Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by West Ham United in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford. Ryan Fredericks assisted Manual Lanzini for the only goal of the game in the ninth minute of the match. The Hammers fans will suggest they played well against United, but they were pretty lucky. David Moyes had his team sat back for the entire match, which is why he did not succeed at United as he does not have an adventurous style of play for his teams. Anthony Martial was terrible, which is something that has been obvious for some time – perhaps Anthony Elanga should replace him in this team?
Solskjaer made 11 changes from the team which beat the Hammers on Sunday with David Moyes making 10 changes. It was a good start for the Hammers, who took the lead in the ninth minute through Manuel Lanzini, assisted by Ryan Fredericks. United tried to level the match almost instantly on the attack after the goal with Juan Mata aiming for the goal from the right flank, hitting the crossbar with the away side managing to clear the danger. After the goal, United seemed to find the spark to push for something from this match. United will need to ensure that they get an equaliser in the first half of the match to stop the Hammers running the game.
United broke forward in the 15th minute of the match with Anthony Martial receiving the ball and firing towards goal, with the ball heading wide. Diogo Dalot was running into the box but could not reach the ball to tap it into the back of the net – his response was his mere frustrating not getting to the ball to level the match. The Hammers made their first substitution in the 17th minute with an injured Fredericks being replaced by Vladimir Coufal. Jesse Lingard seemed to be determined to get something from the match, missing a shot from range. United won a free-kick in the 29th minute, which came to nothing for the home side.
United ended the half still trying to find an equaliser. Solskjaer side had 61.7% possession, had 13 shots on goal of which three were on target, seven were off target and three were blocked with 86.4% pass success rate. Solskjaer was probably looking at the changes he could make at he break, or on the hour mark of the match towards the end of the half with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga on the bench. Defensively, they have enough on the pitch to win the battle – they just need the goals and the aforementioned trio can supply those. United will be seeking to try their resolve to win this match.
United started the second half well, although Solskjaer should have made at least one change to get the better of his team. There were a few opportunities for United to equalise but it just was not happening. In the 57th minute of the match, Mark Noble was booked for a foul and perhaps should have been in the first half for tugging Lingard’s shirt in the box. Dalot had a shot just after that, which was wide of the target. United seemed to be determined to get back into this match and the Hammers were seemingly playing right into that by sitting back, not being adventurous for that second goal. United just needed to be patient.
Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 62nd minute of the match with Mason Greenwood replacing Mata. The teenager got himself right into the game, making a marauding run into the box but seeing his effort, after Donny van de Beek fed him the ball, blocked by Alphonse Areola, who was doing well for the Hammers in this match. United perhaps needed one or two more changes to get back into the match. Moyes made a double substitution in the 69th minute with Nikola Vlasic and Pablo Fornals replacing Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku. Solskjaer made a double change with Anthony Elanga and Bruno Fernandes replacing Alex Telles and Lingard.
United tried to get back into the match and throughout the 90 minutes had 27 shots on goal, six of them on target, 13 off target and eight being blocked. There are some positives to take from this match; Donny van de Beek should get more time on the pitch as he played a good game, United’s defence can afford to be rotated, Dean Henderson is back and Jadon Sancho is starting to find his feet in England, which is a good sign. Anthony Elanga looks like a good player to have this season and there will be many conversations about Anthony Martial who did not seem bothered in this match. Some supporters will not be happy about this defeat.
United will be back in action in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, this time against Aston Villa, who were beaten on penalties by Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup this evening. The match was due to be played at the traditional time of 3pm but because of The Courneeners concert at Old Trafford Cricket Club in the evening, the match was moved to aid the police and the transport infrastructure in the area, so United will have a few hours less to prepare for this match, which is not a problem based on the number of players rested from this match ahead of the Villa match.
Goals: Manuel Lanzini 9′
Assists: Ryan Fredericks 9′
Manchester United: Henderson; Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles (Elanga 73′); Matic, Van de Beek; Sancho, Mata (Greenwood 62′), Lingard (Fernandes 73′); Martial
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Jones, Wan-Bissaka; McTominay
Bookings: Mark Noble 57′
Written by John Walker