United started the game with energy and good pace. Both sides tried to gain control of the match and were competitive. Then in the 18th minute the referee gave a penalty for United. Paul Pogba stepped up and blasted the ball past Lukasz Fabianski. Both teams were guilty of giving the ball away, and looked dangerous at times when they advanced with the ball. Then Felipe Anderson missed a header after a cross into the box by Robert Snodgrass.
Diogo Dalot’s left-footed shot went high and wide after an assist by Romelu Lukaku. Anthony Martial and Fred had chances to score as well but they were wasted. None of the sides were able to create any clear cut chances. The Hammers and United were disjointed and they lacked rhythm at times because each squad couldn’t hold on to the ball for long. Referee Graham Scott then blew the whistle for half-time.
In the second-half, Felipe Anderson made it 1-1 after an assist by Manuel Lanzini and the Brazilian scored from close range with a right-footed shot past David De Gea. De Gea was guilty of concededing possession that led to the goal. The visitors had their confidence up and they continued to put pressure on United. While the Red Devils kept conceding possession to the Hammers. Our midfield was almost non-existent as West Ham were just running through the middle of the park without any of our midfielders tracking and closing down the opposition.
Marcus Rashford had come on for Juan Mata in the 55th minute, and a few minutes later Rashford forced Fabianski into a low save after he ran into the right side of the box. United all in a sudden were putting their passes together and they looked dangerous again. Rashford had a header in the box that went over the bar following a cross from Dalot.
It was end to end stuff. In the 77th minute Michail Antonio who replaced Chicharito 4 minutes earlier almost scored twice after he struck the bar with a powerful shot from outside the box. Then his strong header produced an outstanding save from De Gea. But the Red Devils would get a huge break when Martial was fouled by Ryan Fredricks in the box that was a certain penalty. Pogba got his second goal when he rifled his shot hard and low to the keeper’s right side to give United the lead.
Even though it was 2-1 to the home side, we still looked shaky when the visitors continued to press us. We were barely holding on at times and no doubt the Old Trafford crowd were nervous. With 5 minutes of injury time to go United were able to hold on to obtain a vital 3 points.
We were far from our best today and we were lucky to win this match. The Hammers had 58% of the possession compared to United’s 42%. West Ham had 11 corner kicks and United had 3.
What did you think of today’s performance?