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Rooney is two good as United bag three points against the Baggies

A Wayne Rooney brace secured three points for Manchester United against West Bromwich Albion and sent Fergie’s men top of the league as City conceded defeat at Swansea.

United went into the game knowing that they had to put Thursday’s dismal performance behind them and, more importantly, keep the pressure on their neighbours.

Judging from the roar that shook Old Trafford with seven minutes to go as Swansea took the lead, the pressure is well and truly on Manchester City now, in what is a completely new scenario for Mancini and his men.

Whether this will prove a pivotal point in the title race, only time will tell. The numbers, though, don’t lie. United were labeled by some as dead and buried when they trailed City by five points but, as they’ve done time and again during Fergie’s reign, they have found momentum when it mattered, and now find themselves ahead.

Any celebration at this time would be premature, but United are possibly the only team that enjoys being chased as much as being the chaser. The hunger and collectiveness that runs through the team emanates from the man in charge and for all Sheik Mansour’s millions, a winning habit is priceless.

Ferguson, who rallied the troops in his pre-match programme – the ones on the pitch as well as the ones off it – decided to field Rooney, Hernandez and Welbeck at the same time, with the latter deployed on the right wing. Scholes, Carrick and the in-form Ashley Young completed the midfield, with an unchanged back five from last Sunday’s winning trip to White Hart Lane.

West Brom traveled to M16 on the back of three consecutive wins and aiming for a first top-10 finish since 1981 when they finished fourth under Ron Atkinson.
The Baggies were off to a brilliant start as Keith Andrews met Liam Ridgwell’s cross but couldn’t direct it on target.

United soon settled into the groove, with Scholes and Carrick composed as ever, spraying the ball around the park nicely.
Welbeck teed up Young for a left foot finish, which was parried away by former United man Ben Foster.

At the other end, DeGea continued his excellent run of form with a brilliant save after Andrews’ free-kick had been deflected by the wall.

Rooney pulled away from his marker to meet Young’s beautifully timed cross, but couldn’t put enough power on the shot as Foster smothered the ball calmly.
The United number 10 quickly made amend, though, as he grabbed his 25th goal of the campaign.

Scholes chipped pass found Hernandez on the right and the Mexican cut in from the flank driving a low left-footed shot across the box. Rooney was the quickest to react, side-footing the ball home to give United the lead.

Albion started the second half well and thought they should have had a penalty when Odemwingie had his foot clipped by Evra, but they were lucky not to be two down as Hernandez crashed his shot against the post straight after.

Welbeck should have added a second but saw his shot fizzling agonisingly wide of the far post after the West Brom back four had failed to deal with a through ball from Paul Scholes.

The missed chance could have come back to haunt United, but it didn’t as Olsson picked up a second yellow card, after he clattered Hernandez, to leave his side down to 10 men with 25 minutes left.

United were quick to make their numerical superiority count when Young – the former Villa man was excellent today, constantly threatening Albion’s back four – was clumsily brought down by Andrews in the penalty box.
Rooney coolly dispatched the penalty and sealed the three points for the home side, netting his ninth goals in the last six games.

Old Trafford spent the next twenty minutes cheering. First for the introduction of Pogba and Cleverley – playing his fist league match since October – then for Luke Moore’s goal which put United one point ahead of City.

Ten games left, advantage United.

Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. RedDevilEddy

    March 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    That’s the 8th time Wazza has scored 2 or more goals in a single game for United THIS SEASON. 😈 #Immense

  2. Daniele

    March 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    He seems to have hit form at the right time. Young was superb, Carrick and Scholes composed as Ever and Evans brilliant again. But we’re a team in decline and all that.

    • Opti

      March 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      @Daniele: Two different teams this and last Thursdays… or the EPL is a joke and we don’t know it.

      Bilboa made us look shite with a mostly first-team selection. Today we were strong… but it was only West Brom.. we need to produce like this consistently and improve still.

      • Daniele

        March 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

        @Opti: Well, crucially yesterday we had our best CMs on the park, which made all the difference in the world. Furthermore, Athletic are a much better side than WBA (who have impressed me this year, for the record) and know how to pass the ball like the majority of European teams. I think that if we are not playing our strongest 4 in midfield, then choosing 4-4-2 in Europe becomes a risky business. In the league we can get away with it that, but not in Europe also because as good as Jones and Smalling are, they’ve still a long way to go before we can trust them 100% in the CL or Europa League.

  3. Keith

    March 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Solid performance, especially from Young, Rooney and Welbeck, but it should have been 7-0. This team is very wasteful around the box, and seem to try and overcomplicate everything. Best example was how they turned a 5 v 2 into a 5v5 and completely wasted the chance. Not a big deal in a comfortable match like this, but that’s been our trouble all year. We either appear lackadaisical and don’t get enough chances or we look careless when we produce multiple chances. Starting to improve but Im still worried about that tendency.

