Premier League

January 1, 2011


West Brom

1 - 2

Man Utd

Premier League

12:45 +00:00, January 1, 2011

The Hawthorns, England

Referee: C Foy


    Javier Hernandez celebrates after putting Manchester United 2-1 ahead


    FT Not a great performance from United but once again they got the points they needed. There will be concern about Rooney's injury though.


    FT That is the final action of the game. West Brom lose their fourth game in a row and United not only remain unbeaten but stretch their lead at the top of the table.

  • 95'

    Fletcher heads clear but the ball drops to Morrison just outside the box. There is no repeat of the earlier heroics as his shots blazes wide.

  • 94'

    A last throw of the dice for West Brom. Midfielder Mulumbu goes off and on comes Fortune, who is a striker

  • 93'

    From the resulting freekick United break with Hernandez. The striker almost breaks clear of the Baggies' defence but Scharner makes a last-ditch tackle.

  • 92'

    Vidic is booked for a rash tackle on Tchoyi.

  • 91'

    Rooney is still hobbling around though.

  • 90'

    The board goes up to show five minutes off added time and Rooney leaps off the bench to come back on.

  • 89'

    Rooney has limped off the pitch so United are down to ten-men for the final few minutes of this match.

  • 88'

    Javier Hernandez heads home to restore Manchester United's lead

  • 88'

    Rooney looks in trouble and has pulled up holding his leg. The United physio signals for a sub, but they have all been used.

  • 87'

    Brunt is booked for scything down Rooney as the United striker was on the break.

  • 86'

    Thomas wins a corenr for West Brom with a nice trick to deflect the ball off Fabio. Fletcher heads the corner clear.

  • 85'

    Ferguson's team might be winning 2-1 with time ticking away but the United manager is still stalking the touchline with a face like thunder.

  • 84'

    Ferdinand stretches to make a tackle on Thomas, the ball deflects off the winger and into the box but Fabio is there to provide cover for United.

  • 83'

    Fabio makes a tough tackle on Thomas. It was from behind and the full-back gets booked.

  • 82'

    Hernandez is booked for a late tackle.

  • 81'

    Peter Odemwingie reflects on a missed opportunity after firing his penalty wide.

  • 80'

    Thomas cuts in from the left and fires off a long-range shot that goes just wide of Kuszczak's post.

  • 78'

    The Baggies have rediscovered their composure and are probing the United defence for a weakness.

  • 77'

    The fans are urging West Brom on.

  • 76'

    United are on top and Fletcher attacks down the flank. His cross is a little behind Rooney, who twists his body but can only head over the bar.

  • 75'

    Very poor defending from West Brom. The corner came in from the left and Hernadez was left unmarked near the penalty spot, giving him an easy header to score.

  • 74'

    GOAL Hernandez heads in from a corner.

  • 74'

    Thomas blocks a cross with his elbow. The United players want a penalty but the ref waves play on.

  • 73'

    Rooney is looking much more lively now that he is playing up front and has a hand in winning a corner for United.

  • 72'

    It's all gone a bit wrong for West Brom since they missed the penalty. Mis-placed passes are the order of the day.

  • 71'

    United make their final change. Neville goes off and is replaced by Fabio, who is normally a left-back.

  • 70'

    Ibanez is replaced by Tchoyi, who is not normally a defender.

  • 68'

    Ibanez is in trouble for West Brom and it looks like the defender will have to go off injured.

  • 67'

    Rooney chips the freekick towards the back post but it is headed clear.

  • 66'

    Rooney teases the West Brom defence again and is sandwiched by two players. Freekick to United.

  • 65'

    Rooney spots a gap in the Baggies defence and races through it. He tries to poke a shot past Carson but the goalkeeper was quickly off his line and blocks the shot.

  • 64'

    Meanwhile, Reid has failed to recover from the earlier knock and on comes Zuiverloon.

  • 63'

    That is a massive let off for United and an awful penalty from Odemwinge.

  • 62'

    Odemwinge takes it himself and puts his shot so wide it goes off the TV screen. What a miss!

  • 61'

    Odemwinge runs at Ferdinand, who hangs out a leg and brings down the striker. PENALTY!

  • 61'

    It's a double change with Berbatov going off to be replaced by Hernandez.

  • 60'

    United use the break in play to make a change. Obertan goes off and is replaced by Gibson.

