Manchester United vs. West Brom: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
West Bromwich Albion won at Old Trafford for the first time since 1978 on Saturday, scoring twice in the second half to see off the champions on their own pitch.
Morgan Amalfitano, who was superb, opened the scoring nine minutes after the restart, and while Wayne Rooney equalized in the 57th minute, the guests were ahead just 10 minutes later. Saido Berahino scored the winner in a memorable 2-1 victory for the Baggies.
Albion end a 35-year wait for a win at Old Trafford with a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Amalfitano and Berahino. #MUNWBA— WBAFCofficial (@WBAFCofficial) September 28, 2013
Amalfitano, who had the running of United’s Alexander Buttner throughout the 90 minutes, put the guests ahead after a darting run took him into a one-on-one battle with Rio Ferdinand, whom he promptly nutmegged before delicately lifting the ball up and over David De Gea.
United’s answer was swift, however, and once again came from Rooney—and once again from a free-kick following Billy Jones’ foul on Buttner to the left of the 18-yard box. Rooney’s delivery was likely intended for a deflected shot, but it ended up taking a bounce and finding the back of the net inside the far post.
But then it was time for Berahino’s dramatics.
The England U-21 international, having replaced the injured Scott Sinclair early in the first half, accepted Amalfitano’s exquisite flick before driving the ball past De Gea with both Ferdinand and Jonny Evans lost at sea.
Key Player Grades
Wayne Rooney: A-
He was the only United player who had a right to leave Old Trafford with his head held high. On a day where so many things seemed to go wrong for the hosts, the England forward kept trying to drive the side forward. Shortly before the hour mark, he delivered a temporary equalizer from a set piece.
Rio Ferdinand: D
The longtime United defender had an absolute shocker and was partially responsible for both West Brom goals. On the first, he somehow managed to play himself completely out of position as Amalfitano walked in to score. On the second, he again failed to close down the necessary space as Amalfitano flicked the ball onto Berahino, who smashed it into the back of the net.
Morgan Amalfitano: A+
What a memorable performance from the Marseille loanee. Not only did he open the scoring with a superb solo effort, but he also assisted on the Berahino winner and generally menaced the United backline throughout the 90 minutes. He was, hands down, the best player in the park.
Next up for United is a trip far away from their current problems—to Ukraine and a Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
Next weekend they’ll be away to Sunderland and will return from the international break with a home match against Southampton on October 19.
West Bromwich Albion, meanwhile, will host Arsenal next weekend and travel to Stoke following the next round of World Cup qualifiers.
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