Daley Blind’s first-ever goal for Manchester United saw the Red Devils secure a dramatic 2-2 draw away to Wrest Brom at the Hawthorns on Monday night.
Stephane Sessegnon opened the scoring for the hosts early on (6′), with Liverpool loanee Andre Wisdom racing down the wing and squaring for the Benin international, who fired a ferocious first-time shot past David De Gea and into the top corner.
At half-time Van Gaal introduced Marouane Fellaini in place of Ander Herrera and within minutes the Belgian had equalised, chesting down a floated pass from Angel Di Maria – who later came off injured – before unleashing an unstoppable effort that flew past Boaz Myhill.
United’s joy was short-lived, though, as the Baggies reclaimed the lead soon after through a bright counterattack, with Saido Berahino racing onto Chris Brunt’s through-ball and nervelessly placing his shot beyond De Gea into the bottom corner.
Robin van Persie smashed a shot against the foot of the post as United sought a response and they finally found a breakthrough when Blind stroked a loose ball into the bottom corner late on, though Van Gaal’s men were denied the chance to record three back-to-back league wins for the first time since December 2011.
United appeared more likely to grab a second goal thereafter, but were caught short at the back again as Berahino restored Albion’s lead.
Fellaini was brought on for Herrera after the half-time interval and made an almost immediate impact by controlling a cross from Di Maria with his chest, before swivelling and unleashing an unstoppable drive beyond Myhill and into the top-right corner.
The England Under-21 international is behind only Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Chelsea’s Diego Costa in the Premier League goalscoring charts and displayed his quality once again, capping an excellent West Brom move with a confident strike into the bottom-right corner from Brunt’s incisive pass.
With United’s most creative player on the sidelines, West Brom looked set to hold on.
However, there was to be a late final twist as Blind picked the perfect time to open his account and salvage a point, although the nature of United’s performance is unlikely to put an end to questions over the Old Trafford club’s ability to sustain a title challenge.