It was not a brilliant Manchester United, but a more effective one, led by the in-form Zlatan, that took on West Brom at The Hawthorns stadium, and conquered the 3 points to keep the Red Devils’ fine form going on, while leaving the door open for a possible CL spot by the end of the season if they continue to battle on without faltering.
The Red Devils had a tense start in the game, as West Brom were clearly looking to upset them in the opening minutes, but the inevitable Zlatan struck on the 5th minute at the other end to dampen West Brom’s intentions. Lingard delivered an inch perfect cross from his right wing, and the big striker managed to get his head to the ball to leave the keeper stranded on his line for the opener. Rooney then came close to double the lead, but the keeper managed to get a hand to his powerful shot from the edge of the box, with the crossbar helping to keep out the shot. Zlatan then got lucky to only see a yellow card shown after he barged into Dawson, but fortunately not injuring the latter in the process as he recklessly challenged for a header which was already lost. Lingard then wasted a golden chance as half-time beckoned, going for a powerful strike which went flying over the bar, while it required a more subtle touch to finish off the business.
Inside the second half, and United once again endured a slow start in the opening minutes, but again found the net on the 56th minute via Zlatan. Rooney fed the ball to Zlatan inside the box, and the striker took a couple of touches before firing a low shot, which took a deflection on the way in, but nonetheless so precious for the Red Devils as they doubled the lead to relieve off some pressure. Tempers started flaring after the hour mark, as Rojo and Rondon had an altercation, with the latter even giving a light slap to the former, but both got away with a yellow card each as the ref intervened to calm things down quickly. United looked happy to hold on to the 2-goal advantage as the game progressed, and were not really troubled by West Brom in the end, as they held on to the win and the vital 3 points, and can have a good Christmas party before attacking the Boxing Day against Sunderland, with Moyes making his way back to Old Trafford, but this time in charge of the Black Cats.