Premier League • Day 9
  • 2nd Half
  • Manchester United
  • West Bromwich Albion
  • Cavani
  • FredMcTominay
  • Rashfordvan de Beek
  • IvanovicKrovinovic
  • Gallagher
  • MataCavani
  • GrantRobinson
  • DianganaRobson-Kanu
  • Fernandes (P)

Manchester United - West Bromwich Albion

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United have their first home win of the season and move into ninth; West Brom stay third-bottom.


Full-time: Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion


What a challenge from Furlong! Wan-Bissaka goes down the right and crosses low, Cavani steps over and Martial takes a lush first touch, moving the ball behind his standing foot. But just as he looks set to settle things, Furlong's sliding tackle blocks the ball behind for a corner which comes to nowt.


A United attack breaks down and West Brom try to counter, but Cavani chops down Gallagherr. He's booked, but the ref should've let play go on.


There'll be four added minutes.


United knock it about nice and slow. Of course they do, that's what they do.


Furlong larrups a ball over the top and Robson-Kanu is up with Lindelof - United fans will be nervous at that - but the defender does just enough in the air before humping clear.


How many times can Solskjaer keep coming back to Matic and Mata? They've been so plodding today.


Fernandes leads a United counter but Cavani can't quite force a run that gives him a passing lane, and Bartley intercepts well.


United replace Fred with McTominay.


West Brom bring Krajinovic on for Ivanovic and United bring Van de Beek on for Rashford.


Fernandes picks out Telles on the edge of the box with a corner, and Telles clatters a volley high. They had a go at it earlier, so they've obviously trained it and yerman hits a nice ball, but how often do you see those come off?


Gallagher is booked for hacking Fred a couple of minutes ago - the ball stayed in play for a while.


United let West Brom play in front of them, asking for trouble, but break well and Martial lays back for Fred, who might shoot but comes back inside on his right foot. He's much nearer now and should shoot, but instead rolls back for Fernandes, selling him short, and the effort is blocked.


In co-commentary, Glenn Hoddle advises Martial to watch Cavani's movement, and he's right. If he applied his skills and physique to making constant runs, he'd be even better than he is.


Nice from United, Martial finding Bruno who thread a pass in for Cavani on the defender's blindside; Cavani does well to shoot low and hard, but Bartley makes a terrific challenge.


Another decent save from Johnstone, Cavani flicking on a corner and Maguire, peeling off at the back post, taking it down and mishitting a shot that's turned around the post. The eventuating corner comes to nothing.


United are looking more dangerous now, with the game opening up, but West Brom have goal in them on the counter.


JOHNSTONE DOES IT AGAIN! Fernandes nashes down the right of the box and plays in Rashford, who can't miss. He's about three yards out and feints, then flicks towards the far corner, but the keeper extends a hand and pushes around the post! Absolutely brilliant save.


Aaarggghhh! Robson-Kanu does well in midfield, finding Gallagher down the left, and he rolls back for Robinson who opens his body and unfurls a glorious curler that arcs over De Gea and batters the bar! Goodness me, it never rains. I guess this is Manchester.


Excellent from Wan-Bissaka, diddling Furlong before crossing well into the middle, but no one's there to attack it.


Rashford has gone to the right, Martial to the left, and Cavani is down the middle.


United bring Cavani on for Mata.


Changes for West Brom, Diangana and Grant going off with Robinson and Robson-Kanu coming on.


Diangana sashays forward down the right and lifts a ball towards the opposite flank, but there's Big John Matter again, rising like a colossus to head away.


Slaven Bilic should have some pleasant invective for us later on. I'm already looking forward to it.


Phew. What a sport this is.


GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion (Fernandes pen) You've got to laugh (unless you're West Brom). Fernandes leaps again and this time goes high the other way, to Johnstone's right. I'm sorry, this is a mess - incorrect decisions were far better.


JOHNSTONE SAVES! Fernandes does his leap, Johnstone looks to buy it swaying right, then plunging left to save. But I think he went too early! Yes he did! Here we go again!


PENALTY UNITED! Mata crosses, Furlong's arm is in the air away from his body, and what can you do. I don't actually think that's the new law - you could never do that - the problem is giving penalties for every infraction inside the box. It should be a direct free-kick.


