West Brom 1 - 2 Man Utd
West Brom 1 - 2 Man Utd
A late own goal spared goalkeeper David de Gea's blushes as Manchester United began their defence of the Premier League title with victory at West Brom.
Wayne Rooney scored early on when he combined with Fabio and Ashley Young to drill in a low effort.
Shane Long equalised on his competitive debut for West Brom when his tame effort crept under the body of De Gea.
United grabbed the winner when Young's cross from the left took a deflection off Steven Reid and beat Ben Foster.
In the end luck was on the side of United, who had dominated for much of the first half but seemed devoid of bright ideas after the break.
Had Reid not put through his own net then De Gea's error would have been highlighted on Monday's back pages, although it is unlikely his moment to forget will pass without comment.
In the past Ferguson's Achilles heel has been the man wearing the number one jersey and on Sunday De Gea may have made his manager consider whether he was right to throw the 20-year-old straight into the first team.
Other young players such as Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck have been loaned out to gain experience before being handed their first-team opportunity, but Ferguson had no hesitation in giving the £18m summer signing his league debut.
The Spanish stopper looked impressive when he took up a good position and then stayed on his feet to palm away a fierce strike from Paul Scharner. However, he appeared weak when balls were floated into the area.
Yet it was not a teasing cross that outfoxed De Gea for the West Brom goal but a weak strike that drifted under his body.
Up until the equaliser, United were in control and some fans must have been wondering how many the champions would score after Rooney drilled home in the 13th minute.
The England striker linked with up with Fabio and Young before shifting inside the area and firing low into Foster's bottom left corner.
United produced some controlled pinball in and around the penalty area. Nani, Rooney and Danny Welbeck knocked one-touch passes between themselves before Nani scooped over. Moments later, the Portugal international fired over again when former United keeper Foster failed to deal with a cross.
The visitors' setup was upset after the break when centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were forced to come off with injuries. The average age of the starting XI was 23.9 years and that was lowered when Jonny Evans and Phil Jones came on as replacements.
It was lucky for the pair that only Long's movement and Somen Tchoyi's crossing raised their heartrates during the second half.
At the other end, United replaced Welbeck with experienced striker Dimitar Berbatov, hoping that a moment of Bulgarian magic would gift them victory.
But as it was, it was a moment of good fortune which gave the champions the perfect start.
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson:
"It was close. Our performance was very good, and we're sad not to hold on but very pleased with our team's performance.
"We played ourselves into the game and deserved a result for long periods of the game, but unfortunately Young got that bit of luck and that changed the complexion of things.
"We knew it was going to be tough, but we kept our end up well and consider ourselves a little bit unlucky not to get something from the game.
"We gave United a good run for their money."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +2:33
Dimitar Berbatov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonas Olsson. Chris Brunt delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.90:00 +1:25 Booking
Booking Simon Cox goes into the referee's book.90:00 +0:55
Simon Cox takes a shot. Wayne Rooney gets a block in.89:57
Shot by Gabriel Tamas from a long way out goes over the net.89:07
Youssouf Mulumbu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley. Free kick taken by Oliveira Anderson.88:33
Chris Brunt takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea.86:54 Substitution
Substitution Simon Cox replaces Shane Long.86:11
Oliveira Anderson takes the indirect free kick. Oliveira Anderson takes the indirect free kick.86:11 Booking
Booking Paul Scharner goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.85:00
Shane Long gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley. Paul Scharner concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Rooney.84:23 Substitution
Substitution Steven Reid goes off and Gonzalo Jara Reyes comes on.84:00
Shot from deep inside the area by Somen Tchoyi goes over the bar.81:43
Assist on the goal came from Ashley Young.81:43
The ball is swung over by Ashley Young.80:50 Goal scored
Goal! - Steven Reid - West Brom 1 - 2 Man Utd Steven Reid scores an own goal from 12 yards. West Brom 1-2 Man Utd.79:37 Booking
Booking Oliveira Anderson goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.78:27
Shane Long challenges David De Gea unfairly and gives away a free kick. David De Gea takes the free kick.77:50
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by James Morrison, Jonas Olsson takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea.76:41
Tom Cleverley concedes a free kick for a foul on Shane Long. Free kick crossed by Chris Brunt, save by David De Gea.
