It is now seven away league games without a victory for Manchester United after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham United.
While the Red Devils admittedly had to face the likes of Arsenal and an in-form Everton in the 2018/19 run-in, they have so far failed to beat Wolves, Southampton and the Hammers on the road this season.
We reflect on their latest away-day display in our Scout Notes below.
West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United
- Goals: Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.9m), Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m)
- Assists: Felipe Anderson (£6.9m), Mark Noble (£5.0m)
- Bonus: Yarmolenko x3, Cresswell x2, Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) x1
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Marcus Rashford (£8.5m) may be “out for a little while” after the England striker limped out of Sunday’s defeat to West Ham.
Rashford, again leading the line in the absence of the sidelined Anthony Martial (£7.6m), lasted an hour of the match at the London Stadium before having to be replaced.
Solskjaer said after full-time:
We’ve got to scan him tomorrow, he felt his groin. He’ll probably be out for a little while but I can update you later on when I know that.
Those comments would perhaps excite owners of Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) given United’s dearth of fit options up top, although the Norwegian went on to say that Martial isn’t too far away from a return.
Greenwood himself failed to make the 18-man squad this afternoon because of a bout of tonsillitis, with Solskjaer saying after full-time:
Hopefully, Mason and Anthony will be back for – definitely Arsenal – hopefully, one of them for Rochdale.
There was further positive news from Solskjaer regarding his injury-hit United side, with the United boss saying about the absent Paul Pogba (£8.4m) ahead of kick-off:
Hopefully, we can get him back next week. He started training yesterday. Probably get some minutes against Rochdale, but definitely we think he’s ready for Arsenal.
The players that made it onto the pitch didn’t pose much of a danger in a stuttering display, with Rashford fairly anonymous up top save for a couple of threatening darts from wide areas.
Daniel James (£6.2m) had little joy on his favoured left flank, meanwhile, with his only shot on goal hitting the side netting late in the game.
United’s striking crisis was laid bare when the Wales international briefly had a spell up front late in the game – United’s makeshift front four in the last ten minutes consisting of James, Jesse Lingard (£6.4m), Andreas Pereira (£5.0m) and Angel Gomes (£4.9m).
The imminent return of Martial and Pogba may well have a galvanising effect, of course, and Pogba’s creativity has been sorely missed in central midfield – Nemanja Matic (£4.8m) turning in another sub-par display in his stead.
Solskjaer said of his side’s attacking performance:
We didn’t create enough chances, but we did create big chances that we didn’t take. They didn’t create too many either and it’s a game that could have gone both ways. When you have Marcus and Dan James I don’t think pace is the problem..
The two sides’ defences will be a topic of discussion after this fixture.
For Manchester United, this was another away match without a clean sheet but there have been hints that the Red Devils are capable of recording more shut-outs than they managed last season.
Solskjaer’s side were undone by a well-crafted Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.9m) strike and a stunning Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m) free-kick but didn’t allow the Hammers a single ‘big chance’ all match and their expected goals conceded tally is the lowest of all 20 Premier League sides this season.
The Red Devils, indeed, have only allowed one big chance away from home in 2019/20.
Certainly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m) put in another solid shift from a defensive perspective, even if his distribution was bordering on the woeful.
West Ham, meanwhile, have quietly gone about racking up three successive clean sheets.
One of the worst defences of 2018/19 have looked surprisingly solid in the last three Gameweeks, with Angelo Ogbonna (£4.5m) and Issa Diop‘s (£4.5m) partnership blooming at the heart of the Hammers’ backline.
The return of the all-action (and sometimes criticised) Mark Noble (£5.0m) can’t be underestimated, either, with defensive midfielder Declan Rice (£4.9m) having looked exposed alongside Jack Wilshere (£4.8m) in the first two Gameweeks of the season.
That’s not to say that West Ham haven’t ridden their luck in the last three Gameweeks: Todd Cantwell (£5.0m), Wesley (£6.0m) and Jack Grealish (£5.9m) had all had gilt-edged opportunities against Manuel Pellegrini’s side and today it was the turn of Juan Mata (£6.4m) and Harry Maguire (£5.5m) to spurn excellent chances, with Mata unable to convert a Pereira cross from close range and Maguire firing straight at Fabianski when unmarked.
One worry for West Ham’s backline would be a possible injury picked up by right-back Ryan Fredericks (£4.5m), who limped off with ten minutes to go.
Pellegrini said of his side’s performance:
Manchester United didn’t create too many chances, we tried to play high, to have good recovery and you must be happy when you score two goals and don’t concede.
For 45 minutes we perhaps played too fast, and both teams lost too many balls, so to score the first goal was a key factor to try and win the game.
I said at half-time if we continued to defend as we did in the first half, not just in our box, but force them to make mistakes immediately when they came into our half, then we are not going to concede too many opportunities.
Sebastien Haller (£7.5m) wasn’t able to get much change out of Maguire but will have easier tests in the weeks ahead against less-solid backlines.
Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson (£6.9m) caught the eye, though, with the pair combining well for the Ukraine international’s goal and then Yarmolenko almost returning the favour in the second half.
In truth, this wasn’t a game for the attacking assets on show – which perhaps is a testament to the defensive improvement both sides have shown following a sub-par 2018/19.
West Ham United XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Fredericks (Zabaleta 79′), Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Rice; Yarmolenko (Snodgrass 88′), Fornals, Anderson (Wilshere 70′); Haller.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Young; Matic (Fred 70′), McTominay; Pereira, Mata (Gomes 80′) James; Rashford (Lingard 60′).
Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles
Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £17.50. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.
Lessons learned from Gameweek 6:
- Southampton 1-3 Bournemouth
- Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Burnley 2-0 Norwich City
- Everton 0-2 Sheffield United
- Manchester City 8-0 Watford
- Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United
- Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
- Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool