City extended their lead to 16 points after beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 on Saturday and United's defeat means that, with five games still to play, the gap is unassailable. There was no fluidity. Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick for the Baggies in a 5-5 draw against United in 2013, which was Ferguson's last fixture in charge.
Instead of letting it sale over his head he raised his hand and tried to slap the ball into the net, earning himself a yellow card and chants of 'Cheat' from the away end. Two steps forward, two steps back. Raheem Sterling was relaxing on his sofa.
Salomon Rondon saw a close-range header comfortably denied in the Baggies' other noteworthy first-half attempt, although United were taking their time to break down the brittle visitors.
The Frenchman has been one of the greatest enigmas of the season. We already have more points than we finished on last season and we have beaten everyone else in the league. The Frenchman was poor, and his substitution for Anthony Martial could not be questioned. But nobody expected it to happen this weekend. As the New Year rolled in, they were bottom of the table, with almost no chance of survival.
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The English press, with characteristic forgetfulness, rebranded Guardiola as the mad, tactical genius they once convinced themselves could never thrive in the blood-and-thunder environs of the Premier League (and then reversed course after three losses in a row). Bournemouth in a few days [Wednesday night] then Spurs after a few days again.
The club also fired chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman in February following the team's poor performances this season. They are winless in their last 15 Premier League away games, losing 11 and drawing four.
Darren Moore's simple 4-4-2 formation has restored some organisation to the Baggies and his game plan worked to a tee here. "Masters of complication - we complicated our football since the beginning and gave West Bromwich Albion the chance to feel quite comfortable in their football". As of now, his legacy in Manchester is one of failure. And so a great league team desensitizes us, trains us to accept their greatness as routine.
Today I am happy and I suppose my team-mates might roll their eyes at this, but I want to see the reaction now.