Premier League: Manchester United edge past West Brom 1-0 with help from VAR

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Image source: AP

Manchester United

Two favorable video reviews helped Manchester United beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Saturday for their first home win in the English Premier League this season.

First, a review overturned a penalty awarded to West Brom for an apparent foul on Conor Gallagher by Bruno Fernandes. Soon after, Fernandes stepped in to take a kick after Darnell Furlong handed the cross over to Juan Mata.

Fernandes’ first effort was saved by West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, but a replay showed Johnstone slipped off his line just before the Portuguese midfielder hit the ball. The penalty was taken and Fernandes scored.

West Brom fought hard, with substitute Callum Robinson hitting the crossbar, and United goalkeeper David De Gea making a good save to stop West Brom’s Conor Townsend. Anthony Martial had a good chance to double United’s lead but was blocked by Furlong in the stoppage time.

The three points lifted United to ninth place in the Premier League, seven points behind leaders Tottenham. It was United’s first EPL victory of the season at Old Trafford, following a winless run that included a loss to Crystal Palace and a heavy loss to Tottenham. But it wasn’t the kind of comfortable victory that would have solidified United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position.

“It was important to get the first victory at home. Delighted with the points. We know we can do better, but three points are worth three points and we got a clean sheet, “Solskjaer said.

“The league this season, there are going to be ups and downs and inconsistencies, unpredictable. The league is not really taking hold. It’s very tight, it’s very early, so the points are sometimes more important than the performances.

Paul Pogba did not play with what United said was a minor injury after his stint with the France side during the international break. The French player could return when United face Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Tuesday.

United hosted the game a day after the club reported it had been attacked by cybercriminals. The club said they were confident that the “critical systems” needed for matches to take place at Old Trafford are secure and that they were not aware of any breaches of supporters’ personal data.

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