Ashley Young celebrates after his cross is knocked in by West Brom defender Gareth McAuley

Man United   2

McAuley (OG 9), van Persie (90)

West Brom   0

Saturday 29 December 2012 Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,595

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Man United
1De Gea
12Smalling
15Vidic
6Evans
3Evra
7Valenciayellow card
16Carrick
23Cleverleysub22
18Young
26Kagawasub20
19Welbeck
Subs:
13Lindegaard
5Ferdinand
11Giggs
14Hernandez
20van Persiesub26goal
22Scholessub23
28Buttner
West Brom
1Foster
28Jones
23McAuleygoal
30Tamas
6Ridgewell
15Thorne
11Bruntsub7
8Rosenbergsub20
17Dorranssub32
24Odemwingie
9Long
Subs:
13Myhill
20Lukakusub8
7Morrisonsub11
10El Ghanassy
18Jara
25Dawson
32Fortunesub17

Report

29/12/2012 16:45, Report by Adam Marshall
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United 2 West Brom 0

An early own goal by Gareth McAuley and Robin van Persie's late strike proved decisive as Manchester United were made to work all the way for three points against West Bromwich Albion in the Reds' final match of 2012. 

Ashley Young's cross led to the opener but the visitors grew in stature in the second half and ensured a nail-biting afternoon for the Old Trafford faithful until substitute van Persie sealed another important victory.

As he'd promised, Sir Alex Ferguson tinkered with his line-up, making five changes, with Shinji Kagawa returning to the side behind Danny Welbeck. Thankfully, the rain had that prompted a pre-match pitch inspection abated but the soggy surface necessitated the Reds getting the ball forward quicker than usual.

After a shaky opening - during which Michael Carrick needed to slide-tackle Shane Long after the Irishman had turned Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling was fortunate not to concede a penalty after a rash challenge on the lively Baggies attacker - United took control of proceedings.

Young worked a one-two with Kagawa and, when the ball fell into his path, the winger drilled in a cross that deflected off Gareth McAuley and past former Reds keeper Ben Foster in front of the jubilant Stretford End.

The Barclays Premier League leaders looked to extend the advantage with Welbeck unable to reach a long ball by Tom Cleverley and then working Foster from a Kagawa pass. Some of the football was spellbinding at times and, after one stunning move, Carrick had a shot charged down.

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