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Ratings: Pogba scored much-needed goals (penalties) against West Ham; Rashford and Fred also MOTM contenders

Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Both goals came from penalties, which Paul Pogba scored, taking his goal tally this season to 13, also having nine assists to his name. It was a win United needed to get, no onwards to Barcelona.

West Ham had a goal in the opening minutes of the game but it was offside. It was a let-off for United though, who did not start all that well. United won a penalty in the 18th minute of the match after Juan Mata was seemingly fouled by Robert Snodgrass. After a short delay, Paul Pogba took the penalty and put United 1-0 up in the 19th minute.

West Ham equalised within five minutes into the second half with Felipe Anderson putting the ball into the back of the net. David De Gea and Pogba were both culpable for the goal as between them, they did not make the clearance of the ball with allowed Declan Rice and Manuel Lanzini to put the Hammers in a good position with Anderson scoring.

Marcus Rashford replaced Mata in the 56th minute of the match and within three minutes, had an impact in the game by firing a goalbound effort, which was deflected by Lukasz Fabianski, then deflected by the defence. Minutes later, he had the opportunity to head an effort, clearing the crossbar instead of burying his effort into the back of the net.

United won a second penalty in the 80th minute after Anthony Martial was fouled in the box by Ryan Fredericks. Pogba once again took the spot kick and buried his effort to see United ahead in the game for the second time. United need to start finding ways to beat teams as that seems to be something that is lacking. Also, stop conceding goals; it has been 13 matches since their last clean sheet.

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Man of the Match: Paul Pogba

The Frenchman may not have scored the goal during open play but they were the difference between United winning and losing at Old Trafford today. Pogba has been criticised a lot recently and most of that criticism has been warranted. It seems that he is flirting with another club ahead of the summer transfer window. That will not win him much support. But that aside, he showed his class with two good penalties which carved a good win for United and kept their top four hopes alive.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one made a huge save to deny the Hammers at 1-1, which kept United in the game. United still seem a long way away from keeping clean sheets again though, which is worrying. De Gea made a massive mistake with his distribution of the ball, which led to Anderson finding an equaliser for West Ham.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Dalot needs a lot of experience in the game to become the player many hope that he will. He was one of the better players against West Ham but needs to be more decisive at times. He gave his all though, which was good to see.

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12 Chris Smalling

Smalling was the better composed central defender in this game. He had an opportunity at the other end of the pitch to score, but blazed his effort over the crossbar. Did what was needed in and around his own box though.

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4 Phil Jones

It was a performance of chaos for Jones, but that is what is expected and what is served up most of the time. He did perform a great clearance, which denied West Ham a chance on goal. Came off the pitch with a wound, which could keep him out for the Barcelona match on Tuesday.

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5 Marcos Rojo

Four months since his last start, the Argentinian was back in the team. I was not overly impressed with his defending or provision of width, in an attacking sense. It will be better when Luke Shaw is back, which won't be until the Manchester derby. Maybe he will be sold in the summer, it needs to happen.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian had a good game for United. He was involved in breaking up play during the match and got the ball forward the majority of the time. Good to see him raise his confidence during his first season at the club. He should be included in the team to face Barcelona on Tuesday.

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6 Paul Pogba

The midfielder needs to raise his game for United. I feel that he's riding the momentum rather than creating it, at times. Some will slate me for slating their legend but at least I am being honest with my thoughts. Pogba scored two penalties, making it 13 goals and nine assists this season, six of those goals were not from the penalty spot. He needs to step up against Barcelona and bring that leadership role he clearly has with France, into this squad. If not, questions will be asked more frequently.

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8 Juan Mata

I like Juan Mata but I just do not think he is a player that can bring anything to the club now. Fair enough, he won the penalty, which Pogba scored but he's not a player that United have used in the right way and probably never will. He started on the right and played in the centre more often than not, which is not working. He could well be nearing an end to his United career.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Since returning from a period of injury, Lingard has done very little to justify a place in the squad, let alone a place in the starting XI. He needs to buck up his ideas and get stuck into achieving something, otherwise his opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in world football will end with him playing elsewhere at a level that suits him. I've defended Lingard many times, but he's had enough chances to make something of himself now.

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11 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman won a penalty for United, which turned into the winning goal, scored by Pogba. Aside of that, Martial was slow and sloppy with both possession of the ball and passing it. I wonder who Martial FC will blame for his inability to reach the dizzy heights playing for Manchester United should demand.

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9 Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian was poor once again for United on his 249th Premier League appearance. United scored twice, both from the penalty spot. Lukaku had little impact in the game, 69% according to the United app, most of which was for passing the ball. He needs to find some form, and fast, if he is to save his career at the club. I think it is clear he will ask to leave though.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata 56'. Made an almost instant impact in the game with a shot on goal within three minutes, which was deflected and cleared. Had involvement in the game which helped his teammates. Will be grateful of the slight rest he had today. Perhaps in view of him starting on Tuesday in Barcelona.

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54 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Lukaku 75'. The 17-year-old made his second Premier League appearance in just over a month. Got stuck into the game and helped United on the attack at times. Good to see him get more opportunities and hope to see him get more before the end of the season.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Rojo 75'. Came on at right-back and played a good part in the game for 15 minutes plus added time. Good to see him putting himself on the line for his team by playing in positions needed by the manager, despite it being for a short period of time.

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Goals: Paul Pogba 19′ (p), 80′ (p); Felipe Anderson 49′

Assists: Manuel Lanzini 49′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Jones, Rojo (Pereira 75′); Fred, Pogba; Mata (Rashford 56′), Lingard, Martial; Lukaku (Greenwood 75′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Lindelof, Darmian; McTominay

Bookings: Juan Mata 34′; Ryan Fredericks 79′

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