Manchester United beat West Ham United 3-1 in the Premier League at the London Stadium on Saturday evening. It was a dire first half for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as the Hammers were all over United and looked the better team. Tomas Soucek opened the scoring in the 38th minute of the match. In the second half, a stunning strike from Paul Pogba in the 65th minute, a sublime Mason Greenwood strike three minutes later turned United’s fortunes around. Marcus Rashford hit the post minutes before scoring his tenth goal of the season. United have a tough match against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday.
It was another one of those matches for United. Nothing was fitting together and the players looked inept at times. They were poor with possession from the start of the match. United had a few opportunities in the first half but did not really take them. In the 38th minute of the match, the Hammers opened the scoring – and they have been on the cusp of doing that for the majority of the half. Declan Rice flicked a corner kick into the near post and Tomas Soucek bundled the ball over the line from close-range. United seemed to appeal for offside but the appeal was waved off by the referee. United had been dire in the match and needed to improve.
At the start of the second half Solskjaer made a double substitution with Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes replacing Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek with United trailing 1-0 and needing to get back into the match. Anthony Martial seemed uneasy on his feet around the hour mark of the match and seemed unable to continue. He was replaced by Juan Mata in the 62nd minute. United got themselves back into the game three minutes later after Paul Pogba thundered an equaliser into the back of the net after Dean Henderson launched the ball up field to Fernandes who assisted the Frenchman.
David Moyes felt that the ball went out of play but VAR gave the goal so United were back in the game. Fast forward another three minutes and Mason Greenwood, assisted by Alex Telles got United ahead in the match with a sublime finish, taking a touch before firing into the back of the net in a way similar to that of Robin van Persie. United were 2-1 after a dire first half. Marcus Rashford then got through on goal, beating his man and the goalkeeper but hitting the post, which was unfortunate. In the 78th minute, Rashford got his 10th goal of the season with a sublime finish, pushing the Hammers aside after a poor first half.
Over the 90 minutes of the match, United were poor but coming back in the second half, the way that they did shows that there is something there for this team to build on. The fact that they can play terribly and find the goal needed to overturn their opposition is a good foundation. United have a difficult week ahead of them with a trip to RB Leipzig in the Champions League of which they will need at least a draw to qualify the the round of 16 in the competition. Then they face Manchester City in the first Manchester derby of the season at Old Trafford, which will be an important match. To top that, United are now fourth in the league.
Goals: Tomas Soucek 38′; Paul Pogba 65′, Mason Greenwood 68′, Marcus Rashford 78′
Assists: Declan Rice 38′; Bruno Fernandes 65′, Alex Telles 68′, Juan Mata 78′
Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Pogba, McTominay, Van de Beek (Fernandes 46′); Greenwood, Cavani (Rashford 46′), Martial (Mata 62′)
Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Williams, Tuanzebe; Matic
Written by John Walker