MANCHESTER UNITED 3 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0
West Bromwich Albion manager Bryan Robson claimed a moment of frustration from Wayne Rooney led to Paul Robinson getting concussed at Old Trafford.
Robson had deployed Robinson to man-mark Rooney throughout the Premiership clash with Manchester United, a move that worked so well the England striker barely had a kick during the first half hour.
Rooney's inability to get into the game led to an illadvised shove on Robinson inside the Baggies box just before the half hour mark.
While the England striker could not be held responsible for what followed, there was enough force behind his push to send Robinson cannoning into Thomas Gaardsoe.
A sickening collision between the full-back's head and Gaardsoe's hip laid Robinson out cold before he defender later came round inside the Baggies dressing room.
"I could sense Wayne was getting a bit frustrated," said Robson. "I had watched all the tapes on United and Rooney has been running the show.
"I wanted to put him out of the game and Paul was getting a lot of joy. Wayne pushed him in the back and it was unfortunate his head went into Thomas' thigh.
"He was concussed but he has come round quite well in the dressing room. We will not make any decision about him until it settles down tomorrow."
Despite his obvious qualities, Rooney has rarely had to cope with the close attentions of a single defender, and Robson felt Robinson's departure was the pivotal moment of the game. Within a minute of Diomansy Kamara replacing Robinson, Paul Scholes lashed the hosts ahead and Albion were fighting an uphill battle.
Rio Ferdinand nodded home his second goal in three games in the six minutes of time added for Robinson's treatment before Ruud van Nistelrooy headed his 16th goal of the campaign.
"Paul was a big part of our game plan," said Robson, who saw Neil Clement and Junichi Inamoto fail fitness tests on ankle and thigh injuries respectively.
"We were fairly comfortable until he went off but then we just switched off as a team and it cost us dearly."
Victory brought United their seventh win in eight Premiership outings, a run which has remarkably brought them just a single point closer to Chelsea.
But the result also kept Albion firmly in the relegation mire.