West Bromwich Albion 1 - Manchester United 1
Well that was pretty good and we should probably have taken all three points.
The starting lineup looked decent - Peltier probably the only real questionable inclusion.
We couldn’t have started better, effort, tempo, quality and ultimately desire from Diagne to score a header he had no right to get to put us ahead early.
And then we were good for the half. Solid, disciplined, no nonsense when was required but with enough quality to move it quickly through and up the pitch to arguably look the more dangerous side until disaster on the stroke of half-time when we, on the side that most of us feared would be vulnerable, we allowed a cheap cross. Great finish from Fernandes but we should’ve dealt with it on the cross and then by marking.
Second half was super frustrating as we both rode our luck but also created killer chances and situations you have to take. Diagne battled to win a one-v-one but couldn’t beat their goalie, Maitland-Niles almost unforgivably careless with his final ball on the break after fantastic play from Pereira and Snodgrass and then Diagne missing a sitter put on a plate by Furlong - low, lots of time to watch it. He had to score.
In the end a big SJ save in the last minute saved a point where just 10 seconds before Livermore blew a great chance to put us in 2 in 2.
Overall this was an Allardyce performance from an Allardyce team and had we got these players on the first of Jan we may have stood a chance but it is too much to ask. In fairness this is maybe his first opportunity to be judged on his own terms but surely he should’ve done better and adapted with the squad he had until he got them in to at least keep us in touch.
Being brutally honest, Okay and Diagne look the business and I’d honestly consider using them sparingly now because we cannot survive - and any chance we have of signing them permanently will disappear with the more games they play. They’ve already done enough for me!
On we go then, now a likely competitive side at this level that would stay up if the season started now, but trapped in purgatory until our fixtures are fulfilled.
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