Three Points Picked Up By United At The Hawthorns

Manchester United have gone three points clear of Manchester City in the Premier League after a 2-1 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

United brought in Tomasz Kuszczak to replace Edwin Van Der Sar, who has come down with flu. Darren Fletcher, Gabriel Obertan and Gary Neville also came into the starting line-up.

Manchester United took a very early lead after Wayne Rooney scored the first goal of 2011. Three minutes in a Rooney headed the ball past Scott Carson from a cross in from Patrice Evra.

West Brom immediately responded well to the goal, Jerome Thomas got ahead of Gary Neville, who was stood still at the back post but luckily for him, Thomas was unable to control the ball in from James Morrison.

The home side grabbed themselves an equaliser after a cracking strike from Morrison. The ball wasn't fully cleared by Nemanja Vidic, it fell to whose stunning strike from 20-yards out flew into the top corner.

The goal spurred on the West Brom, who should have been awarded a penalty after Gary Neville's foul on Graham Dorrans in the penalty area. That should have been a penalty and red card for Neville but fortunately for United, referee Chris Foy didn't award the penalty.

Man United went into half time lucky to be level, a very frustrating first half, defensively very poor in what has to be the worst away performance from United this season.

The Baggies started off the better team in the second half with an 25-yard immediate effort from Chris Brunt, which flew wide of the post. With the game still at 1-1, Sir Alex Ferguson brought on Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Darron Gibson on for Dimitar Berbatov and Gabriel Obertan.

Just after the hour mark, West Brom were awarded a penalty after Thomas went down in the area after a challenge from Rio Ferdinand. The penalty was taken by Peter Odemwingie, who stepped up and missed it.

Neville had an awful game and was finally brought off with Fabio da Silva replacing him on the 70th minute.

Man United hadn't played very well but 74 minutes in, United had a penalty appeal after Thomas blocked the ball with his arm, that was followed by a shot from Michael Carrick, who brought a save out of Carson. With 15 minutes remaining, United took the lead again through an unmarked Hernandez, who headed in from 5-yards out from a corner taken by Rooney.

West Brom continued to attack United, Vidic had to make a fantastic block after Thomas to prevent West Brom from equalising again.

Man United looked like they had to finish the game with 10 men after Rooney was taken off with an ankle injury. A few minutes later after five minutes of added time had been shown, the striker came back on but wasn't moving comfortably for the rest of the game.

The game finished 2-1 to United, not the best of games at all for United but the most important thing is that United left with all three points.

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