After Liverpool’s draw earlier in the day, Manchester United needed to win this match against West Ham to put pressure on the top table and they did it in fashion, albeit with the help of some wrong decisions from the match officials.
Both managers brought in some changes from their last match. And one of such changes for the home side, Sofiane Feghouli, got into the wrong end of a decision as early as in the 15th minute. A rash challenge from the midfielder earned him a marching order and West Ham were down to 10 men, with most parts of the game to go. People will argue that it was a harsh decision from the referee, but the visitors surely got an advantage and they started attacking right away.
Manchester United got their first real chance at the stroke of 35th minute. It was a sitter for two United players, but both Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard failed to put ball into an open net from a very close range. The Ecuadorian’s attempt was saved by Randolph while Lingard’s shot from the rebound hit the post and was subsequently collected by the West Ham custodian. It was hard to believe how the duo missed the chance to go ahead. For the rest of the half, both sides tried their best but it ended goalless at halftime.
Mourinho brought Juan Mata in place of Matteo Darmian who looked out of sort in the first 45 minutes. The Spaniard moved to the central attacking role, Pogba dropped to a slightly more defensive position while Carrick dropped down to central defense to partner Phil Jones. The substitution did not prove to be super effective at once and that prompted the boss to give a chance to Marcus Rashford instead of Lingard.
However, the first chance of the half came in favour of the home side, around the hour mark. From a sloppy defending by United players, Michail Antonio got a golden opportunity to beat De Gea, but the Spaniard’s moment of brilliance kept him at bay and the score remained goalless.
And then, the two substitutions worked for the best for the visitors. Rashford worked nicely on the left side of the opponent box before teeing up Mata with a delicious ball inside the box. The former Chelsea man did not make any mistake to find the much needed lead for his team and United were 1-0 up with 27 minutes to go. Pogba took another chance a few minutes later, but his effort went inches wide of the goal. And this happened yet again, at 75th minute mark into the match.
Soon after, Manchester United got another wrong decision given in their names. And this time, it hurt West Ham even more. Ibrahimovic got a ball from a nice interception from Herrera and his powerful shot hit the back of the nets. Although replays showed that the Swedish was in an offside position, the official kept his flag down and the away team were happy to double the lead.
Last part of the game was evenly balanced for the two teams, but no one could score and the game ended in 2-0 win for the Red Devils.
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Randolph; Nordtveit, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Obiang, Kouyate (Fernandes, 82′); Feghouli, Lanzini (Ayew, 89′), Payet (Carroll, 69′); Antonio.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Darmian (Mata, 46′); Carrick, Herrera; Mkhitaryan (Smalling, 65′), Pogba, Lingard (Rashford, 58′); Ibrahimovic.
Goals: Mata (63′), Ibrahimovic (78′).
Red card: Feghouli (15′).
West Ham vs Manchester United highlights:
West Ham vs Manchester United Match Statistics:
|West Ham||Manchester United|
|Shots (on target)||8 (2)||13 (6)|
|Passing accuracy||311 (78%)||640 (90%)|
|Bookings||2 yellow, 1 red||2 yellow|
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Photo by .sanden.