EPL: West Brom frustrate Man United

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Manchester United FC appear to have lost the race for top-four
Manchester United FC appear to have lost the race for top-four

Manchester United drew for the eighth time at Old Trafford this season as West Brom held them to a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

The result does stretch United’s unbeaten run to 19 games in the Premier League but they are now four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

Jose Mourinho’s men struggled to find any tempo in their attacking play but Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster did produce a stunning late stop to deny Marcus Rashford’s fabulous free-kick.

However, Darren Fletcher nearly won it for the visitors after David de Gea spilled an effort onto the crossbar.

Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all were missing for Mourinho through injury, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera were serving suspensions.

The United boss made three changes from the team that beat Middlesbrough 3-1 with Marcus Rojo, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial returning.

Despite the lengthy absentee list, there was still no place for Wayne Rooney, who was on the bench, with Marcus Rashford preferred up top.

Hal Robson Kanu, who scored in West Brom’s 3-1 win over Arsenal, replaced Salomon Rondon in the only change from the side that beat the Gunners.

The Baggies had not kept a clean sheet in their last 13 away Premier League games and looked keen to end that run as they set up to frustrate United by defending deep.

It worked too, with United’s only real outlet being Martial, whose direct running at least gave the Baggies defence questions to answer.

The only chance of a monotonous first half fell to Martial on 30 minutes but his back-post header, where he rose above Craig Dawson, was directed two yards wide.

The match continued in the same pattern after the break with West Brom soaking up United’s timid attacking play.

Mkhitaryan did bundle his way through on 65 minutes after a mistake from Gareth McAuley, but Foster came to the rescue to deflect the ball to safety.

Read more: Sky

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