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Ratings: Ronaldo and Lingard score against the Hammers but De Gea saved the day…

Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 in the Premier League at the London Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side once again came from behind to set their unbeaten away run to 29 matches now, two more than Arsenal’s record from 2004. Said Benrahma opened the scoring in the 30th minute for the Hammers but five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the match. It looked like a 1-1 draw before Jesse Lingard won the match for United. There was late drama with a penalty awarded for the Hammers but David De Gea made the save from Mark Noble’s effort. What a match, what a moment, what a result!

It was a lacklustre start for United and the Hammers with chances being created by the home side and United seemingly using luck to deny the Hammers from the lead. Harry Maguire seemed to have a mistake in him in this match, which was a worry but the doubts were soon forgotten about as United started to find comfort in the match. There was a hairy moment for Paul Pogba in the opening stages after Kurt Zouma caught his foot and the Frenchman was writhing on the floor in agony – he soon recovered through. The Hammers took the lead in the 30th minute through Said Benrahma, assisted by Jarrod Bowen.

David Moyes seemed ecstatic with the goal as he has not yet beaten United since he was sacked in April 2014 but like Alan Pardue in the Emirates FA Cup final in 2016 – he celebrated too soon. Five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored his fourth goal of the season – his 122nd goal for United, levelling the score in this match. United then started to dominate the game for bursts, pressing for a second goal to put them in the lead for the first time in the match – but it was not coming, at this time anyway. The Hammers regained possession and were trying to get ahead again but at the end of the half, if was a fair 1-1 scoreline.

There were no substitutions at the start fo the second half from either team and United were once again seeking to get the better of the Hammers, but were not able to at this stage. The home side were also trying to get back in the match and take the lead – things not working out for them either. It all seemed to be one way traffic around the hour mark in the match, which was probably worrying for the Hammers but United were unable to get anything from their attacks – but that would be tiring out the defence, which is dangerous ground for them. The Hammers then broke forward but the game was stopped due to a foul on Scott McTominay.

The Hammers made their first substitution in the 68th minute of the match with Andriy Yarmolenko replacing Nikola Vlasic. Just after the change, it seemed that United could have given away a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka tackled Tomas Soucek, but the referee gave the free-kick to United. Solskjaer was readying a double substitution with Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard replacing Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba. Minutes after the substitution, Ronaldo was seemingly fouled in the box but the referee gave nothing. On replay, it seemed that Ronaldo ran into the player, therefore was not fouled. United were still trying to break the deadlock.

In the last 12 minutes or so of the match, David De Gea gave away a corner after a defensive error in lofting the ball back to him. Luckily nothing came of that set-piece. United made their third substitution in the 88th minute of the match with Nemanja Matic replacing Fred. The Hammers also brought Manuel Lanzini on for Benrahma. It seemed that Lingard won the game for United a minute after coming on, beating the Hammers goalkeeper from range to put United ahead with Matic assisting the goal. The West Ham fans had their heads in their hands as they knew what Lingard could do after his loan spell last season and he righted a wrong from the last game too.

There was some more controversy in this match though with penalties. Ronaldo went down in the box again, and yet again nothing was given with the Portuguese record breaker looking bemused. It seemed to be one of those days. But at the other end of the pitch, as the Hammers were seeking to avoid defeat, Luke Shaw gave something away with an outstretched arm in the box, which clipped the ball. The referee had given a corner but VAR was brought into play for this one and the penalty was awarded. Declan Rice stepped up by Moyes made his third substitution with Mark Noble replacing Bowen to take the penalty, which David De Gea saved.

What a day for De Gea, who was no stranger to penalties but saving them was a different story. United lost the UEFA Europa League final to Villarreal on the 26 May 2021 11-10 on penalties with De Gea not saving a single one, also missing his spot kick. To see him save this and keep the win for United, as opposed to the draw is magnificent. The confidence he will gain from that is immense and it will help him on the road to becoming the goalkeeper he once was for the club. What a match, what a moment and what a result. United will have the Hammers again on Wednesday evening, this time at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup third round.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a save from a Bowen strike but conceded on the half hour with the Hammers ahead through a deflected Benrahma effort. United levelled through Ronaldo and seemingly won the match through Lingard but De Gea was not done yet. A late penalty given to the Hammers saw De Gea save Noble's spot kick and confirm the victory for United.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Ever present on the right flank. Made four clearances and two tackles with a positive pass success rate too. His crossing lets him down though. In the second half, his attacking was not very present.

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19 Raphael Varane

The deflection off him beat De Gea in the 30th minute. It happens though. He defended well for United as they persevere for the victory - which they got in the end.

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5 Harry Maguire

Seemed to strengthen the Hammers with his lack of decisiveness in defence at times. Carried on doing what he did and played a part in the victory.

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23 Luke Shaw

Attacked constantly on the left, which was lacking against the Young Boys on Tuesday. Hs service was something United failed to capitalise from. Conceded a penalty in added time, which De Gea saved.

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17 Fred

Careless at times with the ball. That is Fred though. Was replaced by Matic in the 88th minute of the match.

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39 Scott McTominay

Glad to see him back. He was right amongst it against the Hammers. Had a shot off target but was present with the defensive duties in midfield.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The Golden Boy contender played well against the Hammers. His pace was a problem, as was his ability but he never got a goal or an assist in the match. He was replaced by Sancho in the 73rd minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Lacked rhythm at the start of the match but soon found it. Played a part in the equaliser scored by Ronaldo. Might find himself rested on Wednesday, but on the bench no doubt.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman seemed to have been caught by Zouma in the first half and was in agony after the challenge. He soon recovered. He played on the left in the attacking three (behind Ronaldo) and did well at times. United needed a change to break the deadlock in this game and Lingard replaced him in the 73rd minute of the match.

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7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Scored his fourth goal in three matches for United - his 122nd goal for the club. Seemed unlucky with penalties today with nothing given, with one of them seemingly standing though. Great to see him back for United, scoring the goals as he did before he left and did more of after leaving.

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Substitutes

25 Jadon Sancho

Replaced Greenwood 73'. Came on to provide something different for United but seemed to be lacking a lot. It will take time for him to become acclimatised in the Premier League. But some will not be happy to give him a chance to earn his stripes.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Pogba 73'. Came on to create and did just that. Won the game for United in the 89th minute and the Hammers fans knew what it meant to see him score at the London Stadium once more, just in a different shirt this time.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Fred 88'. Came on at the death and assisted a minute later. Did was was required of him.

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Goals: Said Benrahma 30′; Cristiano Ronaldo 35′, Jesse Lingard 89′

Assists: Jarrod Bowen 30′; Nemanja Matic 89′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred (Matic 88′), McTominay; Greenwood (Sancho 73′), Fernandes, Pogba (Lingard 73′); Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Van de Beek; Martial

Bookings: N/A

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Ronaldo leads the attack against the Hammers; McTominay starts too

Manchester United return to Premier League action this afternoon when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United, which is the first of two matches against the London club in the next five or six days with United welcoming the club to the Theatre of Dreams in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to BSC Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match on Tuesday evening, which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for a challenge, Cristiano Ronaldo score his third goal this season and United fail to keep their 1-0 lead.

It is one of those things in football – it happens. It just annoys me that some supporters seem to put the victories down to ‘individual brilliance’ but always seem to blame Solskjaer for the defeats or the draws. Some of these people on social media seem to be very quiet when United win, seemingly only tweeting when United lose or draw, which seems very strange to me. That said, you are not allowed to criticise these people as they are always right, even when they are wrong. They seem to want the club to never achieve anything, always changing the manager, then moaning about the lack of stability brought by their demands.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba;

Ronaldo

Substitutes:

Heaton; Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial, Sancho

West Ham United:

Fabianski;

Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell;

Soucek, Rice;

Vlasic, Benrahma, Fornals;

Bowen

Substitutes:

Areola; Dawson, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku; Lanzini, Noble, Kral; Yarmolenko

United and West Ham have played a total of 50 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 13 times with the Hammers winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 99 goals against the Hammers, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. West Ham have scored 45 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Hammer keeping just seven. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown a total of 62 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammers’ players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Ronaldo to continue scoring goals for United? Sancho, Greenwood and McTominay to start against Hammers?

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United, which is the first of two matches against the London club in the next five or six days with United welcoming the club to the Theatre of Dreams in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to BSC Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match on Tuesday evening, which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for a challenge, Cristiano Ronaldo score his third goal this season and United fail to keep their 1-0 lead.

It is one of those things in football – it happens. It just annoys me that some supporters seem to put the victories down to ‘individual brilliance’ but always seem to blame Solskjaer for the defeats or the draws. Some of these people on social media seem to be very quiet when United win, seemingly only tweeting when United lose or draw, which seems very strange to me. That said, you are not allowed to criticise these people as they are always right, even when they are wrong. They seem to want the club to never achieve anything, always changing the manager, then moaning about the lack of stability brought by their demands.

Previous meetings with West Ham and their connections with Manchester United.

United and West Ham have played a total of 50 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 13 times with the Hammers winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 99 goals against the Hammers, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. West Ham have scored 45 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Hammer keeping just seven. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown a total of 62 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammers’ players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face West Ham United in the Premier League at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea will be seeking to keep his place in goal ahead of the clash with West Ham on Sunday afternoon. The Spanish goalkeeper has played all five matches that United have played this season, conceding five goals and keeping one clean sheet. It was an unfortunate defeat against the Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, which is something that the club must bounce back form this weekend, keeping their place at the summit of the Premier League, which would seem a likely outcome. If they were not the top team in the league, they would be close to it. United need to continue the momentum they have set this season.

The supporters of the club could do with getting behind the manager and the players, rather than wishing defeats come and the manager is sacked, as that has happened before and each time it seems to set United back even further. Things are done without their acceptance because they have no control of any outcome at the club, so the sooner they realise they are nothing but critics who people don’t listen to, the better. De Gea has started this season in fine form, turning back the years and proving himself ahead of the challenges that will come – Dean Henderson seeking to become number one and Tom Heaton also challenging for matches.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence suffered a setback in the opening Champions League match of the season, falling to a 2-1 defeat to the Young Boys. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a bad foul which left United with ten men and having to sacrifice an attacking player for Diogo Dalot, then resort to a five at the back formation, under attack, which was unable to keep a 1-0 lead from Cristiano Ronaldo’s opening goal. Against the Hammers, Solskjaer will need to find a way for his side to bounce back and grind out another win in the Premier League this season, also seeking to extend their 28-match unbeaten record on the road in the Premier League.

Diogo Dalot could be given a rare Premier League start with Wan-Bissaka being dropped to the bench for this match, giving him a rest ahead of the suspension he will receive in the Champions League in just over a week and a half, which could be good for United and keeping key players fresh for other matches. Luke Shaw should keep his place in the left-back position, doing well against the Young Boys, despite doing more defending than attacking, which was rare after his start to the season. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane should start in the centre of defence, which could keep United ticking over – although Victor Lindelof will be seeking a start too.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

The midfield is not ideal for United at this time as there is a lack of balance. Nemanja Matic is the only experienced defensive midfielder with Fred making more mistakes that settling in at the club after a number of years. Donny van de Beek seems to be getting few chances with Scott McTominay sitting out a period of time following the groin injury he sustained against Southampton earlier in the season. With the Scotland international back in training and likely to be involved against the Hammers, either this weekend or in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, things could start to improve a little for United.

With McTominay picked to start in this match, providing that he has gone through all the fitness tests and he is ready to start playing again, it could come at the right time for Solskjaer, whose options in this area seem limited with players selected being limited in terms of their ability. Paul Pogba could feature in the pivot once again, as he played an advanced role on the left-wing against the Young Boys, which did not seem to work for United, especially after the sending off of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. This could work though with McTominay mopping up the defensive duties and Pogba linking the defence with the attack.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho

United have many great options in these positions ahead of the clash with the Hammers. I think Solskjaer will go back to basics with Mason Greenwood, who scored in the first three Premier League matches of the season, playing on the right-wing, which is a position that he has excelled in at times, also running into the box and picking off the goalkeeper, or even assisting for the striker or another attacking player, which was shown a few times last season. Bruno Fernandes will play through the middle but we could Donny van de Beek come on in the second half to give the Portuguese magnifico a bit of rest ahead of the challenge later in the week.

Fernandes has scored four goals for United this season, also getting one assist but he is being challenged by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has three goals in his first two appearances for the club this season. Jadon Sancho could start on the left-wing once again, which is a position he can play in – although he may be more comfortable on the right. He was taken off before half time against Young Boys on Tuesday as United were down to ten men – which was through no fault of his own. United attacking players have lots of excitement in them with Ronaldo, Fernandes and Greenwood al scoring so far this season and Sancho seeking to score.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo

Since re-signing for United this summer, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in two appearances, making it 121 goals for the club, matching Andy Cole. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in his sights, scoring 126 goals for the club during his time as a player. Wayne Rooney’s record is a long way off and might not be achievable for the 36-year-old but you never know in this game. Ronaldo was determined to get a good result for United in the Champions League this week, but a 2-1 defeat – the first of the season will have hit the team hard but given them determination against the Hammers to get back to winning ways.

There seems to be a lot of criticism of United and Ronaldo in the media and amongst fans of other clubs but that just shows you that Manchester United are coming back and people are threatened as to what the club could achieve. Manchester City lost their opening match this season, losing to Tottenham Hotspur but little was said about that but when United lose – hold the front page and the following seven pages as every man and his dog wants to say something about that. United are back, they are still a work in progress but to be able to grind out the results they already have grinder out this season shows that something is being created at the club.

Substitutes: Tom Heaton; Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek; Anthony Martial, Anthony Elanga

Solskjaer made many changes in the defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, but the gamble did not pay off for him as United capitulated and conceded two second half goals to earn their first defeat of the 2021/22 season – it was going to come at some point. Back in the Premier League, United will be able to name nine substitutes, using just three of them. I think Tom Heaton will remain on the bench for United as I don’t think Dean Henderson will be over his fatigue from his battle with coronavirus and his match fitness will not be where it needs to be to play his first match in the top flight this season.

Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be the substitutes in the defensive positions, although Alex Telles is now back in training from his ankle injury but it may be a week or so before he is considered for a place on the bench, let alone a starting place for United. In the midfield, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek could all be available against the Hammers – which will be another challenge for United – one that they will need to get the better of this weekend, if they want to challenge for the Premier League title this season. In attack, Anthony Martial and Anthony Elanga could both be available – it would be great to see the latter.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United to bounce back against the Hammers; Moyes still seeking a victory over United since being sacked in 2014

West Ham United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

London Stadium, London

Sunday 19 September 2021, KO 14:00 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Lee Betts, Richard West

Fourth Official: David Coote

VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United, which is the first of two matches against the London club in the next five or six days with United welcoming the club to the Theatre of Dreams in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to BSC Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match on Tuesday evening, which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for a challenge, Cristiano Ronaldo score his third goal this season and United fail to keep their 1-0 lead.

It is one of those things in football – it happens. It just annoys me that some supporters seem to put the victories down to ‘individual brilliance’ but always seem to blame Solskjaer for the defeats or the draws. Some of these people on social media seem to be very quiet when United win, seemingly only tweeting when United lose or draw, which seems very strange to me. That said, you are not allowed to criticise these people as they are always right, even when they are wrong. They seem to want the club to never achieve anything, always changing the manager, then moaning about the lack of stability brought by their demands.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LWWDWW

BSC Young Boys 2-1 L, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Leeds United 5-1 W, Everton 4-0 W

Goals: 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Mason Greenwood, Cristiano Ronaldo, 1 – Fred, Jesse Lingard

Assists: 7 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Bruno Fernandes, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane

West Ham United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WDDWWW

Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 W, Southampton 0-0 D, Crystal Palace 2-2 D, Leicester City 4-1 W, Newcastle United 4-2 W, Atalanta 2-0 W

Goals: 5 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals, 1 – Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek

Assists: 3 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Said Benrahma, 1 – Vladimir Coufal, Pablo Fornals, Declan Rice

Previous meetings with West Ham and their connections with Manchester United.

United and West Ham have played a total of 50 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 13 times with the Hammers winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 99 goals against the Hammers, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. West Ham have scored 45 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Hammer keeping just seven. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown a total of 62 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammers’ players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Team News: Five United players could be out of the clash with the Hammers this weekend with two missing for the home side; Ronaldo and Greenwood to be involved in the goals once again?

Marcus Rashford (Shoulder) and Amad Diallo (Thigh) have been ruled out of the clash with the Hammers this weekend. Alex Telles (Ankle), Phil Jones (Match Fitness) and Edinson Cavani (Other) seem to be doubtful for this match with the Uruguayan likely to feature in the Carabao Cup next week. Scott McTominay, who had to undergo groin surgery earlier in the summer, could be back in action after training for the last week or so, which is good news for United after the problems with the midfield recently with only one player, Nemanja Matic, able to play in the defensive midfield area. United will get there in the end.

Winston Reid (Knee) is the only West Ham player to be injured for the clash against United at the London Stadium on Sunday. This seasons top scorer (so far) Michail Antonio is suspended for this match after his sending off against Southampton last week, but he will be back in contention to face United at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. David Moyes will have something up his sleeve to get the better of United this weekend with the Hammers sitting in eighth place at the time of writing and United sitting top of the league, which will change with the seven matches being played before this one kicks off.

Predicted Starting XI: Ronaldo, Sancho, Fernandes and Greenwood to lead United’s attack against the Hammers; Pogba and McTominay in midfield; Dalot given rare Premier League start?

Solskjaer will be seeking to get back to winning ways after a defeat in the Champions League to Young Boys on Tuesday evening. David Moyes has never beaten United in seven Premier League matches since being sacked by United in April 2014 – he has lost five times, drawing twice. In his last four appearances against the Hammers, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six goals against the Hammers and will be seeking to continue his goalscoring run against the club. The Hammers are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches, which is a record for them. Either that will continue or be ended on Sunday.

I think David De Gea will keep his place in goal this weekend. In defence, Diogo Dalot could be trusted ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was sent off against Young Boys. Luke Shaw will keep his left-back position. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane will partner each other in the centre of defence. In midfield, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba could play in the pivot with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho playing in the attacking midfield positions behind the striker. Cristiano Ronaldo will keep his place leading the like for United after scoring three goals in his first two starts after returning to United.

Match Prediction: United to get back to winning ways against the Hammers, using last seasons double over the club and David Moyes not beating United after being sacked by them in 2014.

United will need to bounce back against the Hammers this weekend. Solskjaer’s side have done well this season and at the time of writing, sit top of the Premier League. That will change before a ball has been kicked at the London Stadium with Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur all seeking to make their way to the top of the league, however, Spurs and Chelsea will face each other in the late Sunday afternoon kick off after the Hammers v United match. The Red Devils will need to rediscover their good form to take all three points in this match.

Last season, United won 3-1 in this fixture with Tomas Soucek opening the scoring for the home side and Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford getting the better of the Hammers at home, taking all three points back to Manchester. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with a Craig Dawson own goal settling the tie between the clubs as United did the double over the Hammers. Solskjaer will be hoping to do the same this season but first must find the route to victory in this match, coming from a defeat in the opening Champions League group stage clash against the Young Boys earlier in the week.

West Ham United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Pogba’s finish was fantastic, Greenwood’s was Van Persie-esque, Rashford scored tenth goal in Hammers victory

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.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Unlucky to have conceded the opening goal at the end of the first half. Made some important saves and interceptions. His quick thinking created a chance for United to equalise, lofting the ball up field to Fernandes, who assisted for Pogba. A cracking first start in the Premier League for him.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Did not have the best performance and despite a good tackle on Bowen, he needs to find a way to offer what United need. He's a good defender, and granted, the whole team was off in the first half, but like his teammates, he improved in the second half.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Iceman seemed uncomfortable against the Hammers, which was there to be seen by anyone. That wained in the second half as United gained more confidence from an equaliser and a winner minutes later, not to mention a third goal to give a two-goal cushion.

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5 Harry Maguire

Did not defend at the level he's capable of, especially in the first half. Allowed Haller to get though with the Hammers 1-0 up. In the second half, he improved greatly, as did his teammates, and helped them get the victory.

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27 Alex Telles

He will not want to see a replay of what Bowen did to him, which will perhaps show him areas of improvement for the future. He assist for Greenwood's goal was good to see and will raise his confidence.

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6 Paul Pogba

After stuttering in the match, he pulled it out of the bag and scored a long-range effort to level the score in the 65th minute of the match. If he keeps playing like that, he will gain some respect from those who criticise him (including myself) for the poor performances he has put in this season.

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39 Scott McTominay

Did a job in midfield and his passion and ability on Ann off the ball were well rewarded with his team *eventually* finding their feet and getting three goals into the back of the net.

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34 Donny van de Beek

The Dutchman did a bit in midfield for United but without Fernandes, creativity seemed to be an issue. His hold up play was good and he got involved but United needed a change. Fernandes replaced him at the start of the second half.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Put United ahead in the 68th minute of the match, three minutes after the equaliser with a sublime finish from a Telles assist. He took a touch before finding the back of the net akin to Robin van Persie.

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21 Edinson Cavani

In the first half of the match the Uruguayan did not seem to be getting much done. United were dire and the Hammers opened the scoring in the 38th minute of the match, despite having many chances before that. Cavani was replaced by Rashford at the start of the second half.

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9 Anthony Martial

Did not seem to get involved in good sense. Led the line in the second half but seemed to get injured and was replaced by Mata. Not a good few weeks for the Frenchman who is out of form once again.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Cavani 46'. Got his tenth goal of the season in the 78th minute after hitting the post minutes earlier. Seems to he heading into a period of form again, which is a good thing.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Replaced Van de Beek 46'. Got another assist under his belt after Solskjaer brought him on to change the tide for United, which he did. A cracking player but also one that needs to be rested from time to time to stop him from burning out.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Martial 62'. Got himself another assist this season, providing the pass for Rashford's tenth goal of the season. A good performance from the Spanish magician.

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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

Bookings: N/A

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Henderson, Pogba, Van de Beek, Greenwood and Cavani start against West Ham United

Manchester United are on the road again in the Premier League as they face West Ham United at the London Stadium this evening. The Hammers played on Monday evening, beating Aston Villa 2-1 and will have had at least four days to rest ahead of their next match whilst United played on both Sunday, beat Southampton 3-2 and on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to PSG, giving them just two days of rest ahead of the match. This can be seen as both positive and negative with United’s fitness possibly being higher than the Hammers, but fatigue could also kick in for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to rotate his squad a little to continue throughout the month with seven more matches to be played before the end of the year which will see United finding out their fate in the Champions League and the Carabao Cup on their quest for trophies. David Moyes will also be seeking to get the better of United once again after his dire nine-month spell at the club. Solskjaer’s side will need to be at their best to take on the Hammers, who have been playing some good football. United also need to keep one eye on Tuesday’s match away to RB Leipzig – avoiding defeat there will see United remain in the Champions League.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles;

Pogba, McTominay, Van de Beek;

Greenwood, Cavani, Martial

Substitutes:

Grant; Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Fernandes, Matic; Rashford

West Ham United:

Fabianski;

Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell;

Masuaku, Rice, Soucek, Bowen;

Fornals, Haller

Substitutes:

Randolph; Diop, Johnson, Noble, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Benrahma

United and the Hammers have played a total of 48 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 28, the Hammers have won seven with both teams drawing 13 times. United have scored 95 goals against the Hammers; winning five penalties, scoring four of them. The Hammers have scored 44 goals against United; winning three penalties, scoring all of them. United have kept a clean sheet 18 times with the Hammers keeping seven. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 58 yellow cards and four red cards whereas the Hammers have been shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

In this fixture last season, which was played on the 22 July 2020, it was a 1-1 draw between the two sides at the London Stadium with Michail Antonio opening the scoring from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the first half and Mason Greenwood equalising in the 51st minute of the match, assisted by Anthony Martial. At Old Trafford in a match which was played on the 22 September 2019, the Hammers won 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals in either half to take all three points in the match, United will need to be in good form against the Hammers, who are doing well this season.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Greenwood, Fernandes and Martial to lead the attack against the Hammers? Van de Beek to partner McTominay in midfield?

Manchester United are on the road again in the Premier League this weekend as they face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday evening. The Hammers played on Monday evening, beating Aston Villa 2-1 and will have had at least four days to rest ahead of their next match whilst United played on both Sunday, beat Southampton 3-2 and on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to PSG, giving them just two days of rest ahead of the match. This can be seen as both positive and negative with United’s fitness possibly being higher than the Hammers, but fatigue could also kick in for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to rotate his squad a little to continue throughout the month with seven more matches to be played before the end of the year which will see United finding out their fate in the Champions League and the Carabao Cup on their quest for trophies. David Moyes will also be seeking to get the better of United once again after his dire nine-month spell at the club. Solskjaer’s side will need to be at their best to take on the Hammers, who have been playing some good football. United also need to keep one eye on Tuesday’s match away to RB Leipzig – avoiding defeat there will see United remain in the Champions League.

How United have faired against West Ham United in the Premier League.

United and the Hammers have played a total of 48 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 28, the Hammers have won seven with both teams drawing 13 times. United have scored 95 goals against the Hammers; winning five penalties, scoring four of them. The Hammers have scored 44 goals against United; winning three penalties, scoring all of them. United have kept a clean sheet 18 times with the Hammers keeping seven. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 58 yellow cards and four red cards whereas the Hammers have been shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

In this fixture last season, which was played on the 22 July 2020, it was a 1-1 draw between the two sides at the London Stadium with Michail Antonio opening the scoring from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the first half and Mason Greenwood equalising in the 51st minute of the match, assisted by Anthony Martial. At Old Trafford in a match which was played on the 22 September 2019, the Hammers won 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals in either half to take all three points in the match, United will need to be in good form against the Hammers, who are doing well this season.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face West Ham United in the Premier League at the London Stadium on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Despite conceding three goals against PSG, the Spanish goalkeeper put in a good performance and made a few good saves to keep United in the match. Against Southampton on Sunday, De Gea came off due to an injury to his knee, which he seemed to recover from but showed signs of strain on Wednesday evening against PSG. If fit, he would be the best option against the Hammers but Dean Henderson will do his best if he gets the opportunity once again. United have two positive goalkeepers and with Henderson pushing De Gea, it could turn into something good for United as they have struggled with goalkeepers in the past.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

The defence is an area that will require some work during the January transfer window, if United are going to be active. Victor Lindelof’s performance against PSG was poor at times and I think that with Eric Bailly back from injury and Axel Tuanzebe able to play against the Hammers, after suspension against PSG, there are two other options to partner Harry Maguire. I think Tuanzebe will be that man. Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will play in the fullback positions against West Ham with United needing to put in a defensive performance to get the better of the London club this weekend.

Midfield Two: Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay

I was not all that impressed by Fred against PSG. He lost his head and was given the chance to redeem himself but ended up getting sent off. Many will blame Solskjaer for that, but Fred is responsible for his own actions. He let his teammates, the manager, the coaches and the supporters down with his actions. Because of his actions, he should be dropped. He cannot keep doing things like that. Donny van de Beek should take his place in the centre of midfield with Scott McTominay keeping his place. He rose in stature against PSG. Never let Neymar get away with his pathetic acting and always put in the effort, which is great to see.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial

This is an area where United need to perform much better. Against PSG, Bruno Fernandes had a poor game based on his standards and that led to criticism of him too. He’s been the player to set the standards at the club the season and some seem to expect Man of the Match performances all of the time, which is not going to happen. Mason Greenwood could be recalled on the right-wing with Anthony Martial playing on the left-wing. Both players will need to perform to the best of their abilities with Martial aiming to finish his chances much better than he did against PSG, which was a poor performance for him.

Forward: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani has earned himself his stripes at United so far this season, despite playing a minor role compared to some of his teammates. He was unfortunate not to have scored against his former club on Wednesday evening, chipping the goalkeeper but hitting the crossbar. Some criticised the player for doing that but if he had scored it, the criticism would have not happened. On the other hand, if he’d tried to round the keeper and score and miss, the criticism would still be there, probably moaning about the fact he could have chipped the keeper. You can’t with with these moaning fans nowadays.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams; Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic; Marcus Rashford

Back to three substitutes in the Premier League, Solskjaer might not be able to rotate many players with the threat of the Hammer on the horizon. United will need a victory to keep rising in the league table and after a defeat, a win will restore confidence. Dean Henderson will most likely be on the bench in this match, unless De Gea is unable to play, which could be a possibility, keeping him fit for Tuesday. In defence, Eric Bailly and Brandon Williams could be there if needed. In midfield, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic could offer something with Marcus Rashford the only attacking player on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: West Ham United -v- Manchester United – Premier League

West Ham United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

London Stadium, London

Saturday 5 December 2020, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Simon Long, Eddie Smart

Fourth Official: Andy Madley

VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes

Manchester United are on the road again in the Premier League this weekend as they face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday evening. The Hammers played on Monday evening, beating Aston Villa 2-1 and will have had at least four days to rest ahead of their next match whilst United played on both Sunday, beat Southampton 3-2 and on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to PSG, giving them just two days of rest ahead of the match. This can be seen as both positive and negative with United’s fitness possibly being higher than the Hammers, but fatigue could also kick in for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to rotate his squad a little to continue throughout the month with seven more matches to be played before the end of the year which will see United finding out their fate in the Champions League and the Carabao Cup on their quest for trophies. David Moyes will also be seeking to get the better of United once again after his dire nine-month spell at the club. Solskjaer’s side will need to be at their best to take on the Hammers, who have been playing some good football. United also need to keep one eye on Tuesday’s match away to RB Leipzig – avoiding defeat there will see United remain in the Champions League.

Manchester United: LWWWWL

Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 L, Southampton 3-2 W, Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 W, Everton 3-1 W, Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 L

West Ham United: WWWLDD

Aston Villa 2-1 W, Sheffield United 1-0 W, Fulham 1-0 W, Liverpool 2-1 L, Manchester City 1-1 D, Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 D

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes (10) and Marcus Rashford (nine) leading with their goalscoring for United this season. Sébastien Haller (six) and Jarred Bowen (four) are the top scorers for the Hammers.

Manchester United Goals: 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Edinson Cavani, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, 1 – Own Goal, Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United were on a good path before their defeat to PSG on Wednesday evening, winning their last four matches in a row. The defeat is not the end of the world though as they sit at the top of their group in the Champions League and require a point to qualify for the round of 16 stage of the competition. It is important that United keep winning in the Premier League though, aiming to better their league position whilst entering a busy period of the season. United sit in ninth place currently, which will change before they face the Hammers but are a point behind the London club. It is important to win this match and keep winning.

West Ham United Goals: 6 – Sébastien Haller, 4 – Jarrod Bowen, 3 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Pablo Fornals, Robert Snodgrass, Andriy Yarmolenko, 1 – Felipe Anderson, Fabián Balbuena, Manuel Lanzini, Angelo Ogbonna, Tomas Soucek

The Hammers have started well this season and sit in the top five in the Premier League, albeit just a point clear of United, who have a game in hand over all of the clubs above them. In the last six matches, the Hammers have won three times, drawn twice and lost once. It is early days to suggest that David Moyes’ side will continue to challenge for a top four place this season and it is too soon to suggest United wouldn’t. December is going to be a tough month for many clubs with those in Europe and in the Carabao Cup likely to play at most nine times. The Hammers have six matches to play making it easier for them.

Team News: Just one confirmed injury for United and one player out for the Hammers. Can Marcus Rashford recover from a shoulder injury ahead of this clash in London with United seeking to beat the Hammers for the first time since April 2019.

Phil Jones (knee) is the only player that is currently ruled out through injury this weekend. Luke Shaw (thigh) has a 25% chance of featuring against West Ham on Saturday and Marcus Rashford (shoulder) has a 75% chance of featuring against the Hammers. Axel Tuanzebe will be available after sitting out the 3-1 defeat to PSG through suspension and Eric Bailly could well be back in action after recovering from injury himself. United won the last four matches prior to the defeat to the French champions and will need to return to winning ways against the Hammers, having not beaten them at all last season.

Andriy Yarmolenko tested positive for coronavirus during the international break and because of this he has a 25% chance of featuring for his club. The rules suggest that he would need to test negative to the virus before he can return to training. This may well happen in the coming days but it would seem unlikely that he would be fit enough to feature against United this weekend. This is the only issue that the Hammer have ahead of the clash against United, which will see David Moyes face his former club and seeking to keep his club in good form this season. West Ham sit fifth in the league with 17 points – United in ninth with 16 points.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to keep his place as United’s main striker? Bruno Fernandes to battle back from inconsistent performance against PSG? Donny van de Beek to return to the starting XI once again?

Solskjaer will be seeking to overcome the 3-1 defeat to PSG on Wednesday evening and get back to winning ways in the Premier League against West Ham United, who they have not beaten since the 2018/19 season. I expect David De Gea to start in goal despite looking uncomfortable against PSG at times. If he is not fit, Dean Henderson will be a capable option. In defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles should all start. Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay in midfield with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial playing behind Edinson Cavani.

Match Prediction: 48 matches player between United and the Hammers in the Premier League with United winning 28 times and the Hammers winning seven times – United need a good result.

United and the Hammers have played a total of 48 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 28, the Hammers have won seven with both teams drawing 13 times. United have scored 95 goals against the Hammers; winning five penalties, scoring four of them. The Hammers have scored 44 goals against United; winning three penalties, scoring all of them. United have kept a clean sheet 18 times with the Hammers keeping seven. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 58 yellow cards and four red cards whereas the Hammers have been shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

In this fixture last season, which was played on the 22 July 2020, it was a 1-1 draw between the two sides at the London Stadium with Michail Antonio opening the scoring from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the first half and Mason Greenwood equalising in the 51st minute of the match, assisted by Anthony Martial. At Old Trafford in a match which was played on the 22 September 2019, the Hammers won 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals in either half to take all three points in the match, United will need to be in good form against the Hammers, who are doing well this season.

West Ham United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

What We’ve Learned: No fight, desire or will to win; injuries are costly; creativity is non-existent in this squad

Manchester United deserved the beating they took at the hands of West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scored the goals to keep their side unbeaten after the opening weekend of the season. United now have two defeats, two wins and two draws in six Premier League matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really needs to look at things that need to be changed on order to get the best out of his squad, that is if they want to give him the best. Some of these players have seen at least three managers at the club and could feel it in themselves to see at least another before they head for pastures new.

United will have the Carabao Cup third round match against Rochdale to find their feet but that will not give them any bragging rights whatsoever. In order to get over what they have endured, a good start to the season which turned into a continuation of a poor spell under the Norwegian. He needs to find a way out of this one to get United firing again.

Where was the leadership, desire, hunger, fight, energy and the will to win?

Against the Hammers, there was no fight, will to win, desire, determination, hunger nor leadership for that matter. For a club as big as United, this should be the bare minimum. Do these players get off by not winning? Do they care about the future success of the club? Do they realise the opportunity that they have been given?

In any other job, these players would be fired for not doing what they have to do. Football is different as its a 50/50 game from the very start. There are winners and losers, and despite wanting it to be so different, United seem to be losers at this moment in time. Each and every player will need to look hard at themselves in the mirror and ask questions.

Am I good enough for United? Do I have the hunger and the desire to win? Am I able to hold myself responsible when I make mistakes, or is it the fault of the manager? These questions need to be answered honestly. The ones that find more negatives do not belong at this club, they are part of the problem. The manager of the club needs to find them and get rid.

There are many things lacking at United, creativity is just one of those things.

United started the season by scoring four goals against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. That start to the season soon came to a halt after failing to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace, and Southampton, then the 1-0 victories over Leicester City and Astana, followed by the poor result away to West Ham. United need to find a way to score goals.

In order for a goal to be scored, there needs to be creativity. Right now, there is none of that. Marcus Rashford has frustrated this season. He has scored three goals but two of them have been penalties. Anthony Martial has been lively, but for the past few weeks, injured and unable to play. Daniel James has scored three good goals, which is good for him.

The team is not creative. It was not creative last season, or the season before. Some of the best football that United has played has not been all that recent. There was a purple patch when Solskjaer took over last year but that fizzled out in March. You might need to look back to Louis van Gaal, David Moyes or Sir Alex Ferguson to find good football, consistently.

Injuries are going to be very costly this season. Youth could prop up this team though, no young players should be written off.

This season, United started with Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah on the sidelines – the latter two overcoming knee injuries and surgery. Not long after, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba joined the injury list and today, in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham, Marcus Rashford was added to that list. This will be a long season.

Injuries happen to every club, I mean Norwich City had ten players on their injury list not that long ago and they still managed to produce a victory over Manchester City, a team which scored eight goals against Watford this weekend. There are problems that need to be avoided in terms of injuries and replacing the unfit players in the squad.

Mason Greenwood missed this match due to illness, which was a big blow after scoring his first goal for the club, at a competitive first team level. Him overcoming his illness and Rashford not having a serious injury, along with Pogba, Shaw and Martial returning for the next game, which would be a blessing for us all.

Younger players are the ones we have our hopes on this season, time for the older players to admit they don’t offer much?

When you see supporters of the club talking about the talented youth, you see that they are desperate for them to be given a chance. On Thursday, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong both started, both were criticised by the ‘Einsteins’ who had clearly decided that they were not good enough as should not play for a while.

The future of the club lies with the youth as the current crop of players in the first team is underachieving. The likes of Gomes, Chong, Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Ethan Laird, Dylan Levitt and even Brandon Williams are the players who may come through and set a benchmark. It almost never happens from the very start.

In the 1995/96 season, the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt came through from the academy ranks. A 3-0 defeat in the League Cup, first leg to York City was not Beckham’s finest moment. However, he did not give up like some supporters have done with the current crop – he fought for his place and bettered himself.

When you gamble, you need a contingency plan to avoid failure. Lessons need to be learned here.

Solskjaer gambled this season and so far it has not paid off. It may do but many cannot see the wood for the trees at this moment in time. It seems to easy for so-called supporters to come out with their bile on social media; sack the manager, get rid of the owners, do this, do that. Easily said than done. How many time do you keep sacking managers?

Solskjaer let Ander Herrera leave as a free agent this summer – he wanted more money, the club felt he was not worth that. No replacement obtained. Romelu Lukaku also wanted to leave he left, no replacement. Granted, if you think about James Garner and Mason Greenwood, both players have been replaced, however, it is a gamble.

When gambling does not pay off, there needs to be a contingency, think Yellowhammer. The contingency plan then needs to be implemented when the gamble has not paid off. I don’t think Solskjaer has a contingency plan for this gamble, he may have hoped it could pay off. So far it has not, but it might, in time.

Ratings: Gutless and toothless display from Manchester United as they are beaten 2-0 by West Ham

Manchester United saw themselves beaten 2-0 by West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It was a toothless and gutless performance from United, who lost Marcus Rashford to injury with no main striker able to lead the line. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a contingency plan more than ever now. Onwards to the Rochdale match.

West Ham started the match in fine form, pressing forward with United’s defence having to put a lot of work into their game. The Hammers seemed patient to work hard and try and get United on the counter or press them at their own game. Angelo Ogbonna was booked in the 14th minute after a foul on Andreas Pereira.

