Rooney finally scores from open play as United win
Wayne Rooney ended his long wait for a goal from open play as Manchester United battled to a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Javier Hernandez was the other scorer for United, who will almost certainly finish the weekend on top of the Premier League table, while James Morrison netted for the home side. Peter Odemwingie missed a second-half penalty as West Brom failed to capitalise on their long periods of supremacy.
Rooney exorcised a few demons when he nodded home for his first goal from open play since March - but that was his only significant contribution to a first half that West Brom enjoyed the better of. Morrison lashed the home side level with an 18-yard volley after latching onto Nemanja Vidic's tame defensive header, before Graham Dorrans was denied a penalty after being brought down by Gary Neville.
Dorrans again went close in the dying seconds of the half - firing into the side netting after breaking clear of the defence - as the Baggies finished in the ascendancy, with United forced to change shape in order to try and get a grip on midfield.
West Brom continued to impress in the early stages of the second period, stroking the ball around with a lot more composure than their illustrious opponents. They were handed an ideal opportunity to streak ahead when Rio Ferdinand fouled Jerome Thomas in the area - but Odemwingie scuffed the penalty well wide.
As so often, United made their opponents pay for wastefulness - Hernandez restored the Red Devils' lead when he headed in, unmarked, from three yards to get on the end of a corner. There was a late injury scare for Rooney when he caught his ankle in the turf but, despite initially leaving the field, he was able to complete the match.