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3 Things We Learnt: Manchester United 3-0 West Ham

After a tough defeat for West Ham at Old Trafford, and a convincing clean sheet win for United as form starts to pick up, here's 3 things we learnt from Sundays fixture.

  1. Rasmus Højlund is really starting to prove himself as a top striker that Manchester United have spent years looking for. It seemed an age the 21 year old took to score his first goal for the Red Devils, but the truth is, he only needed one goal to get his form up and running. His goal against Aston Villa to complete the comeback was enough for him to hit the ground running, with now 4 league goals in a row for the Danish striker, with goals against Tottenham and Wolves in between. The striker has also proven not to be just a goalscorer, with a pass accuracy of 70% against the Hammers, as well as proving to be a threat moving forward, with 2/3 successful dribbles. You start to wonder just how far this kid can go.

  2. A 3-0 scoreline wasn't justified, West Ham lacked clinical ability. It was a very frustrating game for the Irons who really struggled to get the ball rolling in the final third, but also comfortably keeping possession in all other areas of the field. The Hammers managed 270 passes in United's half, 68 more than their oppositions in their own half. However West Ham only managed 23 touches in the opposition box, with only 6 of these coming from their striker, Jarrod Bowen. The Hammers also achieved an xG of 1.40, whereas United only had 0.75, but they turned out to be the beneficiary, scoring 3 goals. West Ham also had a couple of big chances that frustratingly went amiss, including a chance involving