Bruno Fernandes was heavily involved on both ends as the Portuguese playmaker’s all-action performance helped secure three critical points for Man Utd over West Brom.
The Red Devils created the game’s first opportunity, with former Man Utd stopper Sam Johnstone called into action early.
Bruno Fernandes’ whipped free kick was reviewed by Anthony Martial, but the West Brom goaltender was up to the task of preserving the stalemate.
The superiority of the hosts was there and the aforementioned duo combined again to come closer in the 16th minute.
Fernandes’ skillful dismissal on an incisive run from Marcus Rashford was perfect for Martial. But the Frenchman’s powerful shot was cleverly prevented by Johnstone’s strong left palm.
West Brom finally found their marks, and almost opened the scoring thanks to Karlan Grant.
Released by Matheus Pereira, the leader struck on goal before his weak effort narrowly drifted, helped by a slight deflection on a Man Utd defender.
Fernandes was quickly back in action for Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer side, opening the West Brom defense with a sublime through ball.
Juan Mata held on to the delivery, but his delicate reduction was cut to leave Martial exasperated at the far post.
Kyle Bartley then put his head where it hurts, blocking a full power volley from Harry Maguire with his face.
The strike completely took the Baggies defenseman away, but more importantly, the ball stayed out of the net.
The center-back then missed a decent opportunity to make his mark with his header on the other end, nodding from a corner narrowly above the bar on the roof of the net.
Heading to half-time, Man Utd have unceremoniously raised the five-hour mark since their last Preier League goal at Old Trafford.
Man Utd have now gone 5 hours and 13 minutes without scoring a Premier League goal at Old Trafford.
– Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 21, 2020
The second half got off to a good start when Bruno Fernandes defeated Conor Gallagher to concede a penalty.
As with the Aston Villa v Brighton clash earlier, the referee was advised to check the pitch side monitor. After several looks, the decision was overturned in what appeared to be a blow to the Baggies.
Nonetheless, Slaven Bilic’s side were now firmly in the fight and forced David de Gea to make a nice near-post save to turn Conor Townsend down.
Within seconds, Man Utd broke the pitch and received a penalty when Juan Mata’s cross struck Darnell Furlong’s arm.
The blame fell on Fernandes, who had seen his kick saved, but Johnstone had left his line too soon.
A recovery was granted, with Fernandes this time sending in the penalty to give Man Utd a vital breakthrough.
◉ A West Brom penalty is overruled by VAR
◉ Man Utd then receives a penalty
◉ Bruno Fernandes’ initial effort is saved but a repeat is granted and Bruno Fernandes scores
Just another afternoon at Old Trafford. pic.twitter.com/1z02zOGz2D
– Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) November 21, 2020
West Brom’s spirits remained high, and seconds after his introduction to the bench, Callum Robinson rocked the woodwork with ferocious fury.
The odds continued to flow on both sides as the game grew more and more frantic. Rashford and Maguire both doubled the hosts’ lead.
Fernandes continued to pull the strings, and without the waste of forwards around him, the three points could have been settled sooner.
Nonetheless, West Brom’s attempts to secure a point faltered as Man Utd beat the winners 1-0 at Old Trafford.