Chris Brunt concedes the remarkable win at Manchester United is “probably too little too late” in the battle against the drop, but the West Brom captain has vowed to build on that memorable victory this season and beyond.
And that was also the case on Sunday, as United failed to spark the imagination in any tangible way even though they were playing a side that had hadn’t won in the league since January.
The first half was lacking in big moments but United should have been given a golden chance to take the lead.
United’s threat disappointingly petered out and allowed West Brom to recover.
Ander Herrera went down in the box after being caught by Craig Dawson but referee Paul Tierney chose to wave play on. The referee blatantly missed a awful challenge, and this would prove costly to Manchester United.
If it weren’t for Ben Foster in goal, West Brom would have gone into the game at Old Trafford already relegated. Manchester United looked the stronger passing team, but West Brom relied heavily on counter attacks.
Ahead of the Baggies’ visit, the Manchester United boss confirmed that he had a full squad at his disposal apart from second-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero who has been out on the sidelines since the global break.
Salomon Rondon saw a close-range header comfortably denied in the Baggies’ other noteworthy first-half attempt, although United were taking their time to break down the brittle visitors. Surely, it looked as if Foster could not reach the ball.
A 73rd minute header from Jay Rodriguez gave Albion, who appear doomed to relegation, their first away win in 16 outings and just their fourth victory of the season.
Ritchie scored the victor against Manchester United on February 11 that kickstarted Newcastle’s surge to safety and he did the same here, running onto Perez’s flick off Islam Slimani’s header to beat Petr Cech from 12 meters (yards). They’ve got loads of good players. West Brom ultimately got lucky from a rare slip up from Matic.
Jose Mourinho’s side had prevented their neighbours winning the title with a stirring comeback last weekend, but an unlikely defeat to the Baggies secured a third Premier League title for their cross-city rivals.
Six years later, the finale was much more underwhelming, with Rodriguez nodding in from a corner to silence the majority of Old Trafford and set up one of the most surprising wins of the season. Furthermore, a second place finish will be the best finish since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Wednesday’s league match at Bournemouth has a more Category B look about it but United can not afford to go to London next weekend without some impetus after this shock loss.