Van der Sar (left) reacts after his error gifted West Brom an equaliser
By Mandeep Sanghera
A mistake from Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar proved costly as his side were held to a draw by West Brom.
Wayne Rooney started on the bench for United but they went 2-0 up when Javier Hernandez pounced on a parried save to slot in before Nani steered in a shot.
A Nemanja Vidic header hit the Baggies post but the visitors scored when Patrice Evra diverted a Chris Brunt free-kick into his own net.
Van der Sar then dropped a Brunt cross to allow Somen Tchoyi to equalise.
Rooney had come off the bench in the 71st minute and, although he went close when his goalbound shot was blocked in the West Brom goalmouth by Gabriel Tamas, he failed to help United to a win as they were held to a third consecutive Premier League draw.
And, rather than the expected United bombardment late on, West Brom stifled the game in the most part and even looked capable of stealing a win in a game they were given a helping hand to turn around.
Man Utd threw points away - Phelan
Rooney had to watch most of the match from the bench and his omission from the starting line-up will be one of the talking points from the game.
He was left out on the back of contradicting manager Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he had missed games against Valencia and Sunderland with an ankle injury.
Ferguson appeared to be making the point that his authority would not be questioned by leaving the striker to stew on the bench, although the United boss might also have based his decision on an out-of-form Rooney having scored just once for his side so far this season.
Hernandez, who had arrived back from international duty with Mexico late on Thursday, was instead given the nod to partner Dimitar Berbatov in United's attack and he quickly appeared to justify Ferguson's decision.
Baggies keeper Scott Carson could only tamely parry a dipping Nani free-kick into the path of Hernandez and he gratefully slotted in after five minutes.
West Brom were on the cusp of a leveller when Brunt looked set to slot in a low Marc-Antoine Fortune cross at the far post only for Rafael Da Silva to get in a crucial foot and divert the ball wide.
However, United were continually scything through the Baggies with the sleek touches of Berbatov and pace of Hernandez unsettling the visitors.
Berbatov sent a curling shot just wide and failed to match the quality of his and United's play with a finishing touch as he poked a Michael Carrick cross the wrong side of the post from close range.
A second goal did not elude the home side for long as Nani seized on a slip by left-back Nicky Shorey and, after sliding a ball into the path of Berbatov, was found with a return pass which he coolly guided in with 25 minutes on the clock.
Rooney must have been desperate to be playing and might have thought he had the chance to do so when Ryan Giggs came off injured.
Instead, Ferguson summoned Darron Gibson with the Old Trafford side in firm control against a West Brom side who almost found themselves further behind when a Vidic header came back off the post.
The Baggies had beaten Arsenal in their last away game but, despite their persistence and patience in their passing game, a comeback looked unlikely until a low driven 50th minute free-kick by Brunt was diverted past his own keeper by Evra to give them hope.
Old Trafford point delights Di Matteo
The goal breathed a new lease of life in the visitors and, five minutes later, they were gifted an equaliser when Van Der Sar shockingly spilled a looping Brunt cross to allow Tchoyi to sidefoot in.
United had let a two-goal lead slip against Liverpool at home in a season which has been marked by them conceding leads through lapses in intensity and concentration.
This was another case in point and was the cue for the home fans to start chanting for the introduction of Rooney, who was brought on with 20 minutes left.
Apart from the late chance which was blocked by Tamas, Rooney struggled to make an impact as United's cutting edge deserted them.
The home side were also denied the chance to build up any sustained pressure as the Baggies used their passing ability to hold on to the ball and take the sting out of a United side who have now dropped 10 points so far this season.
West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo had not lost at Old Trafford in his playing career and left with his record intact after his first game at United as a manager.
90:00+3:59 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+1:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonas Olsson by Javier Hernandez. Free kick taken by Scott Carson.
90:00+1:45 Centre by Dimitar Berbatov, clearance by Jonas Olsson.
90:00+1:22 Graham Dorrans takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
89:31 The ball is swung over by Javier Hernandez.
85:05 Substitution James Morrison goes off and Graham Dorrans comes on.
84:09 Chris Brunt has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
81:03 Rafael Da Silva gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul Scharner. Nicky Shorey takes the free kick.
80:16 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by James Morrison.
79:29 Direct free kick taken by Luis Nani.
78:56 Booking Scott Carson booked for time wasting.
77:31 Substitution Marc-Antoine Fortune goes off and Roman Bednar comes on.
73:16 The ball is delivered by Javier Hernandez.
73:04 The referee blows for offside against Marc-Antoine Fortune. Indirect free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.
72:12 Unfair challenge on Nemanja Vidic by Marc-Antoine Fortune results in a free kick. Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the
70:56 Substitution Wayne Rooney joins the action as a substitute, replacing Oliveira Anderson.
70:56 Substitution Paul Scholes replaces Michael Carrick.
70:43 Javier Hernandez has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.
69:26 Oliveira Anderson takes a shot. Save by Scott Carson.
68:10 Substitution Jerome Thomas comes on in place of Somen Tchoyi.
66:30 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line to the near post, Chris Brunt makes a clearance.
63:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani by James Morrison. Luis Nani produces a shot on goal direct from the
63:01 Inswinging corner taken by Luis Nani.
62:47 Patrice Evra takes a shot. Scott Carson makes a comfortable save.
57:56 Foul by Darron Gibson on Somen Tchoyi, free kick awarded. Chris Brunt takes the direct free kick.
57:56 Booking Darron Gibson receives a caution.
55:42 Chris Brunt challenges Luis Nani unfairly and gives away a free kick. Luis Nani delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed
from right wing, Scott Carson makes a comfortable save.
54:06 Assist on the goal came from Chris Brunt.
54:06 GOAL - Somen Tchoyi:Man Utd 2 - 2 West Brom Somen Tchoyi finds the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Man Utd 2-2 West Brom.
52:14 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Blocked by Jonas Olsson.
49:29 Assist by Chris Brunt.
49:29 GOAL - Patrice Evra:Man Utd 2 - 1 West Brom Own goal by Patrice Evra. Man Utd 2-1 West Brom.
48:56 Oliveira Anderson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Somen Tchoyi. Chris Brunt delivers the ball from the free
kick left-footed from right wing.
47:42 Luis Nani delivers the ball.
47:28 Somen Tchoyi handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Patrice Evra restarts play with the free kick.
46:20 Header by Nemanja Vidic from inside the area strikes the post.
45:52 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line played to the near post, Gonzalo Jara makes a clearance.
Correction - 45:30 Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Paul Scharner gets a block in.
45:30 Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Blocked by Paul Scharner.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:00+1:57 The ref blows to signal half-time.
42:37 Effort on goal by Luis Nani from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
41:59 Foul by Youssouf Mulumbu on Javier Hernandez, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Oliveira Anderson.
41:59 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Darron Gibson coming on for Ryan Giggs.
41:34 Luis Nani sends in a cross, Gabriel Tamas manages to make a clearance.
39:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Morrison by Dimitar Berbatov. Gabriel Tamas restarts play with the free
38:06 Luis Nani fouled by Nicky Shorey, the ref awards a free kick. Rafael Da Silva takes the free kick.
38:06 Booking The referee cautions Nicky Shorey for unsporting behaviour.
35:43 Dimitar Berbatov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Shorey. Jonas Olsson takes the direct free kick.
35:30 Centre by Nicky Shorey, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.
34:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nemanja Vidic on Gabriel Tamas. Free kick crossed left-footed by Chris Brunt from right wing,
Michael Carrick makes a clearance.
32:15 Effort from outside the area by James Morrison goes wide right of the goal.
30:32 Headed effort from inside the area by Gabriel Tamas misses to the right of the target.
30:04 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by James Morrison from the left by-line to the near post.
29:56 The ball is sent over by Nicky Shorey, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.
24:49 Dimitar Berbatov provided the assist for the goal.
24:49 GOAL - Luis Nani:Man Utd 2 - 0 West Brom Luis Nani grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 2-0 West Brom.
23:33 Chris Brunt produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.
23:00 Gabriel Tamas fouled by Oliveira Anderson, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Carson takes the free kick.
20:43 The ball is sent over by Michael Carrick, Effort from inside the six-yard box by Dimitar Berbatov goes wide right of the goal.
Correction - 19:17 Centre by Rafael Da Silva, Header from deep inside the area by Javier Hernandez goes over the bar.
19:17 Rafael Da Silva crosses the ball, Javier Hernandez produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
18:47 Luis Nani delivers the ball.
17:15 Unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs by Youssouf Mulumbu results in a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from
Ryan Giggs, blocked by Gabriel Tamas.
16:58 The ball is sent over by Chris Brunt, clearance made by Patrice Evra.
16:08 The assistant referee flags for offside against Javier Hernandez. Free kick taken by Scott Carson.
14:00 Patrice Evra concedes a free kick for a foul on Somen Tchoyi. Chris Brunt crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the
penalty area by Jonas Olsson misses to the right of the target.
13:19 Dimitar Berbatov produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
8:33 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by James Morrison played to the near post, Dimitar Berbatov manages to make a clearance.
Correction - 4:38 GOAL - Javier Hernandez:Man Utd 1 - 0 West Brom Javier Hernandez fires in a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-0 West Brom.
Correction - 4:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gabriel Tamas on Javier Hernandez. Direct free kick taken by Luis Nani, Shot from 6 yards
from Javier Hernandez. Effort from 30 yards by Luis Nani. Scott Carson makes a save. Assist by Luis Nani.
4:38 Javier Hernandez fouled by Gabriel Tamas, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Luis Nani, Shot from 6 yards from
Javier Hernandez. Luis Nani has an effort at goal. Save by Scott Carson. Luis Nani provided the assist for the goal.
4:38 GOAL - Javier Hernandez:Man Utd 1 - 0 West Brom A goal is scored by Javier Hernandez from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-0 West Brom.
1:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Somen Tchoyi by Patrice Evra. James Morrison takes the free kick.
1:21 The official flags Marc-Antoine Fortune offside. Edwin Van der Sar takes the direct free kick.
0:00 The game gets underway.
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