Goals evade Man United once again as their game at home to West Ham finishes goalless. Their fifth goalless draw in nine games.
Man United started the first half at a high tempo. Attacking the West Ham defence and pressing high when off the ball.
In the first ten minutes the reds had several shots at West Hams goal. The best chances involved Marouane Fellaini. In the 5th minute, Fellaini found himself running at the West Ham defence with Lingard in a very good position to his left. Instead, Fellaini decided to go it alone and have a shot. The shot was weak and drifted wide of Adrian’s post.
Four minutes later Paddy McNair curled in a cross from the right finding Fellaini at the back post, but the Belgian’s header went just over the bar.
There was a scare for Man United in the 12th minute when a Daley Blind pass fell to Noble. Noble played a through ball to Victor Moses who was one-on-one with David de Gea. The United keeper read the situation well and came out quick to save with his feet, deflecting the ball out for a corner. Zarate then headed the resulting corner wide.
Man United were next to come close to breaking the deadlock. In the 16th minute, Jesse Lingard whipped the ball in from the left toward Fellaini, who then chested the ball down to Anthony Martial. The 20 year old then hit a volley which looked to be going in but Winston Reid was there to rescue West Ham with a much appreciated block.
Back down the other end West Ham hit the post twice in the space of a minute. At the midway point of the first half, Cresswell arrowed in a cross which bounced off the chest of David de Gea. Chris Smalling stretched out a leg in an attempt to clear the ball but he hit it into Zarate’s face and it ricocheted onto the post and out.
Seconds later West Ham’s Winston Reid headed a corner onto the post. Man United appeared to be hanging on by a thread.
The game settled slightly for the remainder of the second half with West Ham, on a break, managing a shot from Noble. But the veterans shot was never on target.
The start of the second half was similar to the first with Man United pushing forward looking for a scoring opportunity.
Only one came as a Jesse Lingard shot in the 50th minute went marginally over the West Ham goal.
Man United seemed to sit off a little as West Ham gained some momentum. In the 55th minute, Zarate made easy work of beating Varela down the left. The West Ham winger then cut in from the left and hit a shot from outside the box. The shot was on target but David de Gea got down and gathered the ball.
A few seconds later Antonio beat Darmian with a cross into Andy Carrol. The West Ham striker touched the ball into Zarate who looked like he was clear through to slot past David de Gea, but instead miscued his shot and dragged it across the goal and out for a goal kick.
Man United’s fans became restless and boo’s were heard from the Stretford End with chants of “Attack! Attack! Attack!”.
The players reacted to the crowd and for the last half an hour really put pressure on West Ham.
During that spell United managed an approximate 10 attempts on goal. The best of these fell to Fellaini, Martial and Lingard.
On the hour mark Anthony Martial went on a winding run across the edge of the West Ham box. Reaching the byline he played a diagonal ball back to Fellaini who managed to get a foot on it. Many fans behind the goal thought it was going in but Adrian got down quickly to palm the ball off the line.
In the 81st minute, Memphis did what Memphis does by running at the defenders and cutting in. The Dutchman then played a pass into Martial who’s first time shot skimmed the outside of Adrian’s left hand post.
A minute later Jesse Lingard raced onto a loose ball and struck a shot fractionally wide.
At the full time whistle both fans and players alike were frustrated. The fans were very vocal with boo’s echoing around Old Trafford. Something which is slowly becoming commonplace.
One thing Man United can take from this match is that there was an increased amount of attacking football. Something fans have been crying out for. However, it means nothing if chances are not taken and games aren’t won.
United’s fourth draw in six Premier League games means they drop down to fourth in the table. The points United continue to drop could come back to haunt them later in the season.
What did you think of the game? Are you happy with the fact that they played with more attacking intent? Do you think Man United are heading in the right direction? We would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
You can also watch the Man United V West Ham match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.
Man United Team Sheet
McNair (Varela – 45′)
Schneiderlin (Carrick – 44′)
Schweinsteiger (Depay – 73′)
West Ham Team Sheet
Song (Obiang – 78′)
Moses (Antonio – 37′)
Zárate (Jenkinson – 88′)