Match Review: West Brom 2-2 Man Utd

You’ve had the three months Louis now lets see the best from your ‘philosophy’

Since his appointment Louis van Gaal has stressed that he needed three months to implement his ‘philosophy’ and for the players to understand it completely. The game at the Hawthorns offered the perfect opportunity to show what van Gaal’s United side could do after the famous three month period but that did not materialise instead we saw a flat United performance in which the team played as Gary Neville stated in ‘patches’.

West Brom came out of the blocks firing and put the weak United defence under extreme pressure. As we have seen in previous matches United looked extremely vulnerable to counter attacks and that was what West Brom seized upon a quick counter attack which allowed attacking midfielder Stephan Sessengon to slot home a beautiful curling one touch effort past the helpless David De Gea in the United goal. Following the West Brom goal United began a period of expansive attacking play but it offered absolutely no end product whatsoever with Robin van Persie looking useless and offering nothing with slow movement and not contributing anything for the team. Following the half time break Louis van Gaal introduced towering midfielder Marouane Fellani in place of Ander Herrera who struggled following his return from a rib injury. Van Gaal is famous for his decisiveness and this was another example of his brilliant game management. Putting Fellani in an advanced position in support of Robin van Persie proved genius as Fellani caused havoc for the West Brom defence and soon scored the equaliser bringing the ball down brilliantly on his chest and powered the ball into the net to make it 1-1. The equaliser should have proved a catalyse for a revival to go on and win the game but it didn’t as West Brom pounced on United. Phil Jones was caught out by Albion which allowed James Morrison to slot a ball through the heart of the defence for striker Saido Berahino to give West Brom the lead again. United once again exploited defensively and in particular the awful decision making by Phil Jones which is becoming a regular occurrence for the young English defender. Again a West Brom goal woke the United players up and it once again became a strategy of all out attack. It wasn’t until the 87th minute until United found another equaliser through holding midfielder Daley Blind who slotted home a beautiful effort from outside the penalty area to make it 2-2 which is how the score line stayed.

This game is 100% a case of two points dropped for United especially ahead of the two massive games against Chelsea on Sunday and then Manchester City the week after. The standard of defending is so poor its embarrassing with Phil Jones coming back into the side who Sir Alex Ferguson said could be one of United’s best ever players it shouldn’t be such a poor defensive performance. One things for certain is that Phil Jones’ decision making is so poor and he always looks like he will make a mistake. At the opposite end of the pitch there’s Robin van Persie who two years ago was the best striker in the league but now he is so far off that level. Against West Brom he offered nothing at all his lack of pace is a serious concern for the manager. When Radamel Falcao is on the bench who offers so much pace and power that has to be a mistake from the manger who was clearly trying out a 4-2-3-1 formation ahead of the Chelsea game. That formation is what Chelsea play week in week out and its understandable why van Gaal wanted to rehearse the formation against Albion in order to match Chelsea like for like. There is no doubt a absolutely huge improvement needed ahead of the game against Chelsea on Sunday the defense desperately needs to work on basic dfesnive positioning and delusion making in order to handle the Chelsea attack.

Man Of The Match: Daley Blind