  • 59'

    Reid has gone down follwoing a 50-50 with Rooney.

  • 58'

    West Brom seem be aiming long-balls in Neville's direction. Maybe they see him as the weak link.

  • 57'

    Stat: This is the seventh time in nine games that Manchester United have failed to keep a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League.

  • 56'

    It's fairly dull at the moment.

  • 55'

    United enjoy a spell of possession but can't create a shooting opportunity.

  • 54'

    Anderson fouls Mulumbu.

  • 53'

    Berbatov latches onto a defence-splitting through-ball but the flag is up for offside.

  • 52'

    From the resulting corner Scharner gets a header at the back post but his effort flashes wide.

  • 51'

    Dorrans bamboozles Ferdinand on the edge of the box but as he shapes to shoot Vidic arrives to block the shot.

  • 50'

    Scharner comes up from the back for a free-kick. The delivery is aimed towards him at the back post but goes out for a goalkick.

  • 49'

    Rooney and Evra combine down the left. Rooney has space to cross but opts for a cut back with the outside of his left foot... it goes to nobody.

  • 48'

    Obertan has switched to the right wing with Rooney playing wide left. Odd decision seeing as Rooney has just ended his goal drought.

  • 47'

    After one missed place by him and one missed placed pass to him Berbatov is in a strop.

  • 46'

    No changes for either side.

  • 46'

    United get the second-half underway, kicking from left to right, and will be hoping to exert a bit more authority.


    HT: United's passing accuracy of 68% in the opposition's half today is their second lowest of any 2010-11 Premier League game. Changes afoot from Ferguson?


    HT: West Brom's James Morrison is the first player to score a first-half Premier League goal against Man Utd since Sept 26, when Zat Knight netted for Bolton.


    HT: There is a full Premier League fixture list today and if you fancy having a flutter then you would do well to check out Simon Cambers' betting tips for the weekend. Interestingly, he predicts a draw here at the Hawthorns.


    West Brom felt they should have had a penalty when Gary Neville brought down Graham Dorrans


    HT: The big talking point at the break will be the penalty that never was, when Neville fouled Dorrans in the box.

  • 46'

    The ref blows his whistle and that's the final action of the half.

  • 45'

    ...Brunt takes the freekick. It hits the wall and deflects wide with the United keeper already going in the other direction.

  • 45'

    West Brom have won a freekick just outside the box and have the chance to test Kuszczak....

  • 44'

    Odemwinge plays a great ball forward for Dorrans, who has caught Ferdinand napping. He drives into the left of the box and shoots into the side netting.

  • 43'

    The game has got a bit scrappy as half-time approaches. Both teams look ready for the interval.

  • 42'

    Obertan takes the corner and it is his second bad one of the match.

  • 42'

    Rooney snatches at a shot and is lucky to win a corner.

  • 41'

    Patient build up from United.

  • 40'

    Mulumbu breaks from midfield and plays the ball up to Dorrans, who can't control the pass as he attempts to turn and beat Neville.

  • 39'

    Rooney and then Carrick give give the ball away.

  • 38'

    Both Ferguson and assistant manager Phelan are off the bench, gesturing for more from the United team.

  • 37'

    Carrick brings the ball forward from deep. Rooney takes over and attempts a reverse pass to Berbatov that is cut out by Cech. Good defending that, Berbatov would have been clean through.

  • 36'

    Rooney uses his strength to out muscle Dorrans and then passes to Berbtov, whose cross is over-hit.

  • 35'

    Thomas uses his pace to burst through the midfield but it comes to nothing.

  • 34'

    Michael Owen is warming up on the touchline for United.

  • 33'

    Obertan looks for a way through the Baggies defence. He can't find a gap and in his eagerness to win back possession gives away a soft freekick.

  • 32'

    United happy to keep possession at the back.

  • 31'

    United are put under pressure at the back and Kuszczak has to scamper out of his goal to save a corner.

  • 30'

    Mulumbu goes off the pitch for some treatment. He will be back on in minute no doubt.

  • 29'

    Carson lets a backpass run across the goal as he prepares to clear, the ball hits a little bobble and the keeper scuffs his clearance. He gets away with it though.

  • 28'

    James Morrison has levelled up the scores

  • 27'

    The West Brom fans feel hard done by and give a big cheer as Evra misplaces a pass.

  • 26'

    ...the ref waves play on, thinking it was a good tackle. The TV replay shows it should have been a penalty.

