Manchester United’s challenging start to the season continued as they fell to a 2-0 away defeat against West Ham United on Sunday.
Some smart play from Mark Noble and Felipe Anderson got Andriy Yarmolenko free in the Man Utd penalty area in the first half and his excellent control and finish had the Hammers 1-0 up at the break.
Man United toiled in the second half and looked bereft of both creativity and confidence. Their misery was complete when Aaron Cresswell’s 84th-minute free-kick found its way into the top corner via the “poppadom hand” of David de Gea.
A brilliant result for Manuel Pellegrini and a nightmare for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but how did the players rate?
West Ham United
Lukasz Fabianski – 7 – Didn’t really have to make any testing saves until well into the second half as Man United struggled to create telling opportunities. Carried out what was required of him with ease.
Ryan Fredericks – 6 – Did a decent job when put up one-on-one with Man United’s faster players. The only criticism would be that when he roamed up the pitch, it left the much slower Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna exposed to Daniel James’ pace. Replaced late on due to injury.
Issa Diop – 6 – Less than convincing when he was dragged wide but dealt well with everything that came into the West Ham penalty area.
Manuel Pellegrini has now beaten Man Utd under each of their permanent post-Ferguson managers:
L̶o̶u̶i̶s̶ ̶v̶a̶n̶ ̶G̶a̶a̶l̶
O̶l̶e̶ ̶G̶u̶n̶n̶a̶r̶ ̶S̶o̶l̶s̶k̶j̶æ̶r̶
Who’s next? pic.twitter.com/hKtAibqv7Z
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 22, 2019
Angelo Ogbonna – 5 – Was booked for an old fashioned clattering of James in the first half. Battled well but, like Diop, was often dragged wide and struggled due to a lack of pace when that happened.
Aaron Cresswell – 7 – Was wasteful in possession at times but all can be forgiven for bending that free-kick in and sealing the game for West Ham. Looked solid defensively.
Declan Rice – 8 – Ended the first half with a 100% pass success rate and was one of the few players to show genuine quality in a poor 45 minutes of football. This continued into the second half, where the England international anticipated and cut out potential danger very well.
Felipe Anderson – 8 – Played a wonderful first-time pass to Yarmolenko to set up the opening goal and in a game of painfully low quality, it’s these contributions from the tricky Brazilian which can make the difference over the course of a season for the Hammers.
Pablo Fornals – 6 – Showed a few nice touches here and there but his delivery wasn’t quite up to the standard he’s already shown in a West Ham shirt.
Mark Noble – 8 – Was given far too much space in the build-up to West Ham’s goal and used it well to play the ball to Anderson and set things in motion. Won the foul for West Ham’s second and recycled possession well with Rice. Battled well in midfield as always.
Andriy Yarmolenko – 8 – Excellent control and finish to score the opening goal and he was one of the few players on the pitch to show intelligence and lively movement off the ball. West Ham look a far better team when Yarmolenko is on the pitch.
Sebastien Haller – 6 – Won a few headers and held the ball up well when he could but never quite got into the game as the likes of Yarmolenko and Anderson did.
Jack Wilshere (70 mins, for Anderson) – 7 – Looked sharp and fresh when he came on, driving the ball at the Man United back four and linking up well with his team-mates.
Pablo Zabaleta (80 mins, for Fredericks) – 6 – Replaced the injured Fredericks late on and kept West Ham’s right flank nice and solid.
Robert Snodgrass (89 mins, for Yarmolenko) – 6 – Late substitute as Pellegrini looked to run down the clock.
David de Gea – 4 – Little he could do about Yarmolenko’s goal but given that he got a hand to the Cresswell free-kick, really should have kept it out. “Poppadom hands” was an apt description from Gary Neville.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8 – Wan-Bissaka’s tackling game was on point as always and his recovery across the back four to stop Fornals in the first half was a perfect example of just how much of an intelligent defender he is. Delivered a few dangerous crosses into the West Ham box but was let down by Man United‘s lack of movement.
Victor Lindelof – 6 – Usually so confident in possession, Lindelof was often guilty of sloppy passing on Sunday. Can’t really be blamed for either goal, though.
Gary Neville on David de Gea: "Poppadom hand. Crumbled." pic.twitter.com/XR7vQvY8Zr
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 22, 2019
Harry Maguire – 6 – Was strong in the air and looked more assured with the ball at his feet than most of his Man United team-mates. Missed a big chance at 1-0.
Ashley Young – 5 – Gave away the free-kick which lead to West Ham’s second goal and never looked like offering Man United an outlet down the left-hand side.
Scott McTominay – 6 – Offered more than any other Man United midfielder, trying more progressive passes and making positive runs forward in the second half. There’s only so much he can do on his own, though.
Nemanja Matic – 4 – Slow in possession and wasteful when he actually got his passes away. Matic continues to look a shadow of his former self, lacking in confidence and halting Man United‘s rhythm more often than not when he gets the ball.
Andreas Pereira – 6 – Played a couple of nice through balls and tried his best to help James isolate the West Ham centre-backs. Made a match-high four tackles.
Juan Mata – 4 – Unusually poor decision making from the Spaniard who couldn’t quite find his weight of pass. Was booked and missed a glorious chance in the six-yard box in a horror start to the second half. Did actually look more lively after the break but only in comparison to what had come before. Subbed with 10 minutes remaining.
Daniel James – 6 – Looked at his best when driving inside and isolating the West Ham centre-backs. Man United didn’t even come close to playing to this strengths enough, though,
Marcus Rashford – 3 – Never looked himself at all, struggling to keep pace with the game and appearing tired even after the shortest of sprints. Lost control of the ball when racing into the area in the first half and then pulled up with a thigh injury in the second. A worrying display.
Jesse Lingard (61 mins, for Rashford) – 6 – Replaced the injured Rashford in the second half. Tried to get Man United going with some lively movement and dangerous passes but couldn’t turn the tide for Solskjaer.
Fred (71 mins, for Matic) – 5 – Replaced Matic but looked just as sloppy and reserved in possession as the Serbian.
Angel Gomes (81 mins, for Mata) – 6 – A late change which smacked of desperation from Solskjaer. Couldn’t get into the game.