West Brom also provided a threat on the counter and could even have doubled their lead. Diagne once again tested De Gea with a header as his side continued to trouble Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof with testing balls into the box.
With the interval approaching, United looked a lethargic side bereft of ideas, but Bruno Fernandes sent his side in level after meeting Luke Shaw’s cross with a brilliant volley into the top corner.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men dominated the second period as they went in search of a winner, and they were inches away when substitute Mason Greenwood’s effort was blocked by Sam Johnstone before Scott McTominay’s follow-up was stopped on the line by Darnell Furlong.
With Fernandes dictating play, United had all the possession but West Brom almost stole a winner when Diagne stole the ball off Maguire inside the box but couldn’t beat De Gea from close range.
Up the other end, Rashford and Greenwood had desperate efforts blocked but the Baggies held on for a point, leaving United seven points adrift of City having played a game more than their rivals.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Mbaye Diagne (West Brom)
Mbaye Diagne tormented Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire whenever he had the chance and looked completely at home on the soaking wet surface at the Hawtorns. He scored inside 90 seconds thanks to some brilliant movement and on another night the striker could have had a hat-trick after twice going close in the final 15 minutes.
Mbaye Diagne of West Bromwich Albion celebrates with team mate Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Matheus Pereira after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United
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TALKING POINT – United's focus turns to top four
Manchester United may be second but that’s the end of any outside hopes of the title. They’re eight points adrift of Manchester City, who may as well take the trophy.
Now, United must ensure they don’t get drawn into a scrap for the top four. They’ve dropped points in four of their last five Premier League games and now face tricky matches against Chelsea and Manchester City. They can’t afford to drop points in these kinds of games, yet they have all too often. Because of that, a Champions League spot is not to be taken for granted.
Manchester United: De Gea 5, Wan-Bissaka 6, Lindelof 4, Maguire 7, Shaw 7, McTominay 6, Fred 5, Fernandes 7, Rashford 6, Martial 5, Cavani 6. Subs: Van de Beek 5, Greenwood 5.
'We're not going to settle for second' - Solskjaer maintains title fight will continue
2’ - GOAL! West Brom 1-0 Man Utd (Diagne): Oh my word. 90 seconds in! West Brom get the ball in the box early and Gallagher whips it in for Diagne who heads brilliantly past De Gea. Early shock! United have not had a touch yet!
44’ - GOAL! West Brom 1-1 Man Utd (Fernandes): What a goal! Of course, Fernandes comes good when it matters most. Maguire finds Shaw down the left, and the left-back whips a ball into the box. The ball is behind Fernandes but he acrobatically volleys into the top corner. United are level.
Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United scores their side's first goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at The Hawthorns on February 14, 2021 in West Bromwich,
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63 - PENALTY TO MAN UTD! Maguire goes down in the box from Fernandes’ free-kick! But he looks offside, and was it even a foul? VAR will have a look.
64 - NO PENALTY! Craig Pawson checks the monitor and the verdict is…no foul!
70’ - SAVE! United have a corner and Greenwood's shot is blocked! McTominay with the follow-up! Off the line by Furlong!
79’ - WHAT A CHANCE! Diagne steals the ball off Maguire and is one on one with De Gea. The Spaniard saves the first effort and then the rebound. What was Diagne doing? He expected the whistle but it didn't look a foul to me.