Bruno Fernandes’ retaken penalty ensured underwhelming Manchester United defeated West Brom to arrest their woeful home league form.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were without a win in four league games before tonight but have now leapfrogged rivals Manchester City into 9th with a nervy win.
The game wasn’t without controversy either, as West Brom were perhaps unfortunate to have their spot-kick overturned after review by referee David Coote on the pitch-side monitor.
Fernandes’ penalty shortly after was saved by man-of-the match and ex-Red Sam Johnstone but the Baggies ‘keeper was well off his line and the Portuguese playmaker made no mistake with his second effort.
David De Gea had to be called into action on several occasions as the struggling opposition threatened throughout.
United were hardly convincing and rode their luck at times, but three points gives Solskjaer’s men a platform to build from ahead of a crucial run of fixtures.
The Reds face Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday as the Champions League returns before a trip to highflying Southampton next Sunday.
Here are some full-time reactions from United fans and journalists on social media:
— Dale O'Donnell (@ODonnellDale) November 21, 2020
MUFC win home PL game for first time this season. Consecutive win for first time in '20-21. Unconvincing performance. Two more points for MU than at same stage last term😮 MOM: Sam Johnstone. Ratings to follow.
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) November 21, 2020
That was tortuous from #MUFC even if Johnstone had a good game. First win at Old Trafford in seven matches, via various VAR interventions.
Fernandes concedes possession but play flows through him. Much more is needed from the team.
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) November 21, 2020
Somehow, the team holding the ball up by the corner flag to run down the clock in stoppage time moves above Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the table
— Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) November 21, 2020
That was a 'win's a win' kind of win for #mufc. West Brom were unlucky not to take a point and, despite the quantity of Johnstone's saves, none matched the quality – or importance – of De Gea's at 0-0.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) November 21, 2020
The media loved writing stories about how our manager wasn’t good enough, our players weren’t good enough & how doomed we were a few weeks ago. I wonder if Manchester City & Pep Guardiola will get the same treatment now that they are below us..
— Jack (@UnitedHeaven_) November 21, 2020
WBA set up to frustrate and stop, and they did that, overall. However, I think #MUFC controlled the flow of traffic, passed the ball well, but lacked cutting edge in the final third. It was a deserved three points, and that's all what matters. #MUNWBA
— Rob Blanchette (@_Rob_B) November 21, 2020
Rashford-Bruno-Martial-Cavani front four in the PL from now on. The only argument here is putting a creative midfielder in place of Rashford
— Aaron Moniz (@amonizfootball) November 21, 2020
The sort of result in which perhaps the three points is the only thing that matters. One way or another, United are above Man City and Arsenal on the table.
These sort of games will come and go in the long-term. Average performance but same issues for Utd.
— Kaustubh Pandey (@Kaus_Pandey17) November 21, 2020