West Ham United 3-1 Manchester United: 4 Mistakes by Mourinho that cost the game
Manchester United travelled to the London Stadium to face West Ham United desperate to get back to winning ways, however, when the team list was announced, there were a few surprises. Mourinho started with De Gea in goal, and Young, McTominay, Smalling, Lindelof and Shaw in defence. He opted for Pogba, Fellaini, and Matic in the middle, with Lukaku and Martial up front.
However, before United could even start putting a few passes together, they were a goal down! Felipe Anderson gave McTominay the slip and scored in the 5th minute. United tried to get back into the game, however, West Ham were 2-0 up in the 43rd minute, after Yarmolenko’s shot found a huge deflection off Lindelof and De Gea could only gather the ball out of his net.
In the second half, Mourinho brought on Rashford in place of Lindelof, and the young Englishman scored in the 71st minute, only for Arnautovic to put West Ham 3-1 up 3 minutes later. The game ended 3-1 to West Ham and United were now on their worst start to the Premier League season.
Manchester United were outplayed by West Ham, but the blame has to be put on Mourinho, as the Portuguese continues to repeat similar mistakes. Ultimately, there were 4 mistakes from Mourinho that cost United against West Ham and we look at them here.
#4 Switching to a 5 man defense
Mourinho has done this before, against Tottenham and he was handed a brutal lesson, however, the Portuguese refuses to learn from his mistakes. Like the Tottenham game, Mourinho switched to a 5 man defence, with a midfielder as a centre-back. Against West Ham, Mourinho used McTominay and it was a disastrous decision.
First, United’s four-man defence had been doing decently in recent times, especially the combination of Smalling and Lindelof. Why Mourinho decided to change it can be explained by the Portuguese himself, but it caused little good.
With a third centre-back in the middle, Smalling and Lindelof’s positions were shifted and caused a lot of confusion, especially with the marking. However, had this been a defender like Bailly, maybe things would have been different. Having a midfielder in the mixed caused further trouble.
McTominay was directly responsible for the opening goal and the third goal when he allowed Anderson and Arnautovic to run free. The midfielder looked lost and rightly so because it is a position he is not used to playing in. When Mourinho decided to make a change, strangely, he took off Lindelof and put on Rashford, making McTominay play in a 4 man defence now! For a young midfielder, playing in two different defensive formations in the same game, was a bit too much and this was a big error from Mourinho.