Ole's wheels come off
I have never have I heard the West Ham fanbase so confident when playing one of the so called "top six clubs" than they were in the lead up to game against Manchester United at the London Stadium on Sunday 22nd. And this confidence grew when the likes of Pogba and Martial were announced unavailable.
Incredibly this confidence was met with a 2-0 win for the Irons resulting in them going unbeaten since the 5-0 drubbing in the opener at home to Manchester City. This leaves West Ham in fifth place, equal on points with third place Leicester, just two points behind second placed City and above other "Top Six" sides Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea.
The first half was a fairly even affair with neither side producing any real threats on goal and the resulting midfield battle was a dour affair compared to previous encounters between the two sides. However, in the 44th minute West Ham broke the deadlock through Andriy Yarmolenko. Mark Noble, cut inside from the wing and threaded the ball through to Felipe Anderson on the edge of the box. The Brazilians deft flick found Yarmolenko whose great first touch took him past Lindelöf and he buried the ball into the bottom corner of Manchester United goal, which saw to Irons go in in 1-0 up at half-time.
I was very much expecting a Manchester United onslaught at the start of the second half but this never materialised and West Ham looked comfortable throughout. Any threat from the opposition diminished when they lost striker Marcus Rashford who was replaced by Jesse Lingard who was no real competition for the West Ham centre backs. As for new wonder winger Daniel James, he spent most of the game in the pocket of the ever improving Ryan Fredericks.
It very much looked like the game would stay 1-0. However, in the 82nd minute Ashley Young recklessly fouled man of the match Mark Noble just outside the Manchester United penalty area. Aaron Cresswell, who had minutes earlier put a free-kick narrowly over from a similar distance, stepped forward and majestically curled the ball towards the top right-hand corner. De Gea managed to get hits finger tips to the ball but it was not enough to stop is nestling in the net to give the Irons a well deserved 2-0 victory.
So our unbeaten streak continues and it must be said that we are good value for this run, mixing good passing play, pace and a solid defence. Unbelievably, West Hams three clean sheets are the most in the Premiership. Unheard off! However, if you listen to the main stream media then this was more a Manchester United defeat, not a well earned victory for West Ham. It would be nice to get some credit, but it's also nice to remain under the radar whilst other predicted top six challengers like Wolves and Everton continue to struggle.
Match highlights can be found at the following link:
So next up for the boys is a tricky away Carabao Cup game at Oxford on Wednesday night followed by another tricky away game at Bournemouth on Saturday. I'm quietly confident.