The curious case of Manchester United

mufc-whfc-16After an exceptional win in the Europa League on Thursday night, Manchester United were brought back to earth by a resilient West Ham United side, and for the first time since the Premier League was created, the Red Devils failed to win four straight home games in this competition, possibly already denting their chances to get into the Top 4 by the end of the season. While everybody was almost expecting the same line-up as on Thursday, Mourinho did a Mourinho, and instead started both Rooney and Mkhitaryan, who starred on Thursday, on the bench, giving Rashford and Lingard the nod ahead of these two, and both youngsters failed miserably in their tasks today.

United had barely touched the ball, but yet were a goal down on the 2nd minute itself. Lingard fouled Payet, and the resulting freekick from the latter found Sakho in the box, who concluded with a diving header, despite Zlatan’s desperate attempt to deny the attacker by putting his foot in his usual karate style, nearly causing some serious damage to the latter had he made contact. United confiscated the ball thereon, with West Ham happy to let them do so as well, and defending deep. After some unsuccesful tries, United managed to get level thru Zlatan himself, as he managed to beat his marker, and rose high to meet Pogba’s cross with his head and past the keeper on the 21st minute. Pogba then produced an incredible dive, which got him booked, and the resulting crazy reaction from Mourinho got the latter sent off to the stands yet again.

West Ham looked more lively in the second half, as both Sakho and Payet tested De Gea, while United looked more in post-reaction mode may be due to the fatigue from Thursday’s game. Rooney and Mkhitaryan did eventually come on, followed by Fellaini, but the Red Devils were not able to carve a clear-cut chance on goal, and it needed a very alert De Gea in the dying minutes of the game to prevent West Ham from doing the perfect hold-up after Fletcher got thru on goal. The final whistle was accompanied with some boos from the crowd, and rightly so as United was expected to make a more convincing run after the appointment of Mourinho, but yet here they are struggling to score despite having much of the possession, and some of the players really look out of sorts and it might be better for them to leave the club and try their luck elsewhere where the expectation would not be too high on them.