Given Manchester United missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and West Bromwich Albion often spoil, a pre-game joke concerned 0-0 being the likely outcome.
So it came to pass. Manchester United, though, deserve full credit for trying to take all of the points. West Brom patently did not and it is hardly unfair to class the approach of Tony Pulis’s said here as anti-football. There are acceptable ways of securing a draw and to take overlong at throw-ins and goal-kicks and hoof the ball aimlessly upfield is not one of these.
From opening whistle this was a virtual 90-minute contest of United’s attack-versus West Brom’s defence and by the close the former were frustrated and the latter far happier.After fumbled touches from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford the former burst into life by skating along a left channel. The ball broke to Jesse Lingard and he aimed the opening shot over. Despite how Pulis’s sides can operate it was still a surprise to see Darren Fletcher, once of this parish, hooking one ball hopelessly into United’s half.