Manchester United 0 - West Bromwich Albion 1

Date: Sunday 15th April 2018 Live on Sky Sports
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Man Utd:
Foster 9.0, Nyom 7.3, Dawson 8.6, Hegazi 8.4, Gibbs 7.3, Phillips 6.0 (Krychowiak, 77 5.7), Livermore 7.1, Brunt 7.5 (Yacob, 94 7.2), McClean 7.5, Rondón 7.3 (Sturridge, 85 5.2), Rodriguez 8.6
Unused subs: Myhill, Gabr, Burke, Field
Manager: Darren Moore (c) 8.7
Scorers: Rodriguez (73)
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire) 6.9
Attendance: 75,095   Home Fans 4.0   Away Fans 8.7


Wouldn't you bloody believe it. We couldn't beat any of the crap teams around us and we go to an in-form Manure and win it - and deservedly so. Trouble is Darren Moore's appointment is five or six games too late. I said, half jokingly, after the Huddersfield debacle, 'give it to Darren Moore and just tell the players to go out and have a bit of fun'. I'm sure they had fun today, but it was a lot more than that. We were well disciplined, created chances and defended heroically. What a shame today's game almost certainly won't be enough, but at least we have a bit of pride again after a thoroughly miserable season.

Top performers today for me were Foster (two brilliant saves from Lukaku), Hegazi and Dawson (rocks at the back), Jmac (Lively throughout and put in some great crosses), and of course Jrod, who played like he had a heavy load lifted off his shoulders after the unproven racial slurr decision.

Let's hope the remaining four games will be played in the same spirit and that will convince some of our more valuable players to stick around - although a re-tooling of the squad is clearly needed. Some Baggie pride is back!!

Brendan Clegg:

This was a brilliant performance from the Albion that included all of our strengths and many of the things we've been missing this season.

I have to say that it's taken a caretaker and a rookie manager to get results out of this squad which I think is damning of the two clowns who were in charge permanently and through the the pride, joy and elation that comes with such a deserved victory is a tinge of anger and frustration that a squad, even with injuries, that can go and win at Anfield and Old Trafford on merit is getting relegated. This shouldn't be happening.

Massive credit to Big Dave - personally I'd have changed the starting lineup to give us more protection but he kept the same 11. It should be noted that this is something Pulis and Pardew never seemed to do but it unquestionably contributes to team cohesion, partnerships over the pitch.

I also thought he go the tactics spot on - the team was reported as 4-4-2 but from the off J-Rod played 15 yards deeper than he has all season, in the attacking midfield role of a 4-5-1. The fact it's taken a rookie coach to play him in what is ostensibly his best position and a role we've neglected to fill in the absence of Chadli and Mozza, and the times we've played Livermore there for example, again reflects poorly on Pardew and Pulis. Rondon was also under instructions to be the last man - bascially they were played together the right way around in the right roles for what feels like the first time this season.

As well as JRod playing that bit deeper, on Matic's toes, Phillips and McClean made the pitch as wide as possible and galloped wide and crossed at every opportunity but also defended really well. They both have their limitations but again this played to their strengths.

So many other things to report we did well - I loved the way we really tried to keep the ball under pressure for most of the match, Brunt and Livermore especially. The way we pressed high and got 'in-yer-face' all over the pitch with agression prevented Utd from getting going.

I loved the way that when we did go long to Rondon, as much as possible J-Rod stood deliberately 10 yardsbehind him for the backwards play-the-way-your-facing-knock-down and our wingers got up the pitch as soon as this happened.

When we broke, there was no half-arsed attempt to do so. JRod, Livermore, Rondon and our wingers charged into tackles on the 2nd ball and then gave it everything to get up the pitch.

In short - the team gave their everything for the shirt and the coaches and they clearly had a plan they all bought into. If only we'd had the same even 5 games ago.

In the first half we probably got lucky with a penalty decsion but apart from that we created the best chances and forced Man Utd to make a change at half time. If we were in a better moment of confidence we might even have scored a couple.

2nd half was more of the same - you could criticise the players for their decision making and quality in really good opportunities on the break but you couldn't fault the effort or tactics.

From about 70 onwards we looked to be running out of steam and I felt for Big Dave because we needed legs but it was so delicately poised that I wasn't sure who we should take off. Anything would be a bit of a gamble.

But from another great break and some lovely positive football we won a corner and from it Jrod nodded home after the ball was nodded back under pressure from Dawson.

From then on the game seemed to take an age to end - there were some heroics and I really didn't get the substitutions other than Yacob for Brunt with a minute to go, but we fought for everything and held on.

The grand inquest and messy summer of change are for another day - you've got to take in and enjoy wins at Old Trafford. We were magnificent to a man and, in Big Dave, it couldn't have happened to a better guy.

  • Foster - 8 Was bang on it, brilliant saves, big catches from crosses.
  • Nyom - 7 Niggled awy at Sanchez and his pace was massively useful. A great game.
  • Dawson - 8 Calm on the ball, blocked everything, determined not to be beaten.
  • Hegazi - 7 Headed everything away. Agressive but took no chances, like his early season form. 3 of our 4 league wins have been him and Daws in the centre.
  • Gibbs - 7 Excellent for most of the game, snuffed out the threat on his side.
  • Phillips - 7 Worked hard, stayed wide and got up the pitch/won corners.
  • Brunt - 7 Was so good on the ball, so calm, showed leadership and was really agressive in the challenge. Seemed to really enjoy it and played a captain's role in terms of never hiding.
  • Jrod - 8 Has he had a better game for us? Ran himself into the ground, threw himself into 50/50 tackles, showed his quality on the ball and decision making. I still dont't think he has the legs to play right up top in the Premier League but in the box he's a natural goalscorer. So frustrating he's hardly played this role when we've pushed him wide instead.
  • Livermore - 7 Again I'm not sure he's had a better game. Steamed all over the pitch. Although he lacks a forward pass he kept the ball well all game and he just needs a creative player to give it to.
  • Howlin' mad McClean - 7 Gives you absolutely everything. Plays like his life depends on it. Never stopped running. Won tackles, got forward, made bad decisions, gave it away cheaply, fell over, smashed into people, stayed wide, kept getting the ball into the box. It's not a coincidence he's also started in most of our wins.
  • Rondon - 7 Another absolute lion-hearted performance. Won 70% of the balls at him and got us up the pitch. Got on the end of difficult crosses to work the keeper. Ran and ran and ran. At times gave it away cheaply but, for me, over the whole season he's probably my player of the year for his sheer refusal to ever give up, drop his head or stop running and, since Pulis left, the support he's had across the pitch has improved his goal ratio.
  • Greg - 5 I thought he was pretty bad but it was a difficult game to get in to and it shunted Jrod out wide.
  • Sturridge - 5 Did he have a touch? Rondon was holding the ball and getting us out. As we were leading and given his chances of getting injured, I'd have given Burke a blast for his pace alone.
  • Yacob - 6 Made sense and won a couple of headers.

I hope we lift the roof off for Big Dave next week.