Manchester United 4-0 West Ham- Analysis, Match Report and Thoughts

This was always going to be a tough start to the new Premier League season. The second season in Jose Mourinho’s tenure in his managerial stints so far has always been good for the Portuguese gaffer, and with the Red Devils’ attack spearheaded by a striker who loves to score against West Ham for fun, it perhaps came as no surprise that the visitors ended on the wrong side of a 4-0 scoreline.

West Ham sorely missed the creativity of Manuel Lanzini in attack and the pace of Michail Antonio. United were too good for them, especially in the centre of the park, where the trio of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and new signing Nemanja Matic outclassed Mark Noble, Pedro Obiang and Edimilson Fernandes.

United dominated the early stages of the game and Mata had two good chances to put them ahead, but the Spaniard failed to make the most of both chances. West Ham held out for half an hour, but the goal came, and it was new signing Matic who was at the heart of it. The Serbian dispossessed Pedro Obiang in midfield and United launched a blistering counter attack in midfield through the speedy Marcus Rashford. Not content with having initiated the move, Matic also ran a clever support line that kept Winston Reid in suspense, and it was enough to give Romelu Lukaku space to score on his OT debut.

West Ham had a good chance at the end of the first half, but De Gea was upto the task. It would perhaps have been undeserving to go into the break at 1-1, such was United’s dominance, and the hosts went 2-0 ahead shortly after the interval when Lukaku headed in Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s free kick.

The foul to concede Mkhitaryan’s free kick was perhaps Pablo Zabaleta’s only major blemish on the afternoon- he stood head and shoulders above the rest of West Ham’s backline. Reid and Ogbonna played as if they were being paired together for the first time, and even left back Arthur Masuaku, so impressive towards the end last season, had an afternoon to forget (how did he end up marking Lukaku on the free kick he scored from?)

Lukaku2

Unlike Lukaku and Matic, who had brilliant league debuts, Marko Arnautovic had a pretty ordinary one- he did get a short on target with a header once, but his free kicks were thoroughly disappointing, almost never being able to get past the first man.

Mark Noble tried his best, but was replaced by youngster Declan Rice, who showed more glimpses of his potential in his substitute appearance.

With the game done and dusted, West Ham went to sleep and some lackadaisical defending allowed Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba to score late goals and lend a stamp of authority on the scoreline- the fans would’ve taken a 2-0 loss, but 4-0 sees the Hammers at the bottom of the table after Round 1.

Still United away was not a game we’d have expected three points from, so off we go to Southampton next week. A 4-0 on the South Coast will certainly not be acceptable!

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