Manchester United Beat West Brom
Manchester United kicked off their Barclays Premier League title defence with a narrow success against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday. Much to the great pleasure of the travelling fans, summer signing Ashley Young forced a late own goal in the 81st minute to give the reigning league champions a 2–1 win.
Sir Alex Ferguson´s Manchester United dominated the first period from the first kick with decent possession and passing play. And it came as no surprise to anyone when Wayne Rooney opened the scoring account in the 13th minute of the encounter as the England central attacker accepted a slick pass from former Aston Villa player Ashley Young inside the penalty area and hammered home to give the visitors a well deserved lead. The West Bromwich players hit back, however, when Republic of Ireland international Shane Long managed to equalise for the Black Country club only eight minutes before the sound of the half time signal thanks to a fatal mistake from £18.3 million signing David de Gea. It was a blatantly poor piece of goalkeeping from the previous Atletico Madrid net custodian who has indeed got off to a very difficult start to his Manchester United career. In the second period, the West Bromwich Albion players were enthusiastic and positive about their task and the match switched from end to end with both teams having efforts at goal. Then in the 65th minute, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to replace Danny Welbeck with battering ram striker Dimitar Berbatov whose pace and power made Manchester United´s attack more direct. Somehow The Baggies were still level and the home supporters started to believe in their team but in the end they were worn down by the away side. With only nine minutes left, a low cross ball from new boy Ashley Young eventually found its way into the goal via full back Steven Reid and although the desperate hosts pushed forward at the end of the match to try to force an equaliser, the Manchester United defence held firm. All in all the victory yesterday was a brilliant start to the new campaign for The Reds.