whip this ball into the area.
Anderson does well to come forward with the ball but, in an attempt to find Nani on the right wing, gets it horribly wrong, putting the ball out for a throw in.
Manchester United aren't enjoying as much possession as you might expect; West Brom, without causing their opponents too many problems, are more than in this game.
Mulumbu gives the ball away in a dangerous area and that leads to Nani causing problems, once again with a fantastic delivery. He gets down the right wing before whipping it in behind the centre backs. As with before, though, no one can meet it and the chance goes begging.
Buttner gets a bit lucky deep on the left flank; Sessegnon put him under pressure and he seemed all too willing to go down. The referee deems it a foul, however, and Manchester United get the free kick.
Carrick, despite being booked just minutes earlier, fouls again in an even more dangerous area. Amalfitano, very impressive at the start of his West Brom career to date, whips in a delivery but Ferdinand heads clear.
Chicharito, in his inimitable fashion, almost steals in and opens the scoring! Nani whips in a dangerous ball, causing Olsson and McAuley all sorts of problems. The Mexican is inches away from connecting but can't quite make contact, allowing Myhill to gather the cross and set West Brom away on the counter.
Yellow CardMichael Carrick
Carrick picks up a yellow for a cynical challenge; Ridgewell takes the ensuing free kick but his delivery is found wanting. De Gea claims with consummate ease.
West Brom have an opportunity and it's all down to Stephane Sessegnon! The dangerman worms him way past defenders on the right-hand side of the box, before cutting the ball back. That prompts mayhem in the United area as Anichebe attempts to fumble the ball into the back of the net. The Red Devils survive, however, smuggling the ball clear and out of the area.
It's Saido Berahino who replaces Scott Sinclair, seemingly a man with a big future ahead of him. He's impressed in both Capital One Cup and international under-21 duty as of late - can he take that form into the league?
Yellow CardYoussouf Mulumbu
Sinclair has picked up an injury in the early stages and looks set to be replaced. West Brom are down to ten men for the time being; that's a real disappointment for both the Baggies and the former Manchester City man.
Mulumbu earns a booking for an extremely rash challenge on Kagawa; he's irate but he's perhaps lucky to have avoided further punishment there - it was a poor challenge verging on a lunge.
There have yet to be any real chances in this one, both sides appear to be sounding each other out. Despite that five minute spell of dominance from the home side at the start of the game, Manchester United have failed to create a real chance in the early stages.
Ridgewell attempts to capitalise on a rare spell of possession for the away side, driving a ball deep into the area. Nothing doing though as Anichebe fails to win it in the air, letting it run out for a United goal kick.
West Brom, in a rare early foray into the United half, earn a throw in through the resolute work of Sessegnon. You get the feeling the former Sunderland man will have to be on top of his game if the away side are to get anything from today's encounter.
Manchester United continue to dominate the early runnings as Rooney fires a ball into the feet of Chicharito, attempting to set the diminutive Mexican away. The striker's first touch is poor though and the opportunity goes begging.
West Brom are sitting back at the moment, inviting Manchester United onto them. They home side are buzzing around the Baggies' area but they've yet to trouble Boaz Myhill in the opposition's goal.
And we're underway! Manchester United kick off proceedings as they look to capitalise on the momentum gained from Wednesday's win against Liverpool with a win here.
The teams are out on the pitch now as we're minutes away from kick off here at Old Trafford!
West Brom, in stark contrast to their opposition, make wholesale changes from the side that fell to a penalty defeat against Arsenal on Wednesday as Scott Sinclair, Stephane Sessegnon and Youssouf Mulumbu the only survivors from that heavily-rotated side.
David Moyes, perhaps surprisingly, shows his faith in the depth of his squad as he fields a similar team to that which beat Liverpool 1-0 in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, though three changes are made with Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Anderson replacing Chris Smalling, Rafael and Ryan Giggs.
West Brom: Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson (c), Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Sinclair; Anichebe.
Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner; Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Kagawa; Rooney, Chicharito. Subs: Evra, Welbeck, van Persie, Valencia, Fellaini, Amos, Januzaj.
And here come the team line-ups...
Still, this game signals the start of an easier fixture run-in for the home side - this encounter is followed by clashes with Sunderland, Southampton and Stoke - and, should they win all those seemingly winnable clashes, Moyes would surely relieve a fair bit of pressure on himself.
Despite it being so early in the season, this game could be interpreted as a must-win for Manchester United boss David Moyes. To say his start to life as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor has been shaky would be an understatement; the saga that became the Red Devil's transfer window preceded a start to the season that only exacerbated concerns about the former Everton manager's ability to fill the hotseat at Old Trafford.
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Manchester United and West Brom, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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