  • 25'

    A long pass over the United defence finds Dorrans racing clear. He goes down in the box under a challenge from Neville...

  • 24'

    Obertan is the dangerman for United. Very little is going down the right flank and everything good is coming from Obertan on the left.

  • 23'

    Anderson actually passes to a team-mate. Fletcher crosses form the right but it is easily headed clear by Scharner.

  • 22'

    Morrison treis another long-range strike. Easy for Kuszczak.

  • 21'

    Obertan out paces Reid and then holds off the full-back with his strength. He drives into the area but chooses the wrong option to cross near post rather than to the far.

  • 20'

    Rooney sprays the ball out to the right, but Cech has read it and cuts it out before the ball reaches Fletcher.

  • 19'

    Evra tries to beat Reid at right-back. The United defender makes a yard to get in a cross but scuffs the ball into the side-netting.

  • 18'

    Wayne Rooney headed home to give Manchester United the early lead

  • 17'

    The Mulumu and Cech exchange passes on the left, but the final through ball asks too much of Thomas.

  • 16'

    Dorrans and Thomas are tearing the United defence apart at the moment. A poor long-range shot from Brunt brings the move to an end.

  • 15'

    Berbatov gives the ball away high up the pitch. The Baggies are full of belief now.

  • 14'

    Vidic with a poor defensive header under pressure from Odemwinge. The ball drops to Morrison outside the box and the midfielder volleys it into the top corner. Kuszczak had no chance.

  • 13'

    GOAL Morrison with a cracking volley.

  • 13'

    Obertan, who has started well, set Berbatov racing towards the box. The Bulgarian runs into Reid at right-back.

  • 12'

    The poor passing is catching. Mulumbu has just done the same for West Brom.

  • 11'

    Rooney is fouled in the build up to a break. The ref plays the advantage with Fletcher in possession. The scot's cross is a woeful and goes out for a goalkick.

  • 10'

    United play the ball around the back four. Anderson then hits a long-ball forward to nobody.

  • 9'

    Berbatov and Rooney combine well on the half-way line until United's goalscorer is hacked down.

  • 8'

    Morrison plays it out wide to the left for Odemwinge. Neville is more alive this time and is quick to make the tackle.

  • 7'

    A cross comes in from the right. Neville is sat back on heels, allowing Thomas to nip in front of him in the area but the Baggies forward takes a heavy touch.

  • 6'

    The Baggies are trying to knock it around but can't pick out the final pass at the moment.

  • 5'

    It's a terrible corner, which goes out for a throw.

  • 4'

    Obertan chases the ball down the flank and wins a corner for United.

  • 3'

    Berbatov plays Obertan in down the left. The winger's cross isn't a great one but Rooney stoops and heads the ball into the far corner. It is his first goal from open play since March.

  • 2'

    GOAL Rooney ends his drought!

  • 1'

    Morrison fires off an early shot from distance that only succeeds in giving Kuszczak an early touch.

  • 1'

    West Brom get the game underway, kicking from left to right at the Hawthorns.


    West Brom: Carson, Reid, Scharner, Pablo, Cech, Brunt, Morrison, Dorrans, Mulumbu, Thomas, Odemwingie. Subs: Myhill, Tchoyi, Miller, Shorey, Zuiverloon, Fortune, Cox.


    West Brom have something of a defensive injury crisis so Paul Scharner and Steven Reid drop back into the back four to help out.


    Man Utd: Kuszczak, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Obertan, Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Owen, Hernandez, Fabio Da Silva, Evans, Gibson, Bebe.


    Manchester United have opted to rest veteran goalkeeper Van Der Sar. Tomasz Kuszczak starts in goal, Gary Neville comes into defence and Gabriel Obertan alos gets the nod.


    Well it might be New Year's day but their is no stopping the Premier League, which rumbles on relentlessly.


    Ferguson, though, feels he is just a goal away from recovering his form: "Wayne does need a goal. It's not an unusual situation where a striker goes a length of time without scoring and it's a confidence thing."


    Wayne Rooney is still without a United goal in open play since March, and he saw his form take a dip against Birmingham.



    United, of course, will be looking to improve on their disappointing away record, and they are playing against a team that has struggled for form in recent weeks.


    We'll be getting the live commentary underway at 1245 GMT, but in the meantime you can read about Sir Alex Ferguson's theory that it's a five-horse title race.