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Manchester United 1-1 West Ham- 5 Talking Points

West Ham did not let Manchester United
West Ham did not let Manchester United's midfield take charge of the game
Shambhu Ajith
Modified 23 Jul 2020, 01:42 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

Manchester United came back from a goal down in the second half to come away with a much-needed point. West Ham United were well organized and ready to sit back and let Manchester United have the majority of the possession and hit them on the counter.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, clearly running short on fuel after all that swashbuckling football they played immediately after the restart, found it hard to break through the resolute West Ham defensive line.

Pogba's poor decision making (or reflexes) gave away a penalty which was slotted in by Michael Antonio in first half stoppage time. United got their goal shortly into the second half when Anthony Martial combined with Mason Greenwood on the edge of the area with the latter finishing off to restore parity.

Let's take a look at the 5 talking points from the game.

#5 Paul Pogba concedes a poor penalty for Manchester United and looks off colour

Paul Pogba had a game to forget
Paul Pogba had a game to forget

In the 46th minute of the game, West Ham United got a freekick 30 yards from goal and Declan Rice went hell for leather and drove a shot towards goal. Paul Pogba caught himself in the firing line and raised his hand to protect his face.

It's human impulse but you get the sense that footballers really need to overcome that sort of thing. Putting your hand up where the ball is heading is a sure shot way of conceding a penalty and Paul Pogba found that out in the harshest manner. It is, at the end of the day, down to a lack of concentration.

Pogba had a poor game today. Matic, Pogba and Bruno were often found within close proximity of each other and could rarely be in positions where they could affect the game. Michail Antonio sidefooted the penalty home after sending David de Gea the wrong way.


#4 West Ham blockade too difficult to break down as high press causes United problems

West Ham got a well deserved and much needed point
West Ham got a well deserved and much needed point

Manchester United love to play out from the back and today, particularly in the first half, West Ham United made them really uncomfortable in their own defensive third by pushing high up the pitch, something that worried United in their games against Southampton and Chelsea.

West Ham, however, if the initial press were to fail would push backwards into their own territory immediately and try to leave very little space in between their midfield and defence so as to not allow Bruno Fernandes or Pogba to show up in those pockets from where they love to affect the game.

It worked for the most part and given how tired Manchester United's players looked in the second half, all West Ham needed to do was not lose their shape when they were retreating.

#3 The gulf in class between Manchester United's starters and subs is too much

Aaron Wan Bissaka almost immediately improved Manchester United
Aaron Wan Bissaka almost immediately improved Manchester United's backline after being brought on

This is a point that was clear from Manchester United's opening half performance against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final. The Red Devils' substitutes are simply not on the same level as the starters and the only way this team ticks is if all of Ole's first choice players are on the pitch.

It might be a little too harsh on Timothy Fosu Mensah, who is only playing his third game of the season but replacing him with Aaron Wan Bissaka immediately helped Manchester United both offensively and defensively.

Even Marcus Rashford had an off day and Ole did not have a wide player who could just come in, take over and hope to replicate what the young English striker does when he's in form.

It just goes to show that Manchester United are still 2 or 3 top signings away from becoming a side that could really pose a challenge for the titles next season.

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Published 23 Jul 2020, 01:42 IST
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