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West Brom win at Man Utd – Man City are champions

Jay Rodriguez

Manchester United lost to bottom side West Brom in a result which saw Manchester City crowned as Premier League champions.

West Brom secured the victory at Old Trafford thanks to a Jay Rodriguez header from Chris Brunt’s corner as United failed to clear their lines.

City now have an unassailable 16-point lead over Jose Mourinho’s side at the top of the table.

United’s best chance of the game was a Romelu Lukaku header, which was superbly saved by Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster.

City manager Pep Guardiola had claimed he would be on the golf course on Sunday afternoon and would not watch the game.

The win was West Brom’s first since a 2-0 success over Brighton on 12 January and only their fourth all season.

However, Premier League survival still looks unlikely for the Baggies, who are nine points adrift of 17th-placed Swansea with four matches to play.

Man Utd leave the handbrake on

Last weekend saw United complete a stunning comeback victory over City as they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

In that match, Mourinho’s side produced a poor first-half display before they rallied to deny City what would have been the sweetest of coronations as champions.

United should have been surfing the crest of the wave following that victory, but instead they fell flat against West Brom.

At times, there is the unerring sense Mourinho’s United begin matches with the handbrake on, with players shackled by the Portuguese’s tactical straitjacket.

It is almost as if they need a cause to rally against before they deliver the kind of attacking play that Old Trafford yearns for.

With the exception of the chance for Lukaku – and a penalty appeal when Ander Herrera was caught by Craig Dawson – it was a soporific first half for the home fans.

It is hard to imagine United would have approached a home game against the bottom club in such a way under Sir Alex Ferguson’s management.

Ferguson would have trusted United’s players to play with freedom and blow West Brom away, which begs the question of whether Mourinho has the same faith in his squad to deliver.

“Attack, attack, attack” was the call from the Stretford End in the second half and while United were more purposeful with the directness of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, they could not find an equaliser.

Perhaps the only comfort for United supporters is that City were denied the kind of thrilling champagne moment that fans crave.

Instead, the title was decided on a wet Sunday afternoon when the new champions were not playing. It is hard to imagine City’s players and Guardiola being too bothered by that, though.

Moore enhances his credentials

Caretaker boss Darren Moore is a popular figure at Albion and has quickly introduced the kind of togetherness and organisation so stark by its absence under Alan Pardew, who was sacked at the beginning of the month.

The Albion board may want a more experienced hand at the tiller next season, while the fans will probably crave a bigger name in management terms.

However, Moore has done his reputation no harm whatsoever as his players produced a performance which married commitment with tactical discipline.

West Brom finished with their backs to the wall but had chances of their own in the game, and Jake Livermore had earlier tested David De Gea with arguably the best opportunity before the break.

This was West Brom’s first league away win in 16 attempts and ended a 12-match streak without a victory – a run which included 11 straight defeats.

It also emphasises how misguided the appointment of Pardew now appears.

If Moore was able to coax such a performance out of these players, then what could he, or an alternative choice, have done with more time?

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 25A Valencia
  • 12Smalling
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 18YoungSubstituted forRashfordat 75′minutes
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forLingardat 45′minutes
  • 31Matic
  • 6PogbaBooked at 29minsSubstituted forMartialat 58′minutes
  • 8Mata
  • 9R Lukaku
  • 7Sánchez

Substitutes

  • 4Jones
  • 5Rojo
  • 11Martial
  • 14Lingard
  • 19Rashford
  • 39McTominay
  • 40Castro Pereira

West Brom

  • 1Foster
  • 2NyomBooked at 77mins
  • 25Dawson
  • 26Hegazi
  • 3Gibbs
  • 10PhillipsSubstituted forKrychowiakat 77′minutes
  • 8Livermore
  • 11BruntSubstituted forYacobat 90+4′minutes
  • 14McClean
  • 19Rodriguez
  • 9RondónSubstituted forSturridgeat 85′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Yacob
  • 13Myhill
  • 15Sturridge
  • 16Gabr Mossad
  • 17Burke
  • 20Krychowiak
  • 28Field
Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
75,095

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home14
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 0, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 0, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Claudio Yacob replaces Chris Brunt.

Offside, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic tries a through ball, but Alexis Sánchez is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Chris Smalling (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Antonio Valencia.

Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Daniel Sturridge replaces Salomón Rondón.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McClean (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt missed. James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jesse Lingard.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Booking

Allan Nyom (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Allan Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Grzegorz Krychowiak replaces Matt Phillips.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford replaces Ashley Young.

Attempt missed. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

Attempt blocked. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Mata.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 0, West Bromwich Albion 1. Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) header from very close range to the centre of the goal following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ashley Young.

Attempt missed. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Mata.

Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nemanja Matic.

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Salomón Rondón.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Ahmed Hegazi.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Allan Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Anthony Martial replaces Paul Pogba.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

Alexis Sánchez (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Allan Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt blocked. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jake Livermore.

Foul by Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Paul Pogba.

goal

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