Fernandes volleyed to equalize for Man Utd at the end of the first half.  Photo: Reuters.

Man Utd drew the penultimate team in the Premier League


BrotherWith West Brom holding a 1-1 draw, Man Utd reclaimed second place in the table, but the risk of being widened by Man City by 10 points.

Goal: Diagne 2 & # 39; – Fernandes 44 & # 39;.

Fernandes volleyed to equalize for Man Utd at the end of the first half. Image: Reuters.

In recent years, West Brom has never been a comfortable opponent of Man Utd. Phase one this season, “Red Devils” have to rely on the successful penalty from Bruno Fernandes to win three points. On the evening of February 14, when the score was 1-1, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s army almost had a chance at 11m. Harry Maguire fell in the host’s penalty area, after a collision with Semi Ajayi. Referee Craig Pawson stood nearby, giving the team a red shirt. But after using the VAR, he turned the whistle and canceled his decision.

If awarded a penalty, Fernandes has a great chance of completing the brace and will be the one to score all three in two games against West Brom. Before that, at the end of the first half, the Portuguese midfielder shone with an 11m-close volley. The ball rolled into the high corner, leaving Sam Johnstone unable to touch the ball.

Although he scored great, Fernandes could not make Man Utd fans forget that this was the period when he was in decline. In the last eight Premier League games, Fernandes has scored three goals, averaging 0.38 goals per game. Meanwhile, in the first 16 games of the season, he had 11 goals, a performance of 0.69 goals / game. The slowdown of Fernandes is part of the reason why Man Utd drew three and lost one in the last five rounds. From a point-by-point comparison with Man City, Fernandes and his teammates were seven points behind their rivals and played more than one game.

Lindelof was crushed by Diagne, headed for the score.  Photo: AFP.

Lindelof was crushed by Diagne, headed for the score. Image: AFP.

However, putting all the responsibility on Fernandes was forced. The 26-year-old midfielder needs space to finish or move up from the second line, instead of a drill to create space for his teammates. In front of the layered defense that West Brom set out, Fernandes needed the breakthroughs of Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford. But the person who helps conduct No. 18 is a center-back. In the 44th minute, Harry Maguire approached the West Brom penalty area, before dropping the ball to the left wing for Luke Shaw to cross for Fernandes to score.

That is not the only time, Man Utd is looking forward to Maguire’s rising phase. In the context of Martial’s disappearance, while Rashford kicked the right wing – left forte, the British captain became the solution for Shaw, the full-back to attack better, free to cross the ball.

Maguire’s rise means that partner Victor Lindelof must bear the burden of defense. Solskjer’s son almost made Man Utd lose. Two minutes before time ran out, Mbaye Diagne snuck between Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, to cushion the ball. Before that, in the second minute, Lindelof was crushed by Diagne, then hit his head close to the edge to open the score.

Maguire hit her head and hit the post in stoppage time.  Photo: Reuters.

Maguire hit her head and hit the post in stoppage time. Image: Reuters.

Squad

West Brom: Johnstone, Peltier (Furlong 46 ‘), Bartley, Ajayi, Townsend, Gallagher, Maitland-Niles, Yokuslu (Livermore 67’), Snodgrass (Phillips 87 ‘), Pereira, Diagne.

Subs not used: Button, O’Shea, Sawyers, Robinson, Grant, Robson-Kanu.

Man Utd: De Gea, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Fred (Van De Beek 79 ‘), McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial (Greenwood 66’), Cavani.

Subs not used: Henderson, Telles, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Williams, James, Matic.

* Fixture – English Premier League results

* Premier League scoreboard

Thang Nguyen

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