Match Report: West Ham 1 United 2
Manchester United clinched a dramatic 2-1 win over West Ham United in the Premier League following David De Gea's injury-time penalty save at the London Stadium.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men remain unbeaten in the Premier League this term after a thriller in the capital, which had the most dramatic ending.
United fell behind to a goal from Said Benrahma after 30 minutes when the Algerian’s strike deflected off Raphael Varane and into the net past De Gea, who could do nothing about it. Five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for the Reds with his fourth goal in three appearances since his return to Manchester.
The 147th meeting between the clubs had a very dramatic ending with United written all over it. Jesse Lingard put the Reds ahead with an incredible curler in the final minute of normal time before De Gea saved two points for Ole’s men with an all-important penalty stop in injury time.
The Reds were the dominant side from the off and created the first chance of the game but Varane’s header from a corner in the third minute went wide. Moments later, there was an injury scare as Paul Pogba sat down in pain but after medical treatment, our no.6 was able to continue in his left-sided role.
In the 16th minute, Benrahma reacted quickly to intercept Harry Maguire’s back-pass attempt to David De Gea but nothing came from the Hammers’ first really threatening attack. Jarrod Bowen received the ball from from the Algerian playmaker but Aaron Wan-Bissaka's excellent block prevented the ball from going in. Soon afterwards, Bowen again was denied, this time by a save from our Spanish no.1.
Ronaldo’s first attempt of the afternoon was a typical one from our no.7, having cut in from the left to fire towards goal. Unfortunately, Lukasz Fabianski was equal to the strike in the 24th minute. Three minutes later, our other Portuguese superstar, Bruno Fernandes, smashed the post with a driven strike following a Reds corner, with Fabianski getting an all-important touch to the shot.
On the half-hour mark, West Ham took the lead following a deflection. Benrahma had too much space around the edge of the box and the effort took an unfortunate change of direction, as the shot hit Varane, completely wrong-footed De Gea and the Hammers went ahead.
Luckily, the lead did not last long, and, of course, it was that boy Ronaldo who equalised for United five minutes after the hosts' opener. From Fernandes's clever ball into the box, our no.7’s initial shot was saved by Fabianski, but the prolific striker was there to react to the loose ball and easily tapped home to make it 1-1. Following a VAR check for offside, Ronaldo’s fourth goal in three appearances since his return to M16 made sure it was all-square at the break, although he also forced a smart stop out of Fabianski with another fierce shot before the interval.
SECOND HALF - LINGARD AND DE GEA WIN IT
In the first minute after the interval, Ronaldo was so close to send Ole’s men ahead. A misdirected pass in the West Ham defence ended at the feet of Fernandes, who put Ronaldo one-on-one with Fabianski. Unfortunately, the Hammers goalkeeper pulled off a magnificent save to keep the scores level.
United kept pressure on and won several corners before the hour-mark but struggled to create clear-cut chances as the West Ham defence stood firm. In the 72nd minute, Ole made changes to the United frontline as both Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood were replaced.
Jadon Sancho and Lingard came on as the Reds aimed to claim all three points at the London Stadium. Our no.14, who spent six months on loan at West Ham last campaign, received applause from the home fans but was soon to break their hearts.
It was end-to-end stuff for a few minutes as both sides hit each other on the counter-attack. Lingard and Fernandes combined with 15 minutes to go but our no.18’s attempt from outside the box went straight at Fabianski.
Moments later, Ronaldo was brought down in the box by Vladimir Coufal but referee Martin Atkinson waved play on, although there was clear contact, leaving our no.7 and his team-mates frustrated with the decision not to award a spot-kick.
With time running out, Lingard showed the home fans exactly what they’re missing with an absolute screamer to make it 2-1 to United. Cutting onto his right foot from the left wing, the Academy product curled in United's second of the afternoon, from a pass by Matic.
In stoppage time, after Ronaldo was denied what seemed a blatant penalty when felled by Kurt Zouma, substitute Noble stepped up to take a spot-kick at the other end, after a Luke Shaw handball in the area was spotted by VAR. De Gea showed his class and experience as he denied the home captain and penalty expert with a diving penalty save. Thanks to our no.1, United come away with all three points following an extremely dramatic ending to the game.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire (c), Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Matic 88); Greenwood (Lingard 72), Fernandes, Pogba (Sancho 72); Ronaldo.
Unused substitutes: Heaton, Bailly, Dalot, Mata, van de Beek, Martial.
Goal: Ronaldo 35, Lingard 89.
West Ham: Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen (Noble 90), Fornals, Benrahma (Lanzini 88); Vlasic (Yarmolenko 68).
Unused substitutes: Areola, Dawson, Noble, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Kral.
Goal: Benrahma 30.