Manchester United hosted West Brom at Old Trafford as the Premier League returned following the international break, with the Red Devils winning the fixture by a lone goal.
United clinched all three points away by the skin of their teeth with Bruno Fernandes converting from the spot yet again. Although fate seemed to be against a United win as the penalty was initially denied by Sam Johnstone, fans were greeted with a familiar scene of the Portuguese international celebrating after VAR instructed the spot-kick to be retaken.
Let us take a look at 3 key points from one of the tightest matches of this season:
1. The Mancunians Arrive Home, Finally!
With their loss against Arsenal, the Old Trafford outfit had failed to win all 4 of their home games in the league they had contested in so far. This marked their worst start at home in league since 1972-73 season.
However, the tides seem to be turning with Ole Gunnar Solskjær leading his side to victory this weekend. The hosts will be keen on keeping this momentum going henceforth.
2. Sam Johnstone – West Brom’s Silver Lining
The Throstles keeper displayed a very admirable performance tonight, having kept his side in the game for as long as he did. Johnstone managed to make 6 emphatic saves in key moments to deny Solskjær’s side an easy win. The record champions’ xG of 2.43 is testament to how bad it could’ve been for the Baggies had it not been for the Englishman’s performance.
However, it has yet again proven not enough to secure their first win of the season, despite having played 9 games as of now. 3 points from 3 draws is a very poor output and certainly projects Slaven Bilic’s side as relegation candidates.
3. Misfiring Forwards
The hosts yet again put up a performance that was rather dull – carrying on a trend that has been apparent this season. Constantly Fernandes has had to turn into a saviour for his side and to require a saviour one must be in a crisis, which is exactly what the Manchester outfit seem to be in.
The actual scoreline does not reflect the xG of 2.43, meaning the forwards failed to be clinical when it mattered.
The gaffer must make changes before these inconsistencies come to bite them back later on.