- Lingard scores first United goal
- Mata scores PK late on
- Berahino misses glorious chance
- United one point off the top
Once again United looked sluggish in attack but they put 10-man West Brom away — Gareth McAuley was sent off late on for bringing down Anthony Martial — despite Saido Berahino missing a glorious chance late on.
That is now five clean sheets on the spin for United, who are one point off the top and sit in fourth place on 24 points. With the defeat West Brom sit 14th on 12 points.
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It was a tentative start at Old Trafford as Rooney lashed a shot over and moments later he teed up Juan Mata but the Spaniard curled his left-footed shot wide of Boaz Myhill‘s far post.
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Throughout the first half United looked the more likely to score but both teams cancelled each other out with former Red Devils defender Jonny Evans making a hugely important last-ditch tackle to deny Lingard. Before the break Martial forced a good save from Myhill but the Baggies held firm and it was 0-0 at the interval.
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Just seven minutes into the second half United went 1-0 up as a cross from Martial on the left was half cleared by Chris Brunt but the ball fell straight to Lingard who calmly slotted home his first-ever goal for United. Relief inside Old Trafford.
After that goal United looked comfortable as West Brom pushed to try and get back into the match but barely caused any problems for David De Gea and his defense. Rickie Lambert and Berahino came on for the final 20 minutes to try and grab the Baggies a point.
In the 75th minute Craig Dawson whipped a superb cross which picked out Berahino but somehow he headed the ball over as he looked certain to head home a leveler. Late on van Gaal brought on 18-year-old Cameron Borthwick-Jackson for his United debut as he slotted in at left back in place of Marco Rojo, and he helped United’s defense claim a clean sheet despite another lackluster display in attack.
In stoppage time McAuley took down Martial in the box and was sent off, then Mata stepped up and put the spot kick straight down the middle to seal the 2-0 win.