Manchester United travelled to Upton Park for the last ever game to be played there, with top 4 at the tips of their fingers, a win would mean a temporary fourth position and another one against Bournemouth at home would see them secure that, but thanks to West Ham, that didn’t happen.
West Ham united gave a fitting farewell to Upton Park by coming back from behind to finish it off at 3-2.
Manchester United had a pretty sad first half, constantly losing the ball, being outclassed everywhere and just playing pretty bad, it wasn’t a surprise when they conceded an early goal, while it becomes a driving factor for some teams, this squad didn’t budge, the game went on in a simillar fashion and it would’ve been 3-0 had it not been for a few bad misses. They picked up the pace in the final minutes of the first half and for the majority of the second, and were able to take the lead after two brilliant goals by Anthony Martial, their joy however was short-lived as they weren’t able to hold on to the lead for long, a few fouls outside the box allowed Hammer of the year, Dimitri Payet to deliver some brilliant passes into the box and both of them ended up behind the net, Manchester United’s lack of defensive skill in set piece situations hurt them when it mattered most, a few more tries by the devils saw no result and that was that.
- David De Gea couldn’t do much about any of the goals, poor defending is to be blamed for all three otherwise had a bad day and did well in a one on one situation against Caroll
- Antonio Valencia moved up the wing and gave Rashford a good chance to score, but thanks to some good defending, it didn’t go their way, but could have done better defensively
- Chris Smalling did well to keep a check on Andy Caroll, constantly heading the ball away from him, to be frank, he seems to be the only one in the back four who knows how to deal with an aerial ball
- Daley Blind did well when moving forward but made a few blunders in general, he could have done better when it came to the free kicks as well
- Marcos Rojo should be the first player to be axed under new management, the lad can’t seem to defend, he was responsible for the very first goal and again, this isn’t the only time such a thing has happened, a very bad first half but seemed to improve in the second
- Morgan Schneiderlin didn’t live up to his expectations, a sloppy ball gave away the possession to West Ham, which led to the first goal, in a more general sense, he was reluctant to give the ball in tough situations, we saw a positive change when he was subbed off for Carrick at half time.
- Ander Hererra would be a tough call, he could have done way better, didn’t live up to his potential and didn’t affect the game as much as fans expected him to
- Juan Mata did very well to hold the defenders as Rashford took the ball to build up the first united goal, seemed to improve after a bad first half but is not a player you’d like to see out wide
- Wayne Rooney was one of the finest players for United, with great lob and great mental presence, he seemed to be the only one to keep calm after conceding the early goal and did well in moving the ball up front, sad result after a good game for him.
- Anthony Martial was another streak of awesomeness in an otherwise dull-looking squad, scored both the goals and while the first one was an easy tap in, the second one required skill, he was outclassed by Antonio on the wing in the first half, but did well to come back and give Manchester United a temporary lead in the second
- Finally, Marcus Rashford seemed fine, made a few minor errors while dribbling, but has the potential to do great stuff and it shows as he set up Martial for the first goal quite exquisitely and stood firm in tough situations especially on the right.
Overall, a very sad result for United and a sigh of relief for City as they head into the final game week. Manchester United’s top 4 hopes aren’t quite over yet as they could take the number four spot if Manchester City lose to Swansea City and they win against Bournemouth.
While the top 4 race isn’t quite over yet, this match was pretty decisive, it would take a miracle for Manchester United to end up in the Champions League but one can’t say for sure, its the Premier League after all.