David De Gea saved a stoppage-time penalty from Mark Noble to secure the 3pts for the traveling side. West Ham 1-2 Manchester United.
Both sides went into the game having very different results in their European competitions last week. West Ham won 0-2 away at Dinamo Zagreb and Manchester United lost 2-1 away to Young Boys. West Ham have always been a bit of a bogey team for the reds, so it was never going to be a straightforward game for Solskjaer’s men.
The match started off cagey with both sides trying to remain compact to avoid counterattacks. The passing was sloppy in the final third and the overall play was slow for the first 20 minutes. The first half-chance of the game fell to West Ham when Harry Maguire was caught holding onto the ball too long and it led to a Bowen shot that was well blocked by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
United then hit the post following a corner which fell to Bruno Fernandes at the back post, only to see his left-footed half volley tipped onto the post by Lukasz Fabianski. Tremendous save from the Polish international. West Ham then took the lead following a nice bit of play down the right-hand side, Bowen played the ball to Said Benrahma on the edge of the box, whose shot took a massive deflection off Raphael Varane and found the bottom corner, wrong-footing David De Gea.
That goal seemed to kick United into life, and just 5 mins later it was level. The ball found its way to Bruno on the left-wing and he played a great cross to the onrushing Cristiano Ronaldo who fired his volley from 12 yards at Fabianski, who couldn’t hold onto it. Ronaldo rushed in to tap in from a yard out to make it 1-1 at the half.
United started the 2nd half well and should have been ahead early on when Bruno slotted in Ronaldo to score, but he was thwarted again by a great save by Fabianski, however, Ronaldo would be disappointed not to have scored. United kept up the pressure and were largely in control of the game. Ronaldo isolated Coufal in the box, skipped past him, and was taken out by the Czech full backs trailing leg, referee Martin Atkinson waved it away and VAR also deemed it not a foul, poor officiating as it was a stonewall penalty to everyone else watching.
Ronaldo got free again in the box and was fouled again, but this time by Kurt Zouma, another clear and obvious error not spotted by the referee, and another clear and obvious error from VAR to not overturn the on-field decision. It looked like it was never going to fall for the Manchester side.
That was until the 85th minute, where subs Matic and Lingard combined down the left-hand side, Lingard receiving a crisp line-breaking pass from the Serb, cutting inside the box past 2 players, and curling one into the top corner. Nothing Fabianski could do about that one. A superb finish from the man who fired West Ham to Europe last season on his successful loan spell. Lingard refused to celebrate in front of the Hammers faithful as a show of respect after they welcomed him onto the pitch with a standing ovation and round of applause.
Just when you thought the drama was over, in the 93rd minute, West ham were awarded a penalty when Luke Shaw handled the ball following a Yarmolenko cross. With no recognised penalty taker on the pitch, and West ham having missed 4 out of the last 5 from the spot, David Moyes subbed on club captain Mark Noble to take the penalty kick. Noble has a stellar success rate from the spot and his first touch was to hopefully fire West Ham level in stoppage time.
With the crowd anticipating, Noble stepped up, fired his spot-kick to the right-hand side of the goal, where it was met by the strong arm of David De Gea who palmed it away. Incredible scenes at the London stadium. That was the Spaniard’s first penalty save in 5 years, and what a big one it proved to be. The game ended and United were heading back to Manchester with 3 valuable points. West Ham 1-2 Manchester United.
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