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Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion: 5 Talking Points as Red Devils grind much-needed home win | Premier League 2020-21

Ishu Roy
Modified 22 Nov 2020, 06:31 IST

#3 VAR intervenes twice as Manchester United lead

Manchester United
Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes converted from the spot at the second time of asking

Just as it has been doing since the start of last season, VAR intervened not once but twice in Manchester United's favor.

Fernandes supposedly tapped Gallagher's ankle inside the 18-yard-box, for which a penalty was awarded to the Baggies. Upon a VAR check, it was ruled out. Six minutes later, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were rewarded a spot-kick following Darnell Furlong's handball.

Fernandes' shot was saved by Johnstone, but the goalkeeper was off his line before the kick was taken. A composed Bruno would not miss his second chance.

Those nine minutes changed the entire equation of the fixture, with VAR at the heart of it all.

#4 Do Manchester United need two pivots in midfield?

Nemanja Matic was often caught out of position when West Brom broke away
Nemanja Matic was often caught out of position when West Brom broke away

It may well be argued that Manchester United need more creativity when on the ball, without any opposing pressure.

Fernandes is, at times, the only creative outlet for the PL giants who struggled to break down relegation-threatened West Brom. Rashford and Martial sparingly had their chances but were mere passengers for the majority of the game.

The Nemanja Matic-Fred combination could be used against more daunting and equipped opponents. Many a time, the former was trailing against the West Brom attack and counter, while there was little or no innovation from his end either.

It's been eight matches, and Donny van de Beek is yet to start a Premier League match. This game, where West Brom sat deep and choked United for large parts, was begging for his introduction. Why he was not handed a maiden league start over 32-year-old Juan Mata remains questionable.

#5 Alex Telles enjoyed a dream debut for the Red Devils

Alex Telles is a typical gung-ho left-back
Alex Telles is a typical gung-ho left-back

Manchester United clinched three valuable points, but there were only a few positives in that underwhelming performance. And one of them was Alex Telles' debut.

The Brazilian was an absolute live wire on the pitch for his side. He ran down the left, stretched a rather stringent Albion backline and whipped a handful of crosses into the box.

He also started attacks and was heavily involved. Telles' defensive contribution was the real highlight, as he won each of his duels and tackled sharply.

His energy to return to the back four's defensive structure and then contribute up front was a treat to watch. Telles is a typical gung-ho full-back, loaded with enthusiasm and flamboyance.

Luke Shaw faces serious competition at left-back, which is great from Manchester United and Solskjaer's perspective.

Also read: Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea: Player ratings as Blues cruise past toothless Toons | Premier League 2020/21

Published 22 Nov 2020, 06:31 IST
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