Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns to lose further ground on Manchester City at the top of the table.
It has become apparent in recent weeks that United are extremely unlikely to get their hands on the title for the first time in eight years and another mediocre team performance wasn’t enough for United to claim three points against a team that will likely be playing Championship football next season.
United conceded after just 90 seconds when Mbaye Diagne headed beyond David de Gea after beating Victor Lindelof to the ball.
Bruno Fernandes scored United’s equaliser but the Reds couldn’t find a winner in the second half, with Harry Maguire going closest deep into injury time when his header was superbly tipped onto the post by Sam Johnstone.
Follow our blog below for reaction to the match.
Right that’s all for our live match blog today.
United’s next game is Real Scoeidad on Thursday night in the Europa League. Until then.
Here’s a snippet of the full match verdict and analysis from chief United writer Samuel Luckhurst today:
For all the justifiable concern for David de Gea’s form, he showed why United need reinforcements in front of him more than in goal. Diagne denuded Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire but when the West Brom forward bore down on goal in the second-half the De Gea of old returned, psyching out his opponent with one save and defying all logic to claw the ball away when Diagne was about to nod in.
“Come on, come on, keep going,” De Gea demanded in the dying embers. His place will not be as disputed when Newcastle visit next weekend.
Maguire’s and Lindelof’s will. It was not the first time Maguire abdicated responsibility and, for the umpteenth time, Lindelof lost an aerial duel to the imposing Diagne. Diagne had enough chances for a hat-trick.
Shaw continues form
He’s been really impressive.
Solskjaer says United should be better
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to Sky Sports about the goal United conceded and the performance in general:
“It’s something we knew would happen from the kick-off – we knew they’d put us under pressure and put in a few throw-ins. They put a cross in and the boy finished well.”
“The goal we scored is the way we put pressure on them. We did get down the sides sometimes but didn’t have anybody to tap them in. One of these days we weren’t there where we should have been
“We should play better but we gave ourselves a tough start. You have 90 minutes to make amends but we didn’t build that momentum until late in the first half.”
Maguire defends two teammates
Some more from Maguire here, and some strong words.
WATCH: Picture highlights from The Hawthorns
Maguire: We can improve
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the United captain expressed his frustration:
“It was a tough start for ourselves with the goal we conceded, but for me it’s a foul for the goal. And obviously at the end, we huffed and puffed and it’s a great save by Sam at the end. It’s disappointing to come away with a point, we felt we deserved more. We played the game in their half, we created a lot of chances — for sure we can do more, we can improve, enough to win the game, but it’s disappointing.
“Sometimes we played a little bit too slow but in the second half we played with a great tempo and on another day, we scored two or three goals, but for sure we can improve.”
The front three just isn’t firing at the moment.
David de Gea recovered from a poor showing versus Everton to justify his place in the side against West Brom.
But others did not impress today. Here are our United ratings in full from a sloppy draw.
It finishes 1-1. Maguire hit the post late on but it’s not enough.
Two points dropped again for United, who are in a bit of a rut with their league form right now. Fernandes’ goal gets them just a point.
92 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Not falling for United
United have a corner. They wont have many more chances to nick this…
It dooesn’t fall for McTominay and it’s cleared.
90 mins + 1-1Dominic Booth
Five added minutes.
90 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Stoppage time coming
That’s an awful challenge on Marcus Rashford, giving United another chance to throw a ball into the box.
VAR checks it. There should be a efw minutes of added time here. Only a yellow for Diagne.
Greenwood crosses from the right but nobody is on the end of it.
88 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Another big miss
Matt Phillips is the final change for West Brom, who again squander a big chance to win it through Diagne. He blazes over.
Wow United really could have lost this.
87 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
It’s not the moment, with Fernandes’ free-kick a cross rather than a shot and Maguire denied at the back post. United then give a free-kick away.
He should surely have shot?
85 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
United will go second in the league with a draw, but only on goal difference from Leicester. They’ll be seven points behind Man City who will have a game in hand.
Rashford wins a free-kick in a dangerous spot. Is this the moment?
83 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
The clock is ticking
So much of the build up is either coming through Fernandes or Shaw, with the former penalised for a trip.
Time is ticking away.
81 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Rashford’s shot is deflected but Johnstone does well to prevent a corner.
United need to do more in this final 10 minutes.
79 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Fernandes looks for Rashford in the box but again it doesn’t work out for United in the final third.
Greenwood is then fouled by Matiland-Niles ,who is booked. Fred is the man replaced for Van de Beek.
77 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
De Gea saves!
De Gea bails United out! A great double save when Diagne had to make it 2-1.
A huge let off, after Maguire’s mistake. The first was a superb reaction save, then he pamed it away.
76 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Donny van de Beek is coming on for United.
Do not adjust your screens.
75 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Left hand combo
Shaw and Rashford are combining quite well down th United left, and Maguire is still playing very high up, too.
Lindelof’s good tackle stops another break for the home side. Townsend goes down clutching his face. Not sure why. Didn’t seem to be any contact.
73 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Counter attack chance
A poor pass from Maitland-Niles lets United off the hook, when their defence was exposed and De Gea looked vulnerable.
West Brom aren’t out of this, by any means.
71 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Chances at both ends
Will United be made to rue those two big chances? There’s still lots of time in the game.
Gallagher has a go from distance and it’s over De Gea’s crossbar.
All three results are very possible, still.
70 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Two big chances for 2-1
Rashford has looked good all afternoon and continues that on the left now. Wan-Bissaka’s cross is cut out – and United are denied twice on the line from the resulting corner!
First Greenwood and then McTominay, by Johnstone and Furlong. How is it not 2-1?
67 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Greenwood the man in form
Greenwood has been in good form of late, so will hope to create havoc now in the final 25 minutes.
West Brom were going to bring on Livermore a while ago… and now they finally have done.
66 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Here comes the inevitable change, with Greenwood replacing Martial.
Rashford will surely switch to the left flank.
64 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
The referees eventually came to the right decision in saying that Maguire was marginally offside, despite the foul.
We go on.
62 mins, Dominic Booth
Penalty to United! Maguire fouled… oh wait, no he’s offside after a VAR review.
Is he? We’re checking
60 mins, 1-1Dominic Booth
Reaching the hour mark, many United fans will now be calling for changes. They’ve been better since half time but not penetrative. Livermore is coming on for the home side.