  4. RedDevilEddy

    March 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    The only dissapointment of today was the taking of chances, had we buried all 100% ones we could have been even on goal difference! Wazza missed a sitter from a wonderful Young cross, Chicha hit the post and missed another golden opportunity, Welbz could have had a hat-trick, Jones missed a header from 2 yards then both Young and Carrick had some excellent chances to wrap it up just after we made it two. I wouldn’t say “It’s only West Brom”, these are the teams you have to beat to win the Premier League. We’ve beaten them twice now, something we didn’t manage last season, and they have the third best away record in the League. Not many teams can beat Sunderland 4-0, only to come up with a victory against Chelsea the week after. As far as we are concerned, Manchester City haven’t even managed to score a goal against West Brom this capaign whereas we’ve beaten them twice. We deserve to be top of the table, the only downfall of this team will be complacency and will. The hunger obviously wasn’t there against Bilbao, it was today, and you could all see what a massive difference it makes. If we win our two next games I wouldn’t be surprised to see United 6 points in front of City. Chelsea, for all their shit play recently, are really hard to break down and concede most of their goals from crosses, which is City’s biggest weakness. Then come Stoke, and boy will City suffer there. I think they’ll draw against Chelsea then fall against Stoke, if we do our job against Wolves and Fulham then we have one hand on the title.

    Let’s do this boys, I smell blood! 😈

  5. johnsom33

    March 12, 2012 at 8:01 am

    How many people are still wishing Fergie had bought Charlie Adams?

    • Daniele

      March 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

      @johnsom33: Don’t know about others but I never wished that. Adams looked good at Blackpool but he couldn’t even make the starting 11 at Rangers. Big fish in a small pond anyone?

      • JonyB

        March 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

        @Daniele:

        got to agree…. never thought Adams was UNITED MATERIAL, wasn’t even tempted by Parker althou with hindsight he may of been helpful short=term. More important is Carrick’s return to the form of 2 yrs ago….. If only Cleverley can show a wee bit more robustness that will be a much stronger looking midfield once Scholes decides United can manage without him…..

  6. thatboywazza

    March 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    After scoring, Rooney walked towards the former United goalie to give him a look. On Twitter after the game Rooney explained what it was all about.

    “I looked at Ben Foster after pen because I took a lot of pens against him in training and before I took penalty he tried to put me off. Ben foster is a good friend of mine. Top lad.”

    I was wondering what this was all about.He gave Foster a weird look,never seen that from Rooney and the celebration was a bit muted.He smiled only when he was halfway across the pitch.

    • RedDevilEddy

      March 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      @thatboywazza: I kinda guessed it, he’s done that in the past when scoring against former United/England goalkeepers. Rob Green last season is an example, then in 2009 against David James with Pompey. Can’t blame him to be honest, being a former goalkeeper and England international he must have practiced loads of penalties with Wazza, may even have become great mates. Scoring a penalty then feels brilliant, from one angle you could see Ben smiling at Rooney when the penalty was scored. 😀 I love that!

  7. RedDevilEddy

    March 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Wayne Rooney just 7 goals away from equaling his best-ever total of 34 goals in a season now, and at this stage that season he had played 8 more games. Funny thing that he’s scored 8 penalties this time around, and 2 free-kicks! He’s having a special season that lad.

    I fancy him to win the Golden Boot really. He’s just 5 goals behind RVP at the moment, and looking at the two sides’ fixtures I can see Wazza beating him. I think we all know who United face, but Arsenal are up against Newcastle, Chelsea and City at home, with teams like Stoke and Everton away. May be tough for him to get to the 30-goal mark. I can see Wazza doing it, he’s hit 8 braces this season and 2 hat-trick, can easily see him get one or two more. Go on Wazza, finish ’em!

  8. RedDevilEddy

    March 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    And now Pogba has signed a new deal with United, could this day get better?!? :mrgreen:

    • jos

      March 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      @RedDevilEddy: Links???? is it official on manutd.com?

      • RedDevilEddy

        March 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        @jos: It’s fucking everywhere!!

        • jos

          March 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

          @RedDevilEddy: Yes just saw it on Skysports. Now I believe it! Earlier it was only on some vague blogs.

          What a weekend this was! Utd top of the league + Pogba finally staying put. Have big hopes with the lad. He can (and will) turn into something special. You have to give it to SAF for managing this one very well!!!

        • Ian

          March 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

          Hahahahaha “only on some vague blogs”

          @Red_Rants was the blog that let it out first!!

        • jos

          March 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

          @Ian: Oh well I meant links on newsnow page of man utd. That, currently, is my source of all united updates. Do you have any better. There is so much mis-information around that its hard to believe anything.

          Also why hasnt the club announced it yet?

        • Daniele

          March 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

          @Ian: I think I owe you a drink mate. Friday after you posted on twitter that Pogba was staying I told the news to a mate of mine who didn’t believe it. I made my point again yesterday as we were traveling up for the WBA game and we agreed that he’d pay for drinks from here until the end of the season. Therefore, I think that you deserve a large share of my prize 😛

        • Ian

          March 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm

          HAHAHAHA I’LL SEE YOU AT CHELSEA! XX #bladdered 🙂

  9. Craig Mc

    March 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Alright lads I did a little bit too much celebrating with my friends pre game – so I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t catch who made that magnificent guided missile pass from the wing to Ashley Youngs head – when Young made a miss of it 🙄 . Who made that supersonic magnificent pass please – was it Pogba, or Welbeck or who who who 😆 . Come on guys surely you weren’t all pie eyed 😀

    • Ian

      March 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Was it Rio? I heard someone mention a great rangy pass from Rio, might not be the part you’re on about, I’v still not seen the match yet. 🙁

    • Daniele

      March 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      @Craig Mc: Hernandez. 81 minutes in.

      • Craig Mc

        March 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

        @Daniele: Aaaagh I knew somebody who was watching and who was SOBER would know the answer – thank you muchly Daniele. Wow if it is Chicharito he is improving his outfield play – cannot believe it was our wee Mexican – Go Chicharito. 😀

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