Title hopes fade further as Man Utd held by West Brom despite Bruno Fernandes stunner

Date published: Sunday 14th February 2021 3:54 - Samuel Bannister

Manchester United lost further ground in the title race as they were held to a 1-1 draw against West Brom despite a Bruno Fernandes wonder goal.

It took less than 90 seconds for the deadlock to be broken – but the opener did not go to the team it was expected to.

West Brom went in front thanks to January signing Mbaye Diagne heading in his first goal for the club. It came after a cross from Conor Gallagher on the right wing.

The hosts almost doubled their lead via another cross leading to a header. However, after Robert Snodgrass rose to connect with Conor Townsend’s ball in, David De Gea tipped his effort over.

Things had not quite been going to plan for United, but they got a foothold in the game just before half-time – and in quite some style.

Harry Maguire slid the ball forwards for Luke Shaw on the left wing. The full-back got to the ball just in time to whip in a cross from the byline.

Fernandes moved backwards in the box to react to its flight, before digging out a left-footed volley first time which flew into the top corner to equalise.

United thought they had a big opportunity to take the lead when the referee awarded them a penalty around the hour-mark.

However, after a VAR check, the referee overturned his original decision.

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Double chance for Diagne

There was a double chance for the visitors when Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay both took aim at goal, but they were denied by Sam Johnstone and Darnell Furlong respectively.

At the other end, Diagne could have had a second, but De Gea denied him, before tipping the ball away to stop the striker connecting on the rebound.

Another chance fell for the recent recruit when a cross was fizzed in from the right, but Diagne couldn’t shoot on target as he stretched out his leg.

Despite five minutes of stoppage time, neither side could find a winner. United went closest, when a Maguire header hit the post after a great save from Johnstone.

The draw leaves United seven points behind league leaders Man City, who have a game in hand. As for West Brom, they are 12 points from safety.

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