The spoils were shared at The Hawthorns where United once again this season combined some spirited attacking play with unconvincing defending to allow the home side twice to take the lead before a late Daley Blind goal secured a draw in the closing minutes.
United were slow to get into their stride and paid for it within ten minutes. Rojo was late getting tight on Sessegnon, who received a cross from the right and had the space to crash it brilliantly into the top corner, the first of four fine goals on the night. Although the Reds settled and began to play some neat passes in midfield, chances were at a premium: Di Maria forced a save from Myhill after half an hour and Van Persie saw a shot blocked, but there was a general lack of pace about United’s play in the first half and too often promising moves, orchestrated ably by Blind, came to nothing or resulted in a speculative final ball that the Baggies’ defence found easy to deal with.
Van Gaal made a substitution at half-time, bringing on Fellaini for Herrera and the change paid off immediately. The Belgian took the ball on his chest, gave himself space on his right foot and struck a glorious effort for his first competitive goal in United colours. The goal gave the Reds some momentum but they failed to capitalise and allowed West Brom back into the game with more poor defending: Jones was drawn into the midfield and left a yawning gap for Berahino, who impressed throughout, to exploit the space and stroke the ball expertly past De Gea.
United missed an excellent chance to equalise when Van Persie struck a magnificent shot against the post only for Januzaj to sky the rebound. With Di Maria withdrawn through injury and time running out, it looked as if the best chance to get something out of the game had gone, but Blind pounced on a loose ball just outside the area and drove home inside Myhill’s right post. The goal set up an old-fashioned United assault on the opposition goal and Blind might have done better when he sliced a similar effort wide of the goal with the keeper committed.
Once again, we saw two sides to United. There was no question they deserved something from the game and probably, going forward, did enough to win it. The problem once again was at the other end. West Brom were spirited opponents but United’s frailty at the back played a big part in both of their goals and meant the Reds spent far too much of the ninety minutes chasing the game, click here to view the full guide. It contributed to an excellent game of football but yet more shredded nerves for United fans.