Sometimes you can do all of the right things in this game, and yet, the chances just don’t fall your way and the luck just isn’t with you on the day. That’s one of the reasons why we both love and hate football in equal measure, because it can bring us so much joy to go alongside the frustration. Case in point: West Ham United were probably the better team at Old Trafford today, and yet, it’s Manchester United that have walked away with all three points.
An unlikely win
There was a feeling out process to start things off with both teams looking a little bit shaky, but with less than 20 minutes gone, a decision was made that completely altered the trajectory of the fixture. Robert Snodgrass was said to have fouled Juan Mata in what was an interesting decision, to say the least, and from the resulting spot kick, midfield maestro Paul Pogba stepped up and calmly gave the Red Devils the lead.
Prior to that Felipe Anderson had actually put the ball in the back of the net for the Hammers, only for it to be ruled out for offside. It’s safe to say that the majority of fans on both sides would agree that the goal probably should’ve stood, and if it had, then who knows how differently this game could’ve gone.
Getting it done
The Hammers continued to push forward heading into half time despite United having the lead, with Ole’s men putting in one of their most lethargic displays since the Norwegian took over. Just a few minutes after half time, though, they were made to pay for their poor play as Anderson himself converted Lanzini’s cross to send the travelling fans wild. Their joy lasted all the way up until the final ten minutes of the game when that man again, Pogba, scored another penalty to give United a very fortunate victory.
United will now turn their attention towards a Champions League second leg against Barcelona, whereas West Ham will host Leicester City in a game that will almost certainly make or break their unlikely push for a spot in the Europa League next season.
Man United: De Gea (7), Rojo (7), Jones (7), Smalling (6.5), Dalot (7), Fred (6), Pogba (8), Martial (7), Mata (7), Lingard (7), Rashford (6.5), Greenwood (6), Pereira (6.5)
West Ham: Fabianski (6), Zabaleta (7), Balbuena (6.5), Ogbonna (7), Masuaku (7.5), Anderson (7.5), Noble (7), Snodgrass (6.5), Lanzini (6.5), Hernandez (6.5), Diangana (6.5), Antonio (6.5), Fredericks (5.5)
Referee: Graham Scott
Goals: Pogba x2 :: Anderson
Yellow Cards: Mata, Fredericks
Red Cards: N/A
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