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Peter Odemwingie's penalty miss cost Albion as sub Javier Hernandez struck for a Manchester United win.


Peter Odemwingie's penalty miss cost Albion as sub Javier Hernandez struck for a Manchester United win.

James Morrison's thunderbolt had on 14 minutes had drawn the Baggies level, after United went ahead on 14 minutes through Wayne Rooney's first goal in open play since last March.

The Baggies bossed much of the game from then on and were denied what looked a blatant penalty before half-time, when Gary Neville appeared to tug down Graham Dorrans.

They were given a spot-kick after the break for Rio Ferdinand's trip on Jerome Thomas, but leading scorer Odemwingie missed the target from 12 yards.

Hernandez then rubbed salt into the Baggies' wounds by heading home from Rooney's corner with 14 minutes remaining.

And Albion's misfortune was compounded as Steven Reid and Pablo Ibanez both limped off to exacerbate boss Roberto Di Matteo's defensive shortage.

The home side had made the worst possible start as United led within three minutes.

Gabriel Obertan teed up Patrice Evra for a cross to the far post, where Rooney stole a yard on Paul Scharner to head low past goalkeeper Scott Carson.

But the Baggies' response was impressive, first with Jerome Thomas narrowly failing to control after robbing Neville, then with Morrison producing his moment of magic.

Nemanja Vidic jumped with Peter Odemwingie and could only half-clear a high ball and, when it sat up for Morrison, he lashed a perfect dipping half-volley into the top corner of the net from 25 yards, past the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

That put the Baggies level on 14 minutes and, buoyed by that success, they pressed for a lead and were furious to be denied a penalty with 26 minutes on the clock.

Graham Dorrans' fine touch to control a diagonal ball took him away from Gary Neville and into the box, where he appeared to be dragged down by the veteran full-back but referee Chris Foy waved away protests, denying them a spot-kick and a certain red card.

Then in first-half stoppage time Odemwingie produced a clever through-ball to release Dorrans but he fired into the side netting.

The Baggies should have led nine minutes into the second-half when a perfectly delivered corner from Brunt found the head of Scharner, who sent an effort just wide.

And, just after the hour mark, they were handed an even better opportunity thanks to the referee, who awarded a spot-kick for Rio Ferdinand's blatant trip on Jerome Thomas.

But Odemwingie stroked the spot-kick a yard wide.

And the misery was compounded for the Baggies with 14 minutes remaining, as Hernandez escaped his marker in the goalmouth to glance Rooney's left-wing corner in and make it 2-1.