Date: 30th December 2012 at 3:12am
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The former Villa winger went some way to silencing the critics

The former Villa winger went some way to silencing the critics

United’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, to keep the Reds seven points clear at the top of the table was hardly a game that will be looked back with reverence over the next few years.

The term ‘professional’ is arguably the best way to describe a win that while on paper seemed fairly routine, gave United fans enough moments of ¬†frustration to at least make it ‘interesting’ for much of the game.

Gareth McAuley’s early own goal didn’t fully settle the Old Trafford nerves as any United knows only too well that one goal is rarely enough to guarantee victory for the Reds these days.

While it was by no means a vintage performance there was a lot to praise about United’s display as Shinji Kagawa, Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic all did well, Robin Van Persie scored yet another goal, while a clean sheet does the defence and David De Gea no harm at all.

One player who stood out as causing the West Brom defence problems for pretty much all of the game was a man who’s had more than his fair share of critics, a winger who has yet to fully win over many fans.

Ashley Young was a thorn in Baggies side more or less all afternoon, providing the cross for McAuley’s own goal testing Ben Foster with a well hit first time effort and giving Billy Jones a game he will won’t to forget quickly.

It would be foolish to claim Young shone brightly for the entire 90 minutes, as he did drift in and out of the game at times, but he was always willing to attack the West Brom defence, and link up with those around him.

Young’s detractors will no doubt claim he hasn’t done enough to prove his worth yet, but with more games like today under his belt the former Villa man may just turn the tide of opinion in his favour and make his United career a trophy laden one.