MATCH ARTICLES

08/03/2014 14:52, Report by Adam Marshall
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The Match: Baggies beaten

After our match report, we assess the finer details of the 3-0 triumph against West Brom...

The match

 United proved far too strong for the out-of-form Baggies and played some terrific football in the second half. Robin van Persie had a key role in Phil Jones' opener but had been substituted by the time Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck put the game to bed. There was a flow to the passing that was lacking against Olympiacos and some morale has been restored in preparation for some huge upcoming matches, including the second leg against the Greeks, as well as Liverpool and City in the league. 

The goals Rafael was fouled by Chris Brunt on the edge of the area to allow Robin van Persie the opportunity to power in a free-kick that an unmarked Jones guided past Ben Foster in emphatic fashion. Rooney was involved in a move that saw Juan Mata feed Rafael on the right and his perfect centre was nodded home by the no.10 for his seventh goal in his last six starts against West Brom. For the third, Marouane Fellaini and Mata played short passes to relay it to Rooney and, when his through ball eluded the stretching Jonas Olsson, Welbeck swept home clinically past Foster.

Star men Rafael was outstanding on his return to the team at right-back with Rooney and Jones also nominated by MUTV as candidates for Man of the Match. BT Sport handed the champagne to Michael Carrick for a polished performance in midfield, while Mata made important contributions at both ends of the pitch, popping up to make one vital clearance in his own six-yard box from a Victor Anichebe cross-shot.

Sub-plot Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge was at The Hawthorns but there was never any chance this one would end in the same 5-5 scoreline. The media talked up pressure on both managers beforehand but there was a pretty positive

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