Romelu Lukaku scored his third goal in four appearances as Manchester United moved back to 11 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City with Sunday’s 2-1 win at West Brom.
Second-placed United have now won six of their last seven Premier League games, but last weekend’s 2-1 derby defeat at home to rivals City – who thrashed Spurs on Saturday to make it 16 successive league victories – means their title hopes remain remote.
The desired new manager bounce has failed to materialise at The Hawthorns, despite a late consolation, with Alan Pardew’s men set to go bottom if struggling Swansea City win at Everton on Monday.
Lukaku broke the deadlock after 26 minutes – against the club where he scored his first Premier League goals – the Belgium international getting between two defenders to plant home a fine header from a precise left-wing Marcus Rashford cross.
The second United goal came eight minutes later and ultimately proved decisive, Ahmed Hegazi trying to block a Jesse Lingard drive from the edge of the box but only succeeding in deflecting the ball past Ben Foster.
Rashford went close to extending the lead but United’s failure to kill the match with a third goal almost proved costly when Gareth Barry scrambled home from a 77th-minute Chris Brunt corner, although Jose Mourinho’s men held on.
WATCH West Bromwich Albion 1 – 2 Manchester United [PremierLeague] Highlights 2017/18 BELOW!!!!!