The ball is crossed by Somen Tchoyi.74:01
The ball is delivered by James Morrison, Jonathan Evans manages to make a clearance.74:01 Substitution
Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Phil Jones coming on for Rio Ferdinand.74:01
Luis Nani is adjudged to have handled the ball.73:49
The ball is crossed by Nicky Shorey, Luis Nani gets a block in.71:04
Somen Tchoyi is adjudged to have handled the ball. Indirect free kick taken by David De Gea.70:40
The ball is delivered by Somen Tchoyi, clearance made by Jonathan Evans.70:24
Shot by Luis Nani. Jonas Olsson gets a block in.69:28
The ball is swung over by Fabio Da Silva, Luis Nani produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.68:53
Shane Long gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Evans. Jonathan Evans takes the direct free kick.67:59
Shot from just outside the area by Ashley Young goes over the bar.67:34
A cross is delivered by Ashley Young.67:10
Dimitar Berbatov produces a cross, Steven Reid manages to make a clearance.66:19
Shot from 18 yards from Ashley Young. Paul Scharner gets a block in.65:44
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shane Long on Rio Ferdinand. David De Gea takes the indirect free kick.64:21 Substitution
Substitution Dimitar Berbatov is brought on as a substitute for Danny Welbeck.63:00
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Brunt on Ashley Young. Luis Nani delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left by-line.62:08
Youssouf Mulumbu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young. Indirect free kick taken by Fabio Da Silva.61:57
Somen Tchoyi crosses the ball, save by David De Gea.59:35
A cross is delivered by Fabio Da Silva.57:42
James Morrison challenges Tom Cleverley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Luis Nani crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Gabriel Tamas manages to make a clearance.56:42
Youssouf Mulumbu concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Welbeck. Direct free kick taken by Tom Cleverley.55:23
Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.55:23 Booking
Booking The referee books Ashley Young for unsporting behaviour.55:11
Shane Long fouled by Ashley Young, the ref awards a free kick.54:44
Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line to the near post, Gabriel Tamas makes a clearance.52:30
Gabriel Tamas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young. Ashley Young delivers the ball, Headed effort from inside the box by Wayne Rooney misses to the right of the target.51:06 Substitution
Substitution Jonathan Evans is brought on as a substitute for Nemanja Vidic.46:48
Ashley Young takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Welbeck on Steven Reid. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +2:06 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +0:07
A cross is delivered by Ashley Young.43:43
The ball is swung over by Somen Tchoyi, save by David De Gea. A cross is delivered by Paul Scharner.42:57
Chris Brunt takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.42:48
Centre by Chris Brunt, Fabio Da Silva makes a clearance.41:31
Youssouf Mulumbu challenges Luis Nani unfairly and gives away a free kick. Oliveira Anderson takes the direct free kick.40:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Cleverley on Paul Scharner. Gabriel Tamas takes the free kick.39:53
Centre by Jonas Olsson.38:42
Ashley Young crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left by-line, Ben Foster makes a save.38:42 Booking
Booking The referee books Steven Reid for unsporting behaviour.38:31
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Reid on Ashley Young.36:16
Chris Brunt provided the assist for the goal.36:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Shane Long - West Brom 1 - 1 Man Utd Shane Long scores a goal from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Brom 1-1 Man Utd.35:34
The ball is sent over by Wayne Rooney, clearance made by Jonas Olsson.35:00
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt played to the near post, clearance made by Nemanja Vidic.34:35
Paul Scharner takes the chance to get an effort at goal. David De Gea makes a save.33:26
Fabio Da Silva crosses the ball.33:07
Ashley Young takes a shot. Blocked by Gabriel Tamas.33:00
Tom Cleverley crosses the ball.32:04
The ball is delivered by Ashley Young, clearance made by James Morrison.31:39
Centre by Ashley Young, Chris Brunt manages to make a clearance.30:28
Centre by Tom Cleverley, clearance by Steven Reid.29:09
Shane Long is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Nemanja Vidic takes the indirect free kick.28:21
Effort on goal by Luis Nani from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.27:52
Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line to the near post, save by Ben Foster.27:45
Fabio Da Silva delivers the ball, blocked by Chris Brunt.26:11
Shot from just outside the area by Shane Long misses to the left of the target.24:35
Oliveira Anderson challenges James Morrison unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Brunt delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel.23:57
Chris Brunt takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Luis Nani manages to make a clearance.23:42
Centre by Somen Tchoyi, Chris Smalling makes a clearance.23:25
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt from the left by-line to the near post, Chris Smalling makes a clearance.22:24
Shane Long fouled by Fabio Da Silva, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Brunt produces a cross, Steven Reid takes a shot. Blocked by Fabio Da Silva.21:40
Shot on goal by Luis Nani from just inside the area goes over the target.20:21
Ashley Young sends in a cross, clearance made by Gabriel Tamas.20:09
The ball is delivered by Ashley Young, clearance made by Nicky Shorey.19:17
Fabio Da Silva fouled by Shane Long, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ashley Young.16:17
James Morrison produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.13:48
Wayne Rooney has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.12:20
The assist for the goal came from Ashley Young.12:20 Goal scored
Goal! - Wayne Rooney - West Brom 0 - 1 Man Utd Wayne Rooney finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Brom 0-1 Man Utd.10:46
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nemanja Vidic by Jonas Olsson. David De Gea restarts play with the free kick.10:13
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt from the left by-line, clearance made by Nemanja Vidic.9:02
Corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt, Shot by Somen Tchoyi. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.8:34
Unfair challenge on Chris Brunt by Ashley Young results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Chris Brunt from right channel, clearance by Nemanja Vidic.7:20
Long range shot by Paul Scharner goes wide left of the target.5:33
Oliveira Anderson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Somen Tchoyi. Free kick crossed right-footed by James Morrison from left channel, clearance by Wayne Rooney.3:34
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Oliveira Anderson from the right by-line to the near post, save by Ben Foster.2:24
The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, Unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Steven Reid results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Ashley Young, save by Ben Foster.1:37
Oliveira Anderson takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Somen Tchoyi.1:15
Ashley Young takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Brunt.1:01
Ashley Young delivers the ball, Chris Brunt gets a block in.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
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