Stalemate at Old Trafford
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 06 Dec 2015 11:59:00
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West Ham United now haven't won since the 2-1 home win over Chelsea back in September.

On Saturday afternoon they faced another one of the big boys, as they came up against the challenge of Manchester United at Old Trafford and although they couldn't quite follow up the successes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City by taking all three points back to East London, they still turned in a determined performance to grab a point, as the encounter ended goalless.

Slaven Bilic made four changes to the side that drew at home to West Bromwich Albion last weekend, as James Tomkins returned in defence, after being rested against the Baggies. Captain Mark Noble also returned from suspension, while Andy Carroll and Alex Song also came in.

Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini missed the game due to injury, while Pedro Obiang and Carl Jenkinson were left out of the side.

Louis van Gaal's side applied the early pressure and could have gone ahead on six minutes but Marouane Fellaini dragged his effort wide.

Fellaini went close again when his header went over the bar following Paddy McNair's inviting cross.

Just two minutes later, the Hammers had a great chance to open the scoring themselves when Noble sent Victor Moses through but David De Gea was first to the ball.

After Fellaini's header had found Anthony Martial on 15 minutes, the Frenchman was through on goal, only to be denied by a superb goal saving challenge by Winston Reid.

West Ham had a golden chance to go ahead on 21 minutes after De Gea couldn't hold Aaron Cresswell's cross and the ball fell to Mauro Zarate, whose effort hit the post.

Seconds later, Reid saw his header come back off the post. The Irons were certainly having a go in Manchester.

On 36 minutes, Moses had fallen awkwardly and was unable to continue, so Michail Antonio replaced him.

After two minutes had been added at the end of the first 45, West Ham were happy that they had kept the home side at bay as the two teams headed down the tunnel.

The Red Devils were quickly back into their stride at the start of the second-half and they nearly broke the deadlock just three minutes after the restart but Tomkins prevented Fellaini from going through on goal with another well timed block.

The East Londoners had another chance on 54 minutes, when Zarate only had De Gea to beat but the goalkeeper saved well.

Zarate tried to beat De Gea again minutes later, but this time the Argentine struck his shot wide of the post.

Fellaini was denied another chance to open the scoring on the hour mark as Adrian denied him with a superb save.

On 77 minutes, Bilic made a change, as Obiang was introduced in place of Song.

Two minutes later, the home side nearly grabbed a late goal as Martial went very close to giving the home side the lead but his shot went inches wide and the Hammers survived.

After Zarate had won a freekick for his side on 85 minutes, the manager decided to make a final change just two minutes later, as the forward was replaced by Jenkinson.

With time ticking away, Reid made another superb challenge to prevent Martial from giving the home side a late winner.

After three minutes of additional time had been signalled, the final whistle blew and West Ham had earned only their third clean sheet of the season.

Goals will be the order of the day next Saturday, as Stoke City visit Upton Park.

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