Fifth-Round Exit For Hammers Again

West Ham United are unfortunately out of the Emirates FA Cup after a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford in an all Premier League fifth-round tie on Wednesday night.

David Moyes only made three changes to the team that beat newly-promoted Nottingham Forest just four days earlier, as Alphonse Areola, Emmerson Palmieri and Pablo Fornals came into the starting line-up in place of the injured Łukasz Fabiański. Jarrod Bowen had picked up a minor injury but was fit enough for the bench, while Michail Antonio replaced the cup-tied Danny Ings.

Youngster Joseph Anang was named as the substitute goalkeeper, while Kamarai Swyer and Divin Mubama were also included in the matchday squad.

Despite playing two games ahead of this one, Erik ten Hag’s men made a good start. Areola kept the hosts at bay when he showed great reflexes to prevent Marcel Sabitzer from beating him, before he was called upon again and did well when he was tested by Alejandro Garnacho.

The Hammers were working their way into contest and could have gone ahead when Saïd Benrahma managed to get the better of the home sides centre-back pairing and set up Antonio but unfortunately, the former Nottingham Forest man was unable to beat David De Gea.

That didn’t deter the Irons however, as they created another opening when a great team move involving Captain Declan Rice, Lucas Paquetá and Benrahma ended with the Brazilian trying his luck but finding the Spanish goalkeeper in the way of his effort.

The hosts hadn’t really taken advantage of their bright start to the game and the East Londoners kept the pressure up. On thirty four minutes, Benrahma played in Palmieri but no other West Ham player was close enough to apply the final touch.

Given the form that the Red Devils have been in recently, the Irons would be pleased to have kept the game goalless when referee Michael Salisbury blew the whistle for the break.

The visitors were still full of confidence when the second-half started and continued from where they had left off before the interval. They were still putting ten Hag’s side under pressure and went close again in their search for the first goal. Benrahma sent in a looping cross which was met by Tomáš Souček but unfortunately, De Gea managed to keep the scores level.

Soon after, the Spaniard could do nothing to stop the Algerian winger putting the Irons in front. Palmieri and Benrahma couldn’t quite finish the earlier opportunity but they did better with this one and the travelling support were ecstatic.

Fornals could have doubled West Ham’s advantage but he sent his effort just wide of the far post. Moyes’ side should have atoned for that miss soon after and could have made the tie safe but once Antonio had done all the hard work and motored past substitute Lisandro Martínez and made his way into the area, he just couldn’t beat De Gea.

The Red Devils introduced Casemiro during the break and he thought he had put the home team back on level terms but, thankfully for those who had made the trip up from East London, striker was ruled offside and a VAR check confirmed that this was indeed the case.

With sixteen minutes of normal time to play, Moyes made his first change, as Bowen came on to replace Fornals.

The home team finally found a way past Areola when they were awarded a corner and when it was sent into the area by Bruno Fernandes. Unfortunately though, Nayef Aguerd got the final touch and diverted the ball past the Frenchman with thirteen minutes of normal time still to play.

Both managers made substitutions on eighty six minutes. Manchester United’s Dutch boss brought on Fred for Sabitzer, while Moyes introduced Gianluca Scamacca to take the place of Antonio.

Just as it looked like the tie was heading for extra-time, Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst had an effort blocked but it fell to the young Argentine Garnacho, who beat the visiting stopper with a cool finish.

The drama wasn’t over just yet though, as more questionable defending from Aguerd meant that Fred finished the job off with only seconds to play. He sent the ball past Areola.

The Hammers will now look to bounce back and achieve their first top-flight win over Brighton and Hove Albion when they go to The American Express Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.