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Manchester United get the job done against West Ham but wobbly home form continues

Manchester United beat West Ham 1-0 in the FA Cup
Manchester United beat West Ham 1-0 in the FA Cup
Modified 10 Feb 2021

Any game between Manchester United and West Ham United is always expected to be tough, and that is exactly what happened when the two teams met in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday.

The Red Devils emerged 1-0 winners at Old Trafford in a game that had very few chances. Despite dominating proceedings, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side found it hard to break down West Ham’s resilient defense.

With a much-changed side struggling to find a way past the Hammers, the Norwegian was forced to bring on his regular stars from the bench to get the job done.

In the end, Scott McTominay’s shot from close range beat Lukasz Fabianski in extra-time to ensure Manchester United progressed to the quarter-final of the FA Cup for the eighth consecutive time.

Manchester United return to winning ways in shaky fashion

Despite winning against David Moyes’ side, Manchester United were rarely impressive. Solskjaer made five changes to the side that drew with Everton over the weekend and it affected the team’s rhythm.

Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw, David de Gea and Scott McTominay were all rested, while Donny van de Beek, Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matic, Alex Telles and Dean Henderson were handed starts.

The Red Devils controlled the game well, but struggled to create chances in the final third. The few chances that came their way were also squandered due to poor finishing.

After a disappointing 3-3 draw against Everton, there was a need for Manchester United to quickly return to winning. They have done just that, but their performance was uninspiring and it leaves much to be desired.


Red Devils' home struggles still a worry

The only reason why Manchester United are not currently at the top of the Premier League is their poor home form. The Red Devils have been impressive on the road but have simply failed to replicate their form at Old Trafford.

On Tuesday, they once against labored to a win against West Ham in what should have been a more comfortable result.

In his post-match press conference, Solskjaer revealed his frustration with his side’s performance, especially in the second half.

“I think we got about 15 to 17 shots in the end but we need to be more clinical. We should've finished the game off earlier and finished in 90 minutes but sometimes it doesn't happen,” he said, as quoted by
“Especially in the second half, I thought we struggled. First half, we have two or three big moments. Mason [Greenwood] had one when Anthony [Martial] laid it off, Victor Lindelof’s header that deflected, good save by the keeper. Alex [Telles] put a ball in for Donny [van de Beek] who couldn’t get a clean strike. So, first half, I think we dominated and controlled.
“Second half, not so happy with that one. After we scored, we should have scored two or three more, we’re too wasteful and we should have controlled the game more.”

Aside from the 9-0 win against Southampton, which came against nine men, Manchester United have been very poor at home and they once again struggled against West Ham in the FA Cup.

United desperately want to end the season with a trophy, but the only way they can do that is if they improve their form at Old Trafford.

Published 10 Feb 2021, 13:18 IST
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