Yarmolenko good, Cresswell’s 400th game, Fourth Consecutive Clean Sheet & more- Talking Points from West Ham vs Manchester United

West Ham added to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s woes by crafting a fine 2-0 win over Manchester United earlier this afternoon. The result took the Hammers to fifth in the table (they would’ve been fourth if not for Arsenal’s late winner against Villa), and makes Manuel Pellegrini the only coach to have got the better of four different Man Utd managers (Moyes, Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solsksjaer) in the Premier League.

Here are our talking points from this clash at the London Stadium.

Yarmolenko good: We’ve often criticised Andriy Yarmolenko for his below-par performances in the past, but today was one of his best displays for the club. The Ukrainian winger’s goal was a rare moment of quality in an otherwise cagey first half for both teams (coming back from an offside position and then producing a fine finish).

Another heart-warming thing to see was him putting a last ditch tackle in the 78th minute to stop Jesse Lingard after Lukasz Fabianski had come off his line to deny United’s first time effort. Yarmolenko has often been criticised for ignoring his defensive work and not tracking back enough, so this was fantastic to watch.

Yarmolenko

Aaron Cresswell marks 400th career game with fine free kick: It’s been a bit of an odd season for Cresswell- captain for the opening game of the season against Man City, and then out of the starting lineup until today. He would’ve probably not played in this fixture if not for Arthur Masuaku’s red card last week.

It was also the left back’s 400th career game, and he capped it with a wonderful free kick to seal all three points for the Hammers.

Fourth Consecutive clean sheet: Not only was this a victory, but it also marked a fourth consecutive clean sheet across all competitions for West Ham- their longest streak since 2013. The Ogbonna-Diop pairing appears to be here to stay, and Ryan Fredericks appears to be improving as the season goes on- hopefully the right back’s injury is nothing serious.

United definitely had their chances (notably the Juan Mata and Harry Maguire misses), and finished with a xG greater than West Ham (0.53-1.22). Given West Ham’s defensive struggles last season, these clean sheets are definitely cause for celebration!

Haller good again: He may not have scored a goal today (not that there were many attempts any way), but Sebastien Haller again showed how good he is at link up play and holding up the ball, far better than any striker we’ve seen in the club’s recent history. Also gave Harry Maguire a torrid time in the air.

Another solid day for Declan Rice: While Diop and Ogbonna were decent for most of the game, a crucial moment in the first half saw the former miss his challenge on Marcus Rashford, who then danced down the left wing unmarked and bore in on goal. Rice however made a timely interruption and what could’ve been a big chance for United and a potential confidence booster for Rashford came to nothing. Small moments win big games, and this was probably one of them.

West Ham 2-0 Man Utd (Yarmolenko, Cresswell) Attendance 59,936

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