Manchester United 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0

Date: Saturday 21st November 2020 Behind Closed Doors
Competition: Premier League
Man Utd:
Johnstone 9.1, Furlong 6.8, Ajayi 6.9, Ivanovic 6.7 (Krovinovic, 79 5.8), Bartley 6.8, Townsend 7.6, Pereira 5.7, Sawyers 6.4, Diangana 5.7 (Robson-Kanu, 62 5.6), Gallagher 8.2, Grant 5.9 (Robinson, 62 6.6)
Unused subs: Button, Phillips, Harper, O'Shea
Manager: Slaven Bilic 7.0
Referee: David Coote 1.5
Attendance: 0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 18


Absolute daylight f###ing robbery! Five minutes of the most appallingly inept refereeing I can remember saw us go from potentially one up to a goal down.

ACT ONE: Gallagher is fed the ball on the penalty spot and has his shooting leg hacked by Bruno Fernandes. 'Penalty' says the ref and points to the spot. ENTER THE EVIL VAR FROM STAGE RIGHT (audience boos). The pantomime clown dressed as a referee, is invited to look at the monitor and, perhaps fearing a crowd invasion, reverses his decision.

ACT TWO: Rashford, in the act of crossing, is challenged by Furlong, who turns his back to avoid a ball in the kisser. The ball hits Furlong's hand. 'Penalty' yells the clown. Meanwhile the VAR operator has gone for a piss, so there is no review.

ACT THREE: Bruno Fernandes (Yes, the same) minces up to the ball on the spot and has his lame attempt acrobatically stopped by SJ. 'Whoopee' screams the audience, but wait! THE EVIL VAR IS BACK FROM TAKING A PISS. He tells the clown SJ has moved 0.0007 seconds before the ball is kicked. 'Take it again' says the clown and shoves a cream pie in Slav's face. Bruno Fernandes (yes, that arse wipe) scores.

Our heads could have dropped after that fiasco, but all credit to the lads who battled courageously. Robbo hit the bar with his first touch and we matched them for most of the game. A special mention to SJ who made key stops in both halves.

I'm not sure how many heartbreaking losses we can take before we become demoralized but, for now, the team are right behind Slav.

A football manager's survival is as tenuous as a rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber but it would be madness to get rid of Slav. This is his team and they are playing for him. The board has not supported him and that message will be clear to any would-be replacements. No top line manager will come and work for this owner. You had better support Slav, Mr Lai.


It was always written in the stars that a multi million conglomerate were due a win at home and who should be the whipping boys but little no-hopers West Bromwich Albion.

Football is not as I remember it. The great games of the past such as the famous 5-3 win are in the distant past. The game is now ruled by Artificial intelligence but i use the word intelligence reservedly. This Coote of a referee failed to act on the horrendous Pickford challenge on Van Dyck so it was no surprise that he made a complete pigs ear of the challenge on Gallagher.

A sky sports poll on Sunday morning registered 71% for a penalty.

We know that we are a championship team in the Premier but by God didn't they put in a performance. One of Utd's players cost more than the entire Albion team. Bilic must stay to the end of the season even if we are relegated. The club needs to be brought back into local ownership to make us once again the proudest club in the Black Country or am I dreaming again. At least the relationship between the fans and the owner now at rock bottom has to be restored. If not leave it all to Artificial Intelligence.

Brendan Clegg:

This was quite a travesty and you have to feel for the players and coaches. I’m not really sure how Bilic kept it together after the game.

It’s unbelievable the penalty for us was revoked... but the referee also failed to spot McGuire’s foul on Grant to that just prior, which was denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.

The Handball rule seems to change each week and always against our favour. If that is handball then okay, but then we beat Chelsea. I’m really not sure what Furlong could have done there... but the referee also ignored the foul on Gallagher right before it.

The penalty retake was probably the only one that was correct to the letter of the law BUT if we’re going to be so pedantic about these things then we’ll see penalties retaken 4 or 5 time due to encroachments - and this was the same.

Honestly, it’s almost like the coaching staff should employ a VAR lobbyist whose job it is to sit on the bench during games and find ways to contest every decision... and to spend the whole match in the ear of the fourth official.

Personally I’m at the point where I’d rather be in the Championship.

On to the actual game and I thought we were okay. Effectively a 5-4-1 transitioning to a 3-6-1 when we had the ball. We were up for the fight, showed good discipline and all of the things were there for us to get a result against a team who our budget is a tenth of; riding our luck, great saves, last ditch challenges, heroic performances, frustrating and disrupting them. At times we kept the ball well and moved it through the pitch okay.

Slav probably picked the best team available. I’d still argue that Robinson is a better option up front than Grant for his all round movement and ability to hold the ball better and, a little controversially, I’d give Phillips a run of games on the left because this team does lack height and power and I think he’s able to find form and fitness out there under less pressure.

We just have to keep going. It’s absolutely critical that we try and keep a largely settled side, system and game plan against Sheffield United and we don’t experiment like we did at Fulham.

11 points is still our target to beat!

  • SJ - 9 No question his best game for us. Showed great character after our last match.
  • Ajayi - 8 Really getting the measure of this level. One bad pass but otherwise was excellent.
  • Ivanovic - 7 Still such a great player and really mustard on the ball.
  • Bartley - 7 Couldn’t have done much more. Leadership and effort never in question.
  • Furlong - 7 Relentless running, great leap, some big tackles. Very harsh penalty decision.
  • Pereira - 6 Some cheeky megs but not enough end product and smashed too many passes into people that asked a lot of their control.
  • Sawyers - 7 Got through a lot of work and passed it well at times.
  • Gallagher - 8 Loads of running, tenacious, won plenty of those short sprints to the second ball.
  • Diagana - 6 Undid decent footwork by failing to get a cross or shot off. At this level, you’ve got to end an attacking phase with something and not just allow it to break down cheaply.
  • Townsend - 8 Given the opposition this was the performance of his life. In the end, slightly faster feet and he’d have scored with his big chance but played beyond his limits.
  • Grant - 5 I think the running was there and played on the shoulder but we need so much more.
  • HRK - 5 Tried, ultimately he can’t hurt teams because he hasn’t got the pace to run in behind but battled away.
  • Robinson - 6 unlucky with his first touch coming off the bar. Couldn’t get involved enough after.
  • Krovi - 6 Did okay but felt like a wasted use of a sub.