Great save De Gea! Pereira crosses low and Townsend is in space and lots of it! He chests down, drills low, and the keeper deploys his ludicrous reactions to kick clear.


What did Solskjaer see in the first half that persuaded him to persist with the same players in the same formation?


Now here come United, Rahford dropping the shoulder, swaying inside Furlong, and driving a wobbler that Johnstone pushes away from his top corner. The resultant corner comes to nothing.


NO PENALTY! That's a big escape for United. It was no more a penalty than the shirt-pull earlier, but Fernandes did interfere with Gallagher, so I'm surprised he wasn't punished.


The ref is called to the screen....


PENALTY WEST BROM! They attack down the right and Townsend lays back nicely for Gallagher; Fernandes challenges, Gallagher goes down, and the ref points to the spot. It's a really tight one, a bit of shin-on-shin action - there's not much in it, and I think Bruno got something on the ball - but given it's been given, my guess is it'll stay that way.


No changes from either team, but United are warming up Cavani. He might get a goal, I guess, but the problem is chance creation more than chance taking.


Off we go again.


United have put together a few nice moves but lack the players able to dictate tempo, so defending has been largely straightforward for West Brom, who're doing well.


Half-time: Manchester United 0-0 West Bromwich Albion


There'll be one added minute.


United are ramping it up, but they've wasted nearly half of the game doing not very much.


Eesh! Diangana wins a corner down the right that's driven towards Ajayi, who takes Maguire away, and Bartley finds a lovely little backheader that floats only just over the bar. De Gea was nowhere near that.


I'm trying to fathom why Matic is playing tonight. West Brom are barely attacking, so there's no reason Fred couldn't play as the deepest midfielder, and United could then play Van de Beek or even another striker.


Nice again from United, Telles dinking in for Mata who lays off Rashford. He moves the ball into space for Wan-Bissaka - it's not a great pass, but yerman was on his heels and still nearly got it. If he's paying attention, he's there and in a great position.


Fernandes takes the corner - I'm surprised it's not Telles - and Martial wins the second ball, levering Ivanovic out of the road, before lamping a shot directly into Bartley's coupon. He goes down, but is up impressively fast.


Better from United, Lindelof nipping one into Martial who control well, moves around and across two defenders, then has a shot deflected behind.


United find something again, Fernandes cutting across a sensational pass towards Big John Matter at the back stick. He volleys across for Martial but Townsend gets a crucial touch and as Martial tries to gets around it, Johnstone punches clear.


United have dropped. West Brom will be very happy with how things are going.


Matic chugs forward and finds Fernandes, who flights a pass to no one.


Looking at a replay of the penalty appeal, there was a shirt-tug. I'm not sure why that's not a penalty, but I'm glad that's not a penalty. "Not a clear and obvious error," says Peter Walton, "very subjective". I'm not at all sure how.


Has Juan Mata touched the ball yet? Ah, here he is, finding Fernandes who finds Martial who goes down. He wants a penalty but there looked very little in it from afar.


United need more players with his intensity.


United look dangerous when they put it together, but their general play is too slow to keep West Brom constantly under it.


Periera does really to meg Matic and turn, sliding a ball in behind for Ahearne-Grant, who attacks Lindelof and drags a shot just wide, off Lindelof's heel. The corner does short, and the cross is dangerous but just behind Ivanovic, who heads wide.


Townsend and Diangana combine well down the left and West Brom have men forward here, but making his way along the by-line, Townsend runs the ball out of the play.


Great save Johnstone! This is lovely from United, Maguire gambolling forward and finding Rashford, who squares well for Fernandes; he might shoot, but instead cushions a gorgeous set into the path of Martial, who assumed he's going to score, and fair enough: he's eight yards out. So he passes a low finish, only for Johnstone to turn a reasonable course of action into an error, diving to push away. Martial should've put his foot through it.


Fred has been given licence to go on by the looks of things, with Matic sitting (he can't do a whole lot else). I don't get why Van de Beek isn't playing that role, given how much better at it he is.


Nice from United, Fernandes sticking one down the line for Martial, who has a look and crosses low, but neither Rashford nor Fred can quite get on the end of it.


GHallagher slides a nice ball into the path of Diangana and he collects well, but Lindelof slides in to make a decent tackle.


Pereira has a swipe at Fernandes and Matic passes the free-kick straight back to West Brom.


