After a thrilling Manchester Derby win in the Premier League last week, Manchester United look to maintain their momentum against surprising top-4 contenders West Ham United. They did just that with a dominating 1-0 win thanks to an own-goal from Craig Dawson. Bit of a strange game, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take that!
The Red Devils were all over West Ham in the first half, dominating 65.8% of the possession. They even got a few decent chances but just not clinical enough to finish them.
But the Red Devils started the second half with more urgency and broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, when Bruno Fernandes’ corner was headed into his own net by Craig Dawson. United wasted some more chances to double or triple their lead, but were absolutely perfect defensively which helped them hold onto the lead.
The Red Devils are back in 2nd place in the PL and now 9 points clear off 5th-place West Ham – with this win giving a big boost into securing a Champions League spot!
Manchester United player ratings vs West Ham
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.0)–
Knowing that he didn’t have his best attackers on hand today, Solskjaer just ensured that his side dominated possession than try a mindless all-out-attack style. It ultimately worked wonders! The Red Devils dominated proceedings, got a scrappy (yet deserved) goal and just didn’t let West Ham play like they wanted to. His defensive shape was brilliant today too and resulted in some great performances.
Only worrying thing is the fact that he did not make a single substitution, even with Rashford looking exhausted and James sloppy. Needs improvement on that but Solskjaer outwitted David Moyes and never allowed his team to get going!
Dean Henderson (6.0) –
Henderson starts his fourth consecutive PL game with De Gea still sidelined. Had no shots at all to save today. His collection of high crosses and distribution was top class. 4th consecutive clean sheet as well! Will be difficult for De Gea to replace him now.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.5) –
With West Ham intent on attacking through the left, Wan-Bissaka has a tough job on his hands. Booked for a rough challenge on Antonio in the 35th. Did a superb job to eventually nullify West Ham’s threat down his side, blocking an important supply chain for them and making them look clueless in attack. Created a few decent chances and made some terrific interceptions to steer away danger.
Harry Maguire (9.0) –
Maguire seems eager on playing a more attacking than defensive role today, venturing forward to get the ball into the West Ham half. Played his part to force Dawson’s OG by pressing him into the header. Makes a terrific goal-saving block to deny Bowen in the 64th.
The United captain was an absolute rock at the back today. Dealt with West Ham’s crosses & physicality perfectly, popping up in all the right areas to clear away danger. Made 7 clearances, won 5 aerials and came up cluch on multiple occasions. Looked extremely comfortable doing all that under pressure and the fact that West Ham had 0 shots on target is mostly due to his heroics.
Victor Lindelof (7.5) –
Lindelof looks very sharp at the back today, keeping the dangerous Antonio very quiet in the first half. Worked really efficiently with Maguire to keep a very strong defensive line. Read the game brilliantly to make some great clearances and never let the Hammers threaten him on the fast-breaks. Showed incredible composure in a solid outing.
Luke Shaw (8.0) –
The in-form left-back has a great start, speeding his way into the box to create a decent chance in the 3rd. At the heart of nearly every United attacking moves and making some promising forward runs. Makes a terrific goal-saving block to deny Soucek in the 79th. Kept West Ham’s threat nullified all game long on his side, making some clutch challenges to keep Bowen & co quiet. Still the best LB in England.
Scott McTominay (6.5) –
McTominay seems to be given the role of playing the more attacking of the CM’s but being unable to find any space to drive through in midfield. Booked for clobbering down a West Ham player in the 49th. It seems he got the last touch before Dawson’s OG, giving him the assist for it!
He progressed the ball forward really well and worked hard defensively, winning aerial battles and making some key challenges. Maybe not a best but a solid shift in midfield from Scott nonetheless.
Fred (6.5) –
Fred’s been a bit sloppy with his passing in the first half and caught out of position sometimes, which didn’t help anyone. Improved later on, helping distribute the ball better even though his creativity was at a minimum again. Struggled a bit against West Ham’s physicality but worked well with his teammates to maintain a sturdy shape all game long.
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
With two bullish midfielders in Rice and Soucek marking him, Bruno needs to turn up his unpredictable factor. Some lovely skills & link-up play with Greenwood in the 23rd, but scuffs his weak-footed shot wide. Set up Greenwood’s chance in the 36th with a nice through-ball.
After creating a number of chances, finally gets his special moment after his whipped cross resulted in Dawson’s OG. Then almost his goal in the 60th with a thunderous shot from outside the box only to see it saved brilliantly. Nearly played through on goal five minutes later, but unable to flick it past the onrushing Fabianski.
Very unlucky not to get a goal or assist after creating 5 goal-scoring chances and being the vocal point of United’s possessional dominance. Helped his side keep a grip on the game and never let go of it.
Mason Greenwood (7.5) –
Having last scored against Liverpool in January, Greenwood desperately needs a goal. Almost got one in the 3rd, but couldn’t get himself to Shaw’s pass. Almost sets one up for Rashford in the 24th with a brilliant cross. Then creates another in the 30th with a sharp run inside the box but his pass is intercepted.
Then danced past Dawson to get a proper strike at goal in the 36th, only to see it brilliantly saved. Got a big chance to score in the 77th but hits the post after a thunderous attempt! So unlucky! Mason was super sharp with his movement, link-up play and tormented West Ham defenders with his presence. Extremely unfortunate not to get a goal but he’s getting there!
Daniel James (4.0) –
James looks intent on troubling the West Ham defenders with his pacy runs. Unable to see much of the ball in the first half, only running around everywhere to help defensively on occasions. Defensively he might’ve been good, but he wasted multiple counter-attacks and again looked clueless in the final third. United really need a better right-winger.
Marcus Rashford (4.5) –
Rashford passes a late fitness test to start this one. Misses an absolute sitter in the 24th, flicking a free header wide from few yards out. Then strikes another weak header straight at Fabianski in the 38th. Booked in the 76th for a reckless sliding tackle. He did create a few decent chances, but Rashford looked very unfit today.
No substitutions at all from Solskjaer in this game, which was strange!
MAN OF THE MATCH
Shaw and Fernandes were superb today, but Harry Maguire was an absolute colossal who did not West Ham get a sniff at goal. Probably his best performance of the season. Deserves the MOTM today.