West Brom 1-2 Manchester United: Lessons learned as Red Devils make life difficult for themselves at the Hawthorns

First half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard were enough to see off Alan Pardew's men.

West Brom 1-2 Manchester United: Lessons learned as Red Devils make life difficult for themselves at the Hawthorns
United's top scorer Romelu Lukaku scored his second goal in as many games / Getty Images / Michael Regan

Manchester United ran out 2-1 winners against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard.

Jose Mourinho's men continued their fantastic record at the home of the Baggies, despite a late rally, with former England international Gareth Barry netting for Alan Pardew's men.

Give Lukaku service

Manchester United's latest number nine has come in for a lot of criticism of late after a barron spell in front of goal. However, he's returned to form, adding to his header against Bournemouth with another at The Hawthorns yesterday.

His lack of goals in big games has been a talking point, but the service he received in those games was pretty poor. When he gets on the ball enough, he will score. Only Mo Salah has contributed to more goals in the league than Lukaku this season.

Herrera is a shadow of his former self

Last season was a particularly good one for Ander Herrera, as he scooped the player of the year award. With the arrival of Nemanja Matic, he's had to get used to starting far more sporadically than last year. The tenacious tackler of 2016 has gone, as has the creative playmaker of his Athletic Bilbao days, Herrera has been really poor this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lingard is the most improved player in the squad

Despite his heroics in the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals over the last couple of years, there were still plenty of question marks surrounding the role of Jesse Lingard in this United squad. He's silenced the doubters, with a string of exceptional performances sitting behind the striker. Another goal for him yesterday cements his place in the side for some time to come.

Mata is still a magician

With rumours swirling of a January move for Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, there were question marks around the future of United's Spanish magician. However, an instrumental display against West Brom, where Mata pulled the strings in the absence of Paul Pogba, will surely cement his long term future at the club.

Bye-bye Mkhi

His absence in matchday squads of left is a good indicator that Mourinho may have gotten truly fed up of the inconsistency of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. A horribly slow start to his United career was followed by a decent second half of last season. He begun this season in magnificent form, racing to five assists within three league games. His appearances since then have been anonymous, with very little contribution to the team in the absence of Pogba. His exit now seems inevitable.