Premier League: Manchester United edge past West Bromwich Albion 2-1
Manchester United beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the Premier League at the Hawthorns in West Bromwich thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku to regain second spot in the league standings.football Updated: Dec 17, 2017 22:21 IST
Romelu Lukaku scored for the second straight Premier League match to set Manchester United on their way to a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Jesse Lingard added the second for second-place United, who conceded to Gareth Barry in the 79th minute and were forced to hold on for a victory that trimmed the gap to Manchester City to 11 points.
Lukaku, who spent the 2012-13 season on loan at West Brom, didn’t celebrate after heading in Marcus Rashford’s inswinging cross in the 27th minute. The striker reacted the same way after scoring a near-identical header in United’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, suggesting there is an underlying reason for his unhappiness.
The Belgium international has been criticized in recent weeks, having scored just one goal in 2 1/2 months before the goal against Bournemouth. Lukaku had started the season with seven goals in his first seven league games.
It was an efficient, unspectacular display from United, who lost captain Antonio Valencia to an apparent hamstring injury midway through the second half and then lost their way as West Brom finished strongly at The Hawthorns.
There was a worrying moment for United in the last few minutes when James McClean’s corner to the far post was nearly bundled into his own net by Nemanja Matic.
United reclaimed outright possession of second place after Chelsea moved level on points on Saturday.
Barry’s close-range strike is West Brom’s only goal in four matches under new manager Alan Pardew that have ended in two draws and two losses, keeping the team in the relegation zone heading into the busy festive period.
This result extended West Brom’s club-record winless run in all competitions to 17 games, the longest in their 139-year history.
Pardew’s side had managed to keep Liverpool’s prolific strikeforce at bay in a 0-0 draw at Anfield but conceded the opener against United in the simplest of ways, a cross by Rashford from the left wing met by a glancing header from Lukaku into the top corner for his 15th goal in all competitions this season.
Lukaku showed more delight after Lingard scored the second goal in the 36th, the winger sending in a low shot from 25 meters that deflected off the outstretched foot of West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi and past goalkeeper Ben Foster.