West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard gave Manchester United a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday as Jose Mourinho’s men kept their faint title hopes alive.
Lukaku put United ahead at the Hawthorns and Lingard netted with the aid of a deflection to double the visitors’ lead before half-time.
But what looked destined to be a comfortable win became tense when Gareth Barry prodded home a second-half goal for the hosts.
And United ended the game defending for their lives before claiming the win that kept them 11 points behind neighbours Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
“I think we deserved the win. We were the best team. We controlled the game for a long time,” Mourinho said.
“The intensity in the first half maybe we didn’t have in the second half.
“West Brom are really powerful in the air. But after their goal we controlled it again.”
United made a dominant start with West Brom guilty of squandering cheap possession on a frequent basis.
Yet it was the hosts who threatened first in the ninth minute courtesy of a clever backheel from Salomon Rondon to release James McClean on the left.
He crossed towards the far post for Oliver Burke, but the winger could not control a difficult ball on his full Premier League debut.
United’s first sight of goal came on 14 minutes when Ashley Young angled a dangerous cross from the left towards Lukaku at the far post.
Baggies defender Kieran Gibbs made an important header and Lukaku was penalised for handball as he tried to keep the move alive.
West Brom enjoyed a handy spell of possession midway through the opening half as United lost their way following a decent start.
The home side forced two corners on the left but both were poorly directed by Grzegorz Krychowiak.
But United opened the scoring on 28 minutes as Lukaku returned to haunt his former club.
Burke lost the ball cheaply on the Albion right, Marcus Rashford was given too much space and his cross was glanced home by Lukaku, who had ghosted between Jonny Evans and Gibbs.
There was a glimmer of hope for Albion on 34 minutes when Allan Nyom crossed towards Rondon at the near post but he was denied by Chris Smalling’s interception.
But a minute later it was 2-0 to United as Lingard struck.