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Match Reports

Albion 1 Manchester United 2

17 December 2017

ALBION were undone 2-1 by Manchester United despite a late rally in their Premier League encounter at The Hawthorns.

The hosts were undone by two quickfire first-half goals - Romelu Lukaku directing a header into the top corner in the 28th minute, refusing to celebrate against the club with whom he enjoyed a successful loan spell in 2012/13.

And just eight minutes later Jesse Lingard saw his speculative long-range strike deflect off Ahmed Hegazi and wrongfoot Ben Foster, who was making his 200th appearance for the club.

Gareth Barry reduced the arrears, tapping home from a Chris Brunt corner in the 77th minute to register Albion's first goal under Head Coach Alan Pardew, that coming after James McClean appeared to be barged over by Ashley Young in the penalty area moments earlier.

But it was second-placed United who took all three Premier League points.

The Baggies now travel to Stoke City next Saturday looking to get back to winning ways in their final clash before Christmas.

Albion proved equal to United in the opening half an hour or so, with neither side creating a clear-cut chance.

But the visitors took the lead when Lukaku rose above Kieran Gibbs to perfectly direct Marcus Rashford's left-wing cross into the top corner.

Oliver Burke, recalled in favour of Hal Robson-Kanu, burst clear with Salomon Rondon in a two-on-one situation but was halted by Chris Smalling's sliding tackle.

And the visitors found themselves two goals to the good in the 35th minute when Lingard's hopeful strike from distance deflcted off Hegazi and past Foster.

Jake Livermore tested David De Gea before the interval, which saw Claudio Yacob replaced by Gareth Barry, who also tested the United stopper shortly after the restart.

Rondon almost got on the end of Burke's cross from the right as Albion pressed in search of a route back into the game.

Rashford, involved in an altercation with Hegazi moments earlier, fired a good chance wide before Foster saved well from Lingard.

McClean appeared to be shoulder-charged by Young inside the area when attempting to chase down a ball collected by De Gea, although referee Anthony Taylor did not award a penalty.

But Barry did drag Albion back into the encounter when he side-footed home a corner from fellow substitute Brunt 13 minutes from time.

However, it was not enough to secure a share of the spoils, Jay Rodriguez heading narrowly off target and De Gea collecting after a scramble in the area from another dangerous Brunt corner as United departed with the points.

ALBION: Foster, Nyom, Hegazi, Evans (c), Gibbs, Yacob (Barry 46), Krychowiak (Brunt 72), Burke (Rodriguez 64), Livermore, McClean, Rondon.

Subs: Myhill, McAuley, Field, Robson-Kanu.


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