Yeah, it's already slowed right down.


United work the ball about the pitch fairly well, but their problem - as it was under Van Gaal, actually - is how quickly they become discouraged and run out of ideas if they don't get an early goal.


Telles and Rashford link up on the touchline, but Furlong is in to challenge.


Telles spreads the play; he looks very assured. I worry about his pace against really quick wingers - though he's not slow - but maybe he's got this move at a time when he properly knows his game, and understands how to compensate for that with strength and positioning.


United win a free-kick down the right and Mata whips in fast and flat, Martial getting the flick ... and Johnstone does really well to push clear.


West Brom have chosen to defend the Stretford End in the first half, when usually the reverse is so. I wonder why - either the sun in their eyes or the noise of the home crowd.


Away we go!


The players take a knee. All black lives matter.


The United players are wearing black armbands in memory of Albert Quixall, who died last week. When he signed from Sheffield Wednesday, my grandad said to my dad that "No player is worth £45,000." I wonder what he'd make of today's state of affairs.


Here come the teams....


I feel like I'm there.


Rio Ferdinand like the look of Pereira - United will need to look after him and Diangana.


Bilic tells BT that he's not rotating - his players have had two weeks off. His team are looking forward to the game and were disappointed to lose to Spurs but need to see every game as a big opportunity.


Johnstone was at United as a yout.


I wonder if Ole was tempted to play Dan James tonight, who scored a lovely goal for Wales in midweek and also one too. Thing is, he's much more comfortable coming from the left, and that spot is taken.


Paul Scholes says United's midfield isn't good enough at home as the quality isn't quite there, and Rio goes on to say that the reason it has to be like that is in order to protect centre-backs who can't be left to defend one-on-one. Replacing Victor Lindelof with Axel Tuanzebe would help with that, but just as that looked inevitable, Lindelof found some form.


Solskjaer says Pogba has ankle injury and tried to finish training yesterday but it got worse; he's hopeful of being ready for Basaksehir in midweek. He says McTominay is rested because of his international endeavours and that Telles has been waiting his whole career to play for a team like United and praises his worth ethic, quality and mentality. Though United haven't played well at home this season, he notes that their best performance came at OT against Leipzig.


I should have said, West Brom are without Gibbs and Livermore, who are absent with corona.


West Brom could really use something out of this - they've got three points from eight games, and the teams below, Burnley and Sheffield United, can reasonably be expected to get better. A win tonight would take them above Fulham into 17th, but above that, Brighton, Leeds and United, are likely to pull away. It's going to be a very tough season for them.


Insightful stuff.


I mentioned Telles earlier, and I think he'll have a big part to play tonight. United have rarely crossed the ball in recent times, but that's about to change. However I've not a clue what's going to happen down their right - in games like this, I'd think about playing Brandon Williams instead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, for the attacking output.


The classic of the genre.


West Brom make four changes from their late defeat to Spurs. At the back, Ivanovic comes in for O'Shea, in midfield, Livermore and Kovinovic drop out with Sawyers and Pereira coming in, along with Diangana who will play midfield but with the striker Robinson omitted to make it happen.

West Brom with play 4-5-1, and the inclusion of Ivanovic is telling - Slaven Bilic will want a nasty, stultifying mess of a game.


So United make two alterations following their win over Everton: Telles replaces the injured Shaw to make his Premier League debut, and Matic replaces McTominay.

The first of those changes is both interesting and a shame. Shaw has been largely disappointing since leaving Southampton but he's been really good lately, and has created a goal in each of his last two games. But he has nothing like the mentality or attacking ability of Telles, and proper service from corners and the left will make a big difference to United, especially if Martial can persuaded to make front-post runs. Late in games, I'd not be surprised to see him make chances for Cavani.

McTominay, meanwhile, played 120 minutes and 90 minutes for Scotland, so it's no surprise to see him benched. However I've not a clue why Matic is in for a game in which United would plan to dominated possession. Van de Beek would give them more energy and greater goal-threat.


Let's have some teams....


I doubt many wanted the international break, but I doubt many wanted it less than United, who'd found a decent performance at Everton only to have their momentum confiscated. They'll fancy themselves tonight, but their recent home record is rotten and West Brom will fancy themselves to frustrate a team who struggle to get around the sides of deep defences. We shall see.


Evening all, and welcome to Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion!