Manchester United dominated what was to be a hotly contested top four finish match against West Ham United. The Red devils looked the better team right from the start of the game let alone some few moments of brilliance from Cresswell right from kick off. Manchester United were poised to bounce back from the Europa league final minute let off against AC Milan on Thursday.
The was much anticipated to be a midfield battle between Scott McTominay and Declan Rice by every available football pundit. Many had predicted that Rice would outshine Tominay in the midfield duel. That did not however happen as Manchester United’s midfield literally had the ball under control for the better part of the game.
In the first half, Manchester bullied West Ham in the game boasting of a large possession of 65% compared to West Ham’s 35%. As much as Man United had most of the action in West Ham’s final third, they had no goal to boast of. Fabianski was superb in goal for the first half, denying Mason Greenwood his second EPL goal for the season with a brilliant save that led the ball into hitting the outside of the post.
The best chance that United had in the first half came from a Mason Greenwood superb cross straight into Marcus Rashford’s head. The ball glared past the goal post after a poor headed effort from Rashford. Fabianski displayed another superb effort by saving a Bruno Fernandes shot before the break. That save meant that the game was a goalless draw at halftime.
The second half was kicked off by a goal hungry Manchester United who had to try all possible means to break the 6-man defensive wall set-up by the Hammers. On the 53rd minute, the long overdue Manchester United goal came through an own goal by Craig Dawson, who until then was rock solid for the David Moyes’ boys. The goal came from a Bruno Fernandes left side corner kick that was flicked by Scott McTominay straight into Dawson’s head. Dawson did not expect the ball and ended up putting it past the indomitable Fabianski into his own net. The shock and look on his face could tell the disappointment he had in him.
With United 1-0 up, Moyes had some alterations to his initial matchday squad to try equalise the goal. Ben Johnson and Mark Noble were brought off, Said Benrahma and Manuel Lanzini were thrown in to spice things up. Not even the introduction of the two creative midfielders would help West Ham look threatening in the match. The game ended with West Ham registering no single shot on target.
The result is seen as a confidence booster to United as they prepare for the away return leg fixture against AC Milan in the Europa League. Manchester United will get a chance to see Rashford play against AC Milan after missing the first leg clash through an injury.