Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Three Things That West Ham United Did Wrong In Their Weekend Defeat To Manchester United

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

David Moyes’ West Ham United side, until Saturday evening, were one of the in-form teams in the Premier League. Not only had they managed to get into a good rhythm of form, but their results over the course of November highlighted the proofread that was being made at the club. Their last defeat in the league prior to this weekend came at the hands of the reigning champions, where they gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a tough test as well. Having picked up three wins on the trot against Fulham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, the Hammers came into the United game with momentum on their side.

The defensive combination of Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena was starting to pay dividends for the London club, while Declan Rice’s defensive sturdiness has been a feature of their play all season. The creativity that has been provided by Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals down the wide areas were beginning to bring the best out of Sebastien Haller, who has been in form over recent weeks owing to the absence of Michail Antonio. Although this was the case, things didn’t quite pan out the way they would’ve liked in the game against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.

How Did Their Match Against United Play Out?

Not many would’ve expected West Ham to get anything out of the fixture against the Red Devils, as the Manchester club’s away form has been nothing short of exemplary. Despite this, it was actually the Hammers that started the game in the ascendancy. They created chances galore right from the opening knockings of the game and arguably should’ve been a few goals up before the half-time whistle.

However, they went into the break with just a single goal to show for their dominance, and that’s something they would end up regretting in the second half. With Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford coming into the team in the second half, United came out and blew the Hammers away, scoring three goals in the process.

Here Are The 3 Things West Ham Did Wrong In The Manchester United Defeat:

3 Things West Ham Did Wrong In The Manchester United Defeat - Moyes reacts
West Ham United’s Scottish manager David Moyes reacts during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on December 5, 2020. (Photo by Adam Davy / POOL / AFP)

3 Things West Ham Did Wrong In The Manchester United Defeat

Missed A Flurry Of Solid Chances

The number of chances that the Hammers actually missed in the first-half of that fixture would’ve definitely pained David Moyes. It all started with a brilliant ball into Fornals from Jarrod Bowen, but the Spaniard, unfortunately, wasn’t able to keep his rather simple header on target. The biggest of the lot arguably fell to Sebastien Haller, who was clean through on goal at point. He even rounded the goalkeeper, only to slip at the final moment and give the ball away to the recovering defender.

Didn’t Sit Deep Enough At The Back

Although West Ham should be credited for the confidence and desire they showed to commit bodies forward and push up with the back-line, their overly adventurous nature came back to haunt them in the second half. With the introduction of Marcus Rashford, the Hammers’ biggest problem was always going to be his pace, but this is a concern that the team seemingly failed to address. They kept defending in the same manner they did for the rest of the game, and they were made to pay the price. With Fernandes on the pitch, the Portuguese ace was given the time and freedom to ping balls into the likes of Rashford and Mason Greenwood, who were both allowed ample space to run into.

The Midfield Failed To Maintain Concentration

The midfield combination of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek had extremely good first-halves, where they didn’t allow the United engine room to gain any sort of control over proceedings. This was achieved by properly marking Paul Pogba and Donny Van De Beek in the core of the side, to the extent that the duo’s influence on the match itself was extremely limited.

However, with the introduction of Fernandes into the mix, all of that changes. The attacker was given a free role by Solskjaer, and it’s safe to say he made the most of it. While Rice was forced to sit in front of the back-line, Soucek was unable to keep up with the Portuguese international’s movement, thereby resulting in a collapse of midfield control.

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