West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester United: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United made sure their week record remained perfect, as they secured second win in four days, beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at The Hawthorns. The Sunday afternoon match proved to be slightly more complicated than it needed to, as Man United conceded a goal in the second half.

However, goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard proved to be enough for another three points for the Reds. Manchester United now have 41 points and sit comfortably in second place of the Premier League standings.

Antonio Valencia Having Fatigue Issues

Man United’s right back went off after 66 minutes. It was already 2-0 by then, but Valencia had slight groin injury. Jose Mourinho confirmed that in the press conference after the game. Hopefully, the Ecuadorian will not have to be out of contention for long.

However, this was most probably due to Valencia playing almost every single match for Manchester United. Though he did not play as often in the Champions League, only David De Gea and Romelu Lukaku played more Premier League football than Valencia this season.

Jesse Lingard Becoming Truly Valuable

Lingard’s goal against West Brom was his seventh in all competitions this season. His fourth of the Premier League campaign came after Juan Mata’s assist, but all four of them have come in less than three weeks.

Lingard is in incredible form, becoming truly valuable player for this Manchester United team. He is hard working and offers something neither of Mata, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial or Henrikh Mkhitaryan can offer. Mourinho obviously found him perfect position, behind the striker, as Lingard scored all four of league goals playing in that spot.

West Brom Are In Trouble

Tony Pulis was sacked and Alan Pardew came in. Yet, the things are not changing as fast as West Brom fans had hoped. The Baggies have won just 14 points from 18 matches, scoring only 13 goals in the process.

Their midfield troubles have been obvious for some time now. The trio of Claudio Yacob, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Jake Livermore does not offer enough and Pardew might have to congest it with players ready to create more. Goals are not really West Brom’s thing this season.

Manchester United Doing Fine Despite Manchester City Running Away

Looking at the standings, Man City are 11 points ahead of United and that might look depressing. However, that is not due to Manchester United being poor. The Reds have won 41 points. At this point in 2016-17, United would have been only five points behind leading Chelsea side. In 2015-16 they would have been three points ahead of Leicester City and four points behind Chelsea in 2014-15.

That might be a lot of “what if” scenarios, but it only shows how impeccable Man City have been this term. Manchester United are progressing well, especially when we look how things were panning out last season.

Manchester United won 13 out of 18 Premier League matches this season, five less than in the whole of 2016-17. Not so bad after all…

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