A goal in each half from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell secured a rousing 2-0 home win for West Ham over Manchester United
For Ole Gunnar Solskjr and Manchester United, it was one of those flat and underwhelming performances that highlight how far off the top they have fallen and why the fight to reacquaint themselves with Champions League football this season promises to be so fraught.
West Ham were comfortable after Andriy Yarmolenkos fine goal just before the interval and the impression was that United could have played all day and failed to find the equaliser. The gloss to a win that bolstered West Hams early season positivity came late on when Aaron Cresswell picked out David de Geas top corner with a beautifully executed 25-yard free-kick and, in a heartbeat, the United inquest could begin.
Solskjr had injury problems and they would worsen when Marcus Rashford was forced off with a groin complaint. But the team he sent out singularly failed to impose themselves, lacking tempo and incision in the final third. This was a performance scarred by sloppiness, by errors, and the clubs away days woes go on. They have lost four and drawn three of their last seven Premier League games away from Old Trafford, equalling their longest run in the competition without a win.
West Ham have not enjoyed a particularly good recent record against the established top six this was only their fourth win in 21 fixtures but the home crowd could bellow out the Ols at the end while Uniteds Ole cringed in embarrassment.
United had suffered here last September in a 3-1 defeat that widened the cracks of the Jos Mourinho era and it was a similar story again. Mourinho was watching as a TV pundit and it is fair to say he would not have wanted to dwell on that day, when he started with Scott McTominay on the right of a back three and watched his one-paced team show a basic lack of hunger and drive.
Solskjr played McTominay in a central midfield two alongside Nemanja Matic in the continued injury-enforced absence of Paul Pogba believing that it gave United the foundation to play but one of the big questions was always going to be whether his lineup had the energy and creativity to hurt West Ham. Anthony Martial was also unavailable and from the early stages it felt as though Rashford would have to feed on scraps. So it proved.
Manuel Pellegrinis team had a nice balance, with Declan Rice in front of the back four and menace from the flanks in Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson. West Ham have often proved a tough nut to crack this season and for long spells the action meandered.
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