- Marcus Rashford scored a dramatic winner in the last minute of injury time to hand a precious win for the Red Devils, which saw them leapfrog West Ham and momentarily take fourth place in the table. Marcus had come in for Elanga on the hour mark and looked hungry to prove himself, following the goal in mid-week against Brentford, also from the bench. With the match still goalless, Rangnick put Martial and Cavani on in the last ten minutes, in an attempt to break the deadlock and his move was rewarded, as Martial received the ball from Ronaldo outside the penalty area, he raced forward and slid it to the side to Cavani, whose low cross across the goalmouth was hammered in by Rashford from two metres out. The goal raised the roof at Old Trafford and it was just what United deserved. Against a resolute West Ham side, United bossed the first half without making the West Ham keeper work though. However, United were full of running when they had the ball and when not, they crowded the area around the ball and left no space for the West Ham players to create any chances. On the other hand, United created a number of half chances and their combination play showed an all-round improvement under the reign of Rangnick. The second half was more even, as West Ham had more time on the ball and created some chances, mostly from set pieces. All in all, the three points went to the team that tried harder to win them, and an additional bonus was climbing to fourth, admittedly having played a couple of matches more than Spurs.
- When the new manager came in six weeks ago, he tried to use the almost unknown 4-2-2-2 system for a few matches, with mixed result. What was obvious in that period was that the players he had inherited might not have been suited for that system, a case of trying to put square pegs in round holes. In the last three matches though, Rangnick switched to a 4-3-3 system, without a number 10 but with a midfield of two number 8s, one on each side of a holding midfielder. What that meant was that Fernandes and Fred had the responsibility to press high but also to retreat and receive the ball in our own half to make things happen. With this system, we are still making use of three players up front and this has created competition for those places. At the back, things are also looking much better, particularly today with Varane and Maguire putting in an assured performance and getting the better of Antonio and his teammates throughout the match, deserving the clean sheet. The first half showing against the Hammers was arguably the best performance of the season, considering the level of the opposition. I think that the performances will continue to improve as the Manager puts across his ideas to the team and the players embrace this 4-3-3.
- Varane and Maguire were very good against West Ham, as were most of the other United players on the field. Special mention today goes to Diogo Dalot however, particularly in the first half. Dalot is usually criticised for not being good at defending but that was not the case against West Ham. He did not put a foot wrong at the back and he was his usual enterprising self when going forward. On this form, Wan Bissaka will find it hard to reclaim his place in the team.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.