Hammers Turn up Heat on Red Devils
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 23 Sep 2019 13:46:00
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West Ham United kept their fourth clean sheet in all competitions as they followed up their goalless draw with newly-promoted Aston Villa last Monday night by beating Manchester United 2-0 in Stratford on Sunday afternoon.

Manuel Pellegrini made two changes to the side that played at Villa Park as Aaron Cresswell came in for the suspended Arthur Masuaku, while Pablo Fornals replaced Manuel Lanzini and made his full home debut. Lanzini missed out due to a minor foot injury.

The visitors were looking for their first success on the road this season and they started well but some last-ditch defending from Declan Rice thwarted Marcus Rashford when he was through on goal.

Rashford was denied again just minutes later, this time by Issa Diop. The Frenchman beat him to the ball following Aaron Wan Bissaka's perfect cross from the right.

Hammers' captain Mark Noble could have put his side ahead after Fornals had played him in with a free-kick but unfortunately for the home faithful, the skipper's volley didn't trouble goalkeeper David De Gea.

The opening goal arrived just before the break with Noble again playing an integral part. A great team move involving him and Felipe Anderson resulted in Andriy Yarmolenko scoring his second goal in three games as he evaded the attentions of Harry Maguire to send the ball flying past De Gea.

The Irons went into the break with the advantage and confident of a second consecutive home victory against the Red Devils.

Although possession was spread evenly in the early stages of the second-half, the visitors seemingly missed a great chance to equalise through Juan Mata, as he couldn't quite connect with Andreas Pereira's far post cross.

The pacey tempo of the game continued and up the other end, Yarmolenko almost grabbed his second when a ball from Anderson found its way to him and he raced into the box before seeing his deflected effort miss the target by the narrowest of margins.

Anderson then picked up possession from Ashley Young and played a one-two with Yarmolenko before forcing De Gea into a great save.

Hammers' stopper Lukasz Fabianski twice prevented Ole Gunnar Solskjær's men from finding an equaliser. Firstly; he dealt well with Scott McTominay's close-range header and then making a superb save with his feet to deny Maguire.

On 70 minutes Pellegrini introduced his first substitution, as Jack Wilshire took the place of Anderson.

The Red Devils were really pressurising Fabianski by this point but he was alert to deny Daniel James an effort on goal, before making a spectacular save from substitute Jesse Lingard.

With 80 minutes gone, Pellegrini was forced into a change as Pablo Zabaleta entered the fray for Ryan Fredericks.

The game was put out of the opposition's reach four minutes later when Cresswell sent a free-kick into the net, leaving De Gea with no chance.

One final change was made for West Ham in the last minute of normal time with Robert Snodgrass coming on for Yarmolenko.

The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the home faithful as it meant that the Hammers climbed back into the top half of the table following the weekend's results.

Before their next Premier League encounter away at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, attention turns to Wednesday night's Carabao Cup third round tie against Sky Bet League One side Oxford United at The Kassam Stadium.

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