Manchester United 2-1 West Ham: 3 Takeaways from the match
Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 yesterday at Old Trafford to move into the 5th place in the Premier League table. United now have 64 points from 33 matches, whereas West Ham are leading the bottom half of the table with 42 points from 34 matches.
Paul Pogba scored both the goals for United through penalties and Felipe Anderson scored the only goal for West Ham. Yesterday’s win was a welcome relief for United, who have lost 4 of their last 6 matches. West Ham dominated ball-possession with almost 60% of it, but United did just about enough to secure a victory they needed badly.
United still trail Tottenham and Chelsea by 3 and 2 points respectively, whereas Arsenal are a point behind them with a game in hand. Thus, the race for the 3rd and 4th places seems to be no less captivating than the one for the title in Premier League this season.
We would now take a look at the 3 takeaways from yesterday’s match.
#1 United started with an asymmetrical 4-3-3, and got a dubious penalty decision in their favour
United started the match with an asymmetrical 4-3-3 formation with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard starting in the left and right wings respectively. Martial provided width through the left flank, and kept cutting in from the wings, but Lingard stayed in the central area more often.
As a result, United had to depend a lot on right-back Diego Dalot’s overlaps, as Lingard hardly posed any attacking threat through the right flank. Romelu Lukaku started as the centre-forward, but kept moving to either of the flanks to provide some crosses to the opposition penalty box at times.
United started with Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Fred in the midfield, as players like Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw were rested keeping in mind next week’s match-up against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Marcus Rojo started as the left back and Phil Jones played as the centre-back alongside Chris Smalling.
However, United got a lucky decision in their favour, as Mata was fouled just outside the West Ham penalty box, but the referee pointed to the spot. Pogba converted the penalty in the 19th minute to give United a 1-0 lead.