- Juan Mata sent off (26′)
- Rondon scores only goal (66′)
- United stay 6th, Baggies to 11th
Juan Mata‘s early sending off cost Manchester United on Sunday as the Red Devils fell to West Bromwich Albion, 1-0. The Baggies have won ten matches this season, with seven coming by a 1-0 scoreline.
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It was West Brom’s first league win at The Hawthorns over Manchester United since 1984, snapping a historic streak as Tony Pulis‘ side is now unbeaten in four Premier League matches and up to 11th on the table.
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A terrible three-minute stretch for Juan Mata early in the match saw United forced to ten-men as the Spaniard was sent off after two quick yellow cards. Mata received a foolish card for intentionally blocking a quick free kick from West Brom, and just two-and-a-half minutes later earned his marching orders after a mistimed challenge on former teammate Darren Fletcher. Away from home, United were a man down with more than an hour to play.
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With the match still scoreless at halftime, Louis Van Gaal chose not to make any changes during the break, leaving the attacking trio of Martial, Rashford, and Lingard in favor of putting on a more defensive-minded player.
The decision seemed to be paying off as United controlled the opening stages of the second half, holding comfortable possession despite playing a man-down.
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However, United couldn’t hold as West Brom finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. Sebastien Pocognoli whipped in a cross from the left wing which found Salomon Rondon at the back post, who did well to settle and fire the Baggies ahead.
United would bring on Memphis Depay in an effort to find an equalizer, but they were unable to break down the stiff Baggies’ defense. The loss snaps United’s four match win streak in all competitions.