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Manchester United must beat West Brom to keep slim title hopes alive

Manchester United will host West Brom at Old Trafford
Manchester United will host West Brom at Old Trafford
ANALYST
Modified 14 Feb 2021
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It has been a mixed week for Manchester United, who bounced back from a disappointing 3-3 draw with Everton in the Premier League by beating West Ham United 1-0 in the FA Cup.

The Red Devils have seen their Premier League ambitions dealt multiple blows in recent weeks following some inconsistent performances. However, it is still all to play for in the English top flight.

As it stands, Manchester United could yet consolidate their position as the second-placed team in the league, especially with Liverpool continuing to drop points.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will face West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, with the chance close in on high-flying Manchester City.

Having beaten Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, the Cityzens are now eight points ahead of Manchester United, while Pep Guardiola's side also have a game in hand. However, Manchester United can close the gap to five points if they beat Sam Allardyce’s side.

Manchester United aim to recover from Everton disappointment

Manchester United’s last Premier League game didn’t go according to plan as they squandered the lead twice to draw 3-3 with Everton. What made the result even worse was the manner in which the Toffees grabbed the equaliser – Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored with practically the last kick of the game.

The Red Devils cannot allow that to happen again against West Brom. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side set to take on Real Sociedad in the Europa League later next week, the temptation to rotate is very high.

However, Solskjaer has already indicated that Manchester United’s main focus is to return to winning ways in the league after just one victory in their last four Premier League games.

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“Of course it’s an important game for us, this weekend. It’s an important spell. Every game, you tick one off and are there less possibilities to make up the points to the teams in front of you,” the Norwegian said, as quoted by Manutd.com.
“That’s what we want to do; that’s what we’re here to do and Sunday’s a big one for us in that respect, to get back to winning ways. The two points dropped against Everton were disappointing when it’s the last kick off the ball," he continued.
“But we bounced back well in the Cup against West Ham; we’re through and we’re into the quarters. That was a good step in the right direction and another clean sheet,” finished Solskjaer.

Manchester United need to win to keep slim title hopes alive

Although Solskjaer said last week that his side were no longer title contenders, they still have a small chance of catching up with Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side are running away with the title after opening up a healthy lead at the top. However, a win against West Brom would put Manchester United five points behind their city rivals. With so many games still to come, you never know how things could turn out.

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Liverpool completely dominated the league last season but no neutral fan wants to see one team have it all their way again. The onus now lies on Manchester United to gather some consistency and give Manchester City a run for their money.

It’s a long shot but beating West Brom will be a good start for Manchester United.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 16:04 IST
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