Manchester United through Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard’s first half goals were successful in reducing the point difference with table leaders City to 11 since Barry’s 77th minute pull wasn’t enough.
It took Lukaku 27 minutes to score against his former side. Marcus Rashford whipped a cross from the left flank and Lukaku outsmarted Gibbs before glancing the ball with his head into the net.
Whereas eight minutes later Lingard through his deflection shot on West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi doubled the hosts lead. The England international’s 20-yard shot was destined towards Ben Foster’s well prepared arm before the center back tried to intercept unfortunately redirected the ball into the net.
13 minutes to full time, Substitute Gareth Barry pulled one for the visitors. Following a corner kick, Rojo was beaten at the back post and the ball went across the six-yard box for anyone to take advantage, of which Barry responded well.
Although United looked stronger, Pardew’s tactical decisions of introducing in substitutions could have produced results if not for fate. According to the West Brom manager, he shouldn’t have gone with his first IX given the table Barry and Brunt turned after their introduction.
“I made a mistake with the team. I wanted to show faith after the game at Liverpool but should have brought fresher legs in. I have to accept blame. The dressing room is such a place that you can get your message over fairly quickly. Barry and Brunt made a big difference. I have one or two more coming back. We have a lot of work to do.” Said Pardew.
Whereas Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho acknowledges his opponents’ ability to score against any one and admits having felt pressure.
“West Brom can score a goal in a set-play against anyone. They are really strong and aggressive. They can put teams under pressure. We had so much possession though.”
Manchester United whose points have now reached 41 will seek to maintain the 11 points difference in their next fixture with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium after facing Bristol City in the Carabao Cup.
Whereas 15th place West Brom will seek restoring from their next fixture against Stoke City on the eve of Christmas eve.