Call it an RV-PK gone awry.
Boaz Myhill stopped a Robin van Persie penalty to keep Manchester United from finding an answer to a Jonas Olsson-deflected goal as West Bromwich Albion moved seven points clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United remains in fourth place, four points ahead of Liverpool in the race for fourth place. They’ve now lost three-straight Premier League matches for the first time since December of 2001.
West Brom is now in 13th place, Tony Pulis almost certainly having saved the club from the drop zone.
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The Old Trafford crowd gave a minute’s applause in honor of the late wife of longtime Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand, now with Queens Park Rangers. Rebecca Ellison passed away Saturday night after a battle with cancer.
United did its best to ignite the first half, but the Baggies did a better job of shutting it down. Despite attempting 10 shots and 14 crosses, Louis van Gaal’s unit could bring life into the game.
West Brom, for its part, aimed at sucking it out of the affair. United carried nearly 80 percent of possession into the second half.
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Shockingly, though, it was West Brom that broke through off a deflected goal. Chris Brunt ripped a shot through outside the wall that took a hard turn off Olsson’s calf and beat De Gea. 1-0, WBA. Game on.
United had a shout for a penalty when Juan Mata’s cross caught Joleon Lescott’s hand near, but not at, his side. No call came from Anthony Taylor, and it played on 1-0.
And then, on the edge of the box at the other end, Berahino was called for a handball in the 73rd minute. The ensuing penalty from Van Persie? Saved by a diving Boaz Myhill!
Finally, revisiting our lead, should it be RVP-K or RV-PK?
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair (Falcao, 84′), Blind (Di Maria, 63′), Mata, Herrera, Fellaini, Young, Rooney, van Persie. Subs: Valdes, Blackett, Jones, Di Maria, Januzaj, Pereira, Falcao.
West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Lescott, Brunt, Yacob, Gardner (Wisdom, 89′), Mulumbu (Baird, 76′), Fletcher, Berahino (Ideye, 80′). Subs: Rose, Wisdom, Baird, Sessegnon, McManaman, Ideye, Anichebe.
Goal: Olsson (63′).