Manchester United enjoyed an emphatic 3-0 win against a struggling West Bromwich Albion side, thanks to goals from Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, with the defeat leaving Pepe Mel’s Baggies in real trouble.
United started the fixture superbly, taking the game to West Bromwich in the opening stages, with young sensation Adnan Januzaj causing the Albion defence real problems.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster had to keep out Wayne Rooney’s effort after five minutes, as United signalled their intentions in the West Midlands.
In-fact, United should have opened the scoring just a couple of minutes after that, as Januzaj and Van Persie combined, however, Van Persie couldn’t get his effort on target in the West Bromwich sunshine.
Albion had their first chance after 11 minutes, Anichebe, who had been causing problems for Jones already today, caused problems for Smalling, after the former Everton striker bullied the defender off the ball, before stabbing an attempt at goal, which was saved by the un-troubled De Gea.
West Brom were slowly coming into the game, and Jones hurriedly cleared the ball from the advancing Amalfitano, following a teasing ball from the veteran Zolton Gera.
United were pressing up the field, and after 28 minutes, they almost had their opener, the impressive Januzaj beat his man before cutting inside into the box, before drilling a ball into the area for the waiting Rafael, who met the cross with a diving header, which Foster turned away superbly way a superb reflex save.
However, three minutes later, United had their deserved lead through Phil Jones.
Chris Brunt tripped Rafael, as Robin Van Persie stepped up to whip in a teasing free kick into the crowded box, the ball was met by the glancing header of Phil Jones, who directed his header past a flapping Foster into the centre of the goal, after 31 minutes.
The goal seemed to give United confidence, as Ronney tried his luck after 38 minutes, but curled his shot over the bar.
West Bromwich themselves looked stunned, however, they did have a chance after Liam Ridgewell headed over from a corner late on in the second half.
Anichebe then tussled with Smalling, before turning the defender and firing just wide of De Gea’s far post.
West Brom started the second half well, however, Anichebe was the only real threat Albion possessed really.
Van Persie was lucky to escape without a sending off following rash challenges on Brunt and Amalfitano.
Mata then skipped his challenge, however, he was blocked thanks to a superb tackle by Ridgewell in the 55th minute of the fixture.
West Brom huffed and puffed but failed to break United down on a regular basis.
As the game wore on, United found their second after 65 minutes, after good build up play from Mata and Rafael, ended up with Rafael producing a superb ball into the box, which was met by the head of Wayne Rooney, who nodded home past a beaten Foster.
Albion’s tired legs came back to haunt them, as Danny Welbeck finished off the game in superb fashion, after Rooney played a pin-point ball into the path of Welbeck, who took a touch and curled past the on-diving Foster after 82 minutes to give United an emphatic win.
By Ben Reardon