- Guardiola: We could not break down ruthless Spurs
- Mourinho: Tottenham are not title contenders yet
- Chelsea secure comfortable win at Newcastle
Quite what Nemanja Matic was expected to add to this evening’s match is very difficult to deduce. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaving out Scott McTominay was understandable – he’s important to what they do and played 120 minutes then 90 minutes for Scotland – but replacing him with Matic was baffling. Against a side unlikely to attack much, Fred would have been adequate as the deepest midfielder, and Donny Van de Beek, a fine passer who is clever about the box and also a goal-threat, spent almost 80 minutes sitting at the side.
It is possible to get away with such pedestrian plodding – United just about managed it tonight – but Solskjaer is meant to be making United great again. Matic is not going to be part of that, and if Solskjaer keeps picking him, he might not be either.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Barca paranoid Dembele 'has plan' to join United - Euro Papers
46’ - 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.
48’ - NO PENALTY WEST BROM! 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.
52’ - 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.
53’ - 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.
54’ - 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!
55’ - 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.
65’ - 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.