Luck Deserts Hammers At Old Trafford Again

The wait goes on for David Moyes to get his first Premier League win at Old Trafford, as West Ham United lost 1-0 to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

The Hammers’ boss made nine changes to the side that won UEFA Europa Conference League Group B and secured qualification to the knockout stage just three days earlier, as Łukasz Fabiański, Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson, Flynn Downes, Gianluca Scamacca, Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice, Tomáš Souček, Thilo Kehrer and Jarrod Bowen were all restored to the starting line-up.

Alphonse Areola, Vladimír Coufal, Angelo Ogbonna, Manuel Lanzini, Emmerson Palmieri, Pablo Fornals, Connor Coventry and Michail Antonio all dropped to the bench.

Both sides had European commitments ahead of this game but the Red Devils were clearly the fresher of the two teams having played their last top-flight game on the Saturday, whereas West Ham had to deal with playing in the Monday night fixture.

The first-half had chances at either end but neither side seemed able to take the opportunities on offer to them. Saïd Benrahma saw an opening early on but wasn’t able to make the most of his attempt as it was blocked.

Up the other end, Marcus Rashford tried his luck twice but couldn’t hit the target on either occasion. The first, he sent wide and then, Souček produced a superb challenge to deny him a route to goal. He was involved seconds later but this time, Fabiański came to the rescue for the visitors. The Pole also denied Cristiano Ronaldo.

Moyes saw his side go close again when Kehrer combined with Bowen but the winger, who missed Thursday’s encounter with an ankle injury, had his effort kept out by home goalkeeper David De Gea.

The hosts were under new management for the third straight meeting between the two sides, as Erik ten Hag was appointed in the summer.

On thirty eight minutes, the Dutchman could celebrate when his side opened the scoring. After a throw-in had been taken, former Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford midfielder Christian Eriksen combined with fellow new recruit Casemiro and crossed the ball to the back post, Rashford then beat Kehrer to the ball and headed past Fabiański who had no chance of keeping it out.

West Ham almost came up with an immediate equaliser but once again, they couldn’t beat De Gea.

Referee Christopher Kavanagh blew for half-time and the East Londoners were desperate to find a goal or two in order to make it a perfect week.

Fabiański seemed to be struggling before the end of the first forty five minutes and Moyes made his first change before the action resumed, as he replaced him with Areola.

The hosts were straight back on the attack after the restart but thankfully, Areola wasn’t tested, as all three chances went wide.

West Ham changed personnel again on fifty seven minutes, as Antonio replaced Scamacca in what is becoming an all too familiar striker swap and the move would have paid off, had it not been for a timely block from Lisandro Martínez.

The Hammers weren’t finished there however, as they ramped up the pressure and went close through both Benrahma and Dawson but the home side’s advantage remained intact.

Antonio was next to try for the equaliser but after getting the better of Scott McTominay, he then struck a scorching shot towards goal but the imperious De Gea was in the way again. The Spaniard was equal to another effort when he made a brilliant save to prevent Zouma’s header from beating him.

Erik ten Hag’s side could have made the points safe but fortunately for the travelling contingent, Fred saw his effort come back off the post.

The momentum then swung back West Ham’s way and Fornals raced past Bruno Fernandes to play in Bowen but, as he released the shot, it took a deflection off Red Devils’ Captain Harry Maguire.

The Irons were inches away from taking a share of the spoils back to East London with them. Benrahma has been impressive in all three of the recent games and he did well again here when he set up Rice, who thought he levelled the match but for another unbelievable save from De Gea.

The East Londoners will have to wait until after the upcoming Qatar World Cup for a chance to grab their second league win on the road. However, they are on their travels again on Thursday when Moyes’ side face their final Group B match in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday night against FCSB in Romania.