United got themselves into the game with Daniel James show his class with a great run up the left flank, winning a corner, which they did not pressure the hosts from. The lack of creativity is going to be a massive problem this season and something that stops United from winning matches and scoring so few goals.

The match was 50/50 getting close to the end of the first half but the Hammers manager to create something, with United pressuring them in their final third. Mark Noble too many touches of the ball unchallenged, passing to Felipe Anderson, who then passed to Andriy Yarmolenko, who beat David De Gea, who made a dive to avert the goal.

United had the chance to equalise at the start of the second half after Pereira played the ball into the box towards Juan Mata, who was booked moments before, only for his to break through and miss the chance to find the equaliser. It was United’s best chance of the match so far. United seemed to be a little more determined but needed more improvement.

Rashford was forced off the pitch after pulling up just before the hour mark of the match and Jesse Lingard replaced him. The Hammers still looked like the team on top with United looking vulnerable time and time again. United took Nemanja Matic off, replacing him with Fred in the 71st minute and Mark Noble was booked in the 74th.

Jack Wilshire was fouled on the edge of the United box, winning a free-kick for his team. The free-kick was lofted over the crossbar with De Gea wise to it. There were glimpses of improvement from United but nothing that was set to change the scoreline. In the 81st minute, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his final substitution with Angel Gomes replacing Mata.

In the 84th minute of the match, the Hammers doubled their lead through Aaron Cresswell scoring a textbook David Beckham-esque free-kick, bending it over the United wall and into the top corner. De Gea got a hand to it but not enough to deny the Hammers from earning three points. A toothless and gutless performance by United.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper had little to do during the match against the Hammers and was unlucky not to get a touch of Yarmolenko’s goal bound effort at the end of the first half. In the second half, De Gea was not bombarded by chances with the Hammers having a free-kick late in the game, conceding a second goal and the second defeat this season.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back did what he could do to break forward against the Hammers, however, it was clearly not a day that United were ready for. Lacklustre players playing a lacklustre game. The defeat was deserved. It is not the fault of one player, the entire team can carry this dismal performance.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede will be disappointed with this result after signing his new contract with the club. The first goal was a defensive error with United not challenging their opposition, the second was a set-piece, something which United should be ready for. However, Cresswell’s Beckham-esque strike was magnificent. Onwards to the next match.

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5 Harry Maguire

The £80 million signing will not be happy with his or his teams performance against West Ham. The victories over Leicester City and Astana mean nothing now. He will know that. Solskjaer talked up his chances of becoming the captain of the club, which is something I would agree with, however, not this season. Defeats are part of the game and a response is vital now. Not against Rochdale either.

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Ratings: Gutless and toothless display from Manchester United as they are beaten 2-0 by West Ham

As Luke Shaw is still on the sidelines, Young is not the player I want to see playing a lot of fixtures this season. He was a liability at times last season, in defence, but as a professional, he was top notch. United need a big change up. I don’t know where this is going to take the club. It is not good business to keep relying on players who are past their best.

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39 Scott McTominay

The young midfielder has got to be one of the hardest workers in this team. To think of the abuse he has been victim of just because he’s not called Bruno Fernandes, it is pathetic. A product of the academy and a home grown player should get more support from the clubs ‘supposed’ supporters.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder started back to back games this week and despite having stats worth bragging about against Astana, his performance against the Hammers was dire and something to forget. I get that the midfield is light but Fred would have been a better option to start the game. As it stood, the Brazilian replaced the 31-year-old.

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15 Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian had a good game, despite the result. Playing on the right-wing in the 4-2-3-1 formation, he did what he needed to do going forward. He played a great ball into Mata at the start of the second half, which was a chance of an equaliser, which Mata scuppered.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder was one of the experienced players on the pitch against the Hammers. His performance was not the best. He did have the best chance of the game though, for United anyway, missing from yards with a seemingly gaping goal in front of him (due to the angle of Fabianski). He was replaced by Gomes in the 81st minute of the match.

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Ratings: Gutless and toothless display from Manchester United as they are beaten 2-0 by West Ham

The inexperienced Welshman had hunger, desire and the moves to break forward but with a pretty lacklustre team around him and no target man on the pitch, it was not going to work for him or United. He’s set the trend this season with his three goals so far, which is great for his debut in the Premier League. I cannot fault him for his effort. He tried, that is all he could do.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward did not seem to be in the mix against the Hammers. He did try and bust a gut for his club but there was something not quite right with him. Just before the hour mark, the striker pulled up and could not continue. He was then replaced by Lingard.

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Substitutes

14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 61’. After replacing Rashford, Lingard was the main striker. He’s had good performances in the past, but that is where they are, in the past. There was literally nothing to help United get back into the game or even have the chance of creating a goal, let alone scoring one. Not good enough.

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17 Fred

Replaced Matic 71’. The Brazilian should have started this match, but after playing on Thursday and his lack of football so far this season, fitness might have been an issue. He did well when he came on but United lacked leadership, inspiration and desire. It was always going to be a defeat after that opening goal at the end of the first half.

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Ratings: Gutless and toothless display from Manchester United as they are beaten 2-0 by West Ham

Replaced Mata 81’. Had nine minutes on the pitch after playing for about an hour on Thursday. United were already out of the game before his introduction. It will be a good experience for him though. United need players to be annoyed with these defeats, to get their bellies on fire and come back with desire and determination to blow away their opposition.

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Goals: Andriy Yarmolenko 44′, Aaron Cresswell 84′

Assists: Felipe Anderson 44′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Matic (Fred 71′); Pereira, Mata (Gomes 80′), James; Rashford (Lingard 61′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Tuanzebe; Chong

Bookings: Angelo Ogbonna 14′, Mark Noble 74′; Juan Mata 48′

copyright: JW