West Brom 1 Manchester United 3

Last updated : 11 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Ruud Van Nistelrooy led Manchester United to only their third away win of the season as they boosted their Premiership title hopes by cruising past the challenge of relegation threatened West Brom at the Hawthorns.

The Dutchman scored one goal and had a hand in another as United overcame the shock of falling behind to a sixth-minute goal from Jason Koumas.

Albion were gifted their goal when Rio Ferdinand saw his attempted cross field pass intercepted by Koumas on the half-way line.

The Welsh international then strode forward to the edge of the United penalty area before beating goalkeeper Fabien Barthez with a swerving low shot.

But Albion's celebrations proved to be short lived as United were back on level terms within 60 seconds.

David Beckham floated a right-wing cross into the Albion area that the unmarked van Nistelrooy turned past goalkeeper Russell Hoult from close range.

United then proceeded to make camp in the Baggies half and the only surprise was that it took them until the 22nd minute to take the lead.

Having fired United level van Nistelrooy then turned creator by forcing a pass into the path of skipper Roy Keane.

The Irishman then floated a cross into the heart of the home area and Scholes pushed it beyond Hoult.

Once United had moved in front, the outcome became academic, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added a more realistic look to the scoreline when he increased United's advantage nine minutes into the second-half.

Gary Neville's right-wing cross was intended for Scholes who mis-hit his shot.

But fortuitously for United, the loose ball ran into the path of Solskjaer and the Norwegian international fired a rising shot into the roof of the Albion net.