Similar performance, different match. Manchester United had a two goal lead, let the opposition score and were then on the back foot for the rest of the game. No, we’re not talking about Leicester City last week either.
Today’s game against West Ham followed a repeating pattern of first half domination and then a second half struggle, albeit the circumstances were ever so slightly different thanks in no small part to Wayne Rooney‘s red card.
United were in cruise control at 2-0 up and West Ham were being kept very quiet simply because of the fluid attacking football United were playing going forward. They couldn’t contain us.
That completely changed in the second half but United managed to hold on for the three points thanks to some fantastic defensive work.
Determined defending. There were similarities from today’s performance to West Ham in that the first-half was a great show of attacking football but what United had today was a dogged determination in defence, rather than the Sunday League showing at the King Power Stadium last week.
United dug their heels in to resist the swathes of attacks West Ham launched at them and it paid off when Lee Mason blew the final whistle. There was definitely some progress from United’s defending last week.
Wayne Rooney performance. Rooney lambasted his team-mates after Esteban Cambiasso scored Leicester’s equaliser last week but he should be the one being shouted at after today.
In the first half, Rooney was playing very well and his goal typified that but, inexplicably, he decided to lash out with a kick only a few metres away from Lee Mason who rightly sent him off.
There’s nothing wrong with a captain getting a red card, Roy Keane taught us all that, but Rooney’s kick out was petulant and the catalyst for West Ham’s resurgence in the last 30 minutes. He needs to take a look at himself.
The 19-year-old’s were thrown right into the cauldron after United’s 5-3 loss to Leicester last week and Rooney’s red card meant their backs were up against the wall for half an hour, but they battled through.
Particular praise has to go to McNair whose stunning defensive clearance with a backwards header kept United 2-1 ahead.
Well done to the pair of them.