Manchester United vs West Brom- Match Report, Analysis, Strategy for Crystal Palace Game :
The Baggies sealed precious three points at Old Trafford, with attacking midfielder Chris Brunt’s free-kick deflecting off defender Jonas Olsson into the net, while Dutch forward Robin Van Persie’s had a penalty saved by stunning keeper Boaz Myhill (Man of the match).
The Old Trafford supporters felt dispirited on Saturday, as the strikers could not find the net not for a single time in the previous three league fixtures. United recorded three consecutive defeats on a spin for the first time since December 2001.
Players featured in the starting-11
The game started with a pattern of the Reds having major ball possession in the second and final thirds of the pitch and Albions defending deep. This scenario continued in the entire game as the firepower of United could not penetrate the tight Albion defence
There were few shots (on target) struck by forward Van Persie in the first half of the game, which were saved by brave Baggies keeper Myhill .The only real attempt came in 19’, when Van Persie controlled the cross ball from Ashley Young and shot towards the goalkeeper.
The second half started with a bang, as in 48’ Captain Wayne Rooney hit a fierce shot from outside the box, but was safely held by keeper Boaz Myhill.
The only chance for the visitors to score goals were either employing counter-attacks when ball was lost by the United midfielders or seizing the opportunities in dead-ball situations.
As the Baggies aspired to have a shot at goal in set-plays, in the 63’ of the game defender Paddy Mcnair fouled former United midfielder Darren fletcher, just outside the box and rewarded a crucial free-kick.
The attacking midfielder Chris Brunt utilized this set-piece of bringing in two of his compatriots to stand in the wall alongside the red players and shot the ball towards Jonas Olsson to score a wonderful deflected goal. The ball swung to the other side of helpless Spaniard David De Gea.
Immediately, once the Albions opened the scoring United’s creative Argentine Angel Di Maria came as a substitute replacing left back Daley Blind. Initially, he produced some quick passes and crosses towards Belgian Marouane Fellaini, but he had a shocking day as his final delivery was poor.
The golden opportunity for the Reds came on 74’ to equalize, when Robin Van Persie took the penalty. He was a bit tensed in the box and when he took the spot-kick, his shot was in the direction of keeper Myhill movement (left side) and it was saved.
To add a variety in the final 10 minutes of play, On-loan striker Radamel Falcao was introduced on 84’ replacing centre back Paddy McNair. The United wingers produced array of crosses from the flanks, but none were effective.
Keeper Boaz Myhill maintained the single goal advantage for the Baggies in the final quarter of the match, as he produced two mind-boggling saves from the shots of Van Persie and Di Maria on 91’ and 92’ respectively.
The match ended with the disappointment of the home fans, as the Baggies defeated Red Devils with a 0-1 scoreline.
The Baggies won back-to-back matches at Old Trafford for the first time since 1959, winning 1-0 courtesy to Jonas Olsson’s goal in a smash-and-grab raid after registering just 20% possession. To rub salt in the wound, it’s the first time United did not register a single goal in the score sheet in successive three games since April 1989.
Manchester United (Louis Van Gaal):
“We knew in advance that they park the bus so we have to deal with that. You are attacking all the match and when you are not scoring it is disappointing. “
Why? : “The defending of West Bromwich and a fantastic goalkeeper today.”
West Bromwich Albion (Tony Pulis):
“You need to be organised, resilient and have a bit of luck. We had that in abundance. Also, it takes a lot of work and commitment from the players – 90 per cent of it is dealing with people off the ball.
Comment the penalty incident: “I don’t think it was a penalty. The referee was 60 yards away the linesman was 10 yards away and gives a corner, so I don’t know how that happens.”
|PARAMETERS||Manchester United||West Brom|
|SHOTS ON TARGET||9||3|
|SHOTS OFF TARGET||5||2|
Goal scorer: West Brom: Jonas Olsson (63’)
Yellow card: Manchester United – 1 [Paddy McNair (62’)], West Brom- 0
Analysis of the game:
The distressing 0-1 defeat for the Red Devils against West Brom at home on Saturday, resulted in United’s third successive loss on the spin for the first time since December 2001. Further, the expensive trio strikers failed to deliver the potential match winning goals. They could not register a single goal on the score sheet in the previous three league games.
West Brom opted the similar game plan that they used previously against Liverpool at the Hawthorns of having least possession, tight defence and man-marking every midfielder. So, it helped them to prevent opponent’s wingers and full-backs in moving forward across the flanks for delivering efficient crosses to the striker. They sat deep and averted the small pocket of space that Spanish midfielders Ander Herrera and Juan Mata thrive in for distributing diagonal passes towards Fellaini the centre phases of the pitch.
United’s loss at Stamford Bridge was mainly because of the ineffectiveness of talisman Marouane Fellaini during the game, as he was strategically man-marked by Kurt Zouma, which stopped his ability to chest control the long balls and dispense to his compatriots.
When the Red Devils visited the Goodison Park, Everton adopted the identical formula of Chelsea in neutralizing powerful Belgian Fellaini in the box, as he was man-marked by midfielder Gareth Barry. It impacted the flow of passes in the final third and prevented United strikers shoot inside the box.