West Ham win hearts, but not points- Manchester United 2-1 WHUFC Post Match Analysis & Talking Points

West Ham put in one of their best away performances of the season but still ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline as Manchester United prevailed 2-1 at Old Trafford thanks to a pair of penalties from Paul Pogba. Here are our talking points from the game.

West Ham won hearts, but not points: Going into the game, no one expected Manchester United, even if they rested several first team regulars, to be really troubled by West Ham. The Hammers had been awful (to put it mildly!) on the road in the lead up to this game, and had scored only one goal in their last seven away games in the league.

Instead the Hammers dominated possession, had more passes (519 to United’s 373), shots and touches of the ball, and a whopping 11 corners in comparison to United’s three.

If they had VAR and a little more luck, they might’ve even been able to register their first league double over the Red Devils since the 2006/07 season. As it transpired, two soft moments of defending lead to their downfall, and United- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted as much after the game, were lucky to take all three points.

Manuel Lanzini went off injured at the wrong time: The little Argentine will be the first to tell you that he’s not been at his best since returning from injury. Given his long layoff, that’s perhaps understandable. He started on the left side of Pellegrini’s 4-2-3-1 formation at Old Trafford, with Felipe Anderson taking the right. Lanzini was instrumental in West Ham’s equaliser, and just as he was beginning to get into the game, he had to be taken off. It robbed the Hammers of some of their momentum and a player who could’ve been key to unlocking the United defence.

The moments that didn’t go West Ham’s way: Two poor pieces of individual defending lead to both of United’s goals from the penalty spot. The first one penalty was perhaps debatable, but Robert Snodgrass was late to spot Juan Mata lurking in the area, and the way he went in, he had to get the ball. Didn’t, and paid the price. There was also talk of United getting the rub of the green from a throw-in just before the move that lead to the second penalty.

Michail Antonio was fantastic after coming on as a sub for the largely anonymous Javier Hernandez, and struck the woodwork with a thunderous attempt, and had a header brilliantly saved by De Gea. Could this have been a different game if Arnautovic was fit and available from the start to hassle Jones and Smalling?

The biggest moment that didn’t go West Ham’s way- Felipe Anderson’s 10th minute goal being declared offside. Under VAR, it would’ve been 1-0 to West Ham, and might’ve been an altogether different result.

This was a game there for the taking: Solskjaer admitted that West Ham deserved much more, and so did the pundits. United were sluggish and poor, and looked nowhere their fluent best. OGS even had to bring on Marcus Rashford earlier than he would’ve ordinarily wanted to.

Will there ever be a better opportunity to do a home and away league double over United?

WHU starting lineup v Man Utd 2019

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