West Ham vs Manchester United: Five things we learned as David de Gea earns visitors dramatic win

West Ham 1-2 Manchester United: Ronaldo and Lingard scored United’s goals as they came from behind to win

Dylan Terry
Sunday 19 September 2021 16:07
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<p>Lingard scored the winner against the club he was on loan at last season </p>

Lingard scored the winner against the club he was on loan at last season

Jesse Lingard scored a late winner for Manchester United on his return to West Ham as David de Gea saved a last-minute penalty from Mark Noble to hand them a 2-1 victory.

Said Benrahma opened the scoring on the half hour mark when his shot took a wicked deflection off Raphael Varane and wrong-footed David de Gea.

But their lead lasted just five minutes as Cristiano Ronaldo netted his fourth goal since returning to England. The 36-year-old latched on to the end of a Bruno Fernandes cross and poked home at the second attempt after Lukasz Fabianski spilled his initial effort.

Manchester United probed for a winner in the second half and finally found a way through through a superb strike from Lingard.

More drama was yet to come though as West Ham were awarded a penalty when the ball struck Luke Shaw’s arm, only for substitute Noble - who came on especially for the spot kick - to be thwarted by De Gea.

Here is five things we learned from the Premier League game.

Ronaldo forced to drop deep early on... then goal

These days Cristiano Ronaldo is at his most effective inside the penalty area as he has evolved into a player whose primary function is scoring goals. At the London Stadium that went out the window for much of the first half as he was forced to drop into pockets of space far away from the West Ham goal.

Ronaldo looked isolated up front when he was waiting to receive the ball and that appeared to frustrate him as he fell back into the midfield to try and link the play. He was feeding on scraps and had very little impact on the game in the opening 30 minutes.

Then, out of nowhere, goal. This is what teams will have to get used to when they play against Ronaldo. He will go silent in games for large periods of time and then find the back of the net out of nowhere. It’s simple but effective.

Moyes still awaiting revenge on former club

Manchester United sacked Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor Moyes after less than one season at the club, a short spell which will ultimately go down as a failure.

Since then, he has not won a single match against the club that got rid of him seven years ago. And the wait for a victory over United goes on for the Scottish coach as they spurned a 1-0 lead. It will have brought back memories of last season when they led at half-time but were then beaten 3-1 as United fought back from behind.

Moyes will have another opportunity to face his old side in midweek when the two teams square off in the Carabao Cup. Will he finally be able to break his duck then?

Fabianski with mixed fortunes despite superb saves

Fabianski had a complicated afternoon, one which may not be too kind to him if you just tuned in to watch the goals. He really should have held Ronaldo’s first effort but instead spilled it and the Portuguese forward did not need a second invitation to gobble up the rebound.

But that should not overshadow what was a sensational display of shot-stopping from the Polish keeper. His save from Fernandes’ first half effort was incredibly special, tipping it onto the post with a wonderfully acrobatic stop.

He then atoned for his mistake which led to the Ronaldo goal by thwarting him in the second half, speedily rushing out to his feet and blocking the shot.

It’s just a shame that his opposite number De Gea will get all the headlines.

Greenwood ineffective on the right

After a difficult start to the match, Manchester United’s potent attacking quartet actually looked pretty dynamic... for the most part. The link-up play between Ronaldo and Fernandes was clear for all to see and Paul Pogba looked impressive coming in off the left.

But the conundrum for Solskjaer remains on that right-hand side. With Jadon Sancho reduced to a place on the bench, there was a chance for Mason Greenwood to stake a claim.

But the young English forward is clearly better suited to playing through the middle as he struggled to make any sort of impact on the game. He was kept extremely quiet by Aaron Cresswell.

Lingard gets warm reception before winning goal

It’s been a difficult week for Jesse Lingard following his poor backpass which led to the stoppage time winner for Young Boys in the Champions League.

He would have had mixed feelings when returning to the London Stadium to the club where he spent the second half of last season on loan. Lingard netted nine times for Moyes’ side but opted to return to Manchester United to fight for his place.

And despite choosing not join the London side, he still received applause from the home fans when coming on in the 70th minute. Perhaps the West Ham supporters sending him a message that he is still welcome to join them in the future?

Well, maybe not now. He scored the winner late on and, while he didn’t celebrate, the West Ham fans will not be best pleased with the player who could have been a part of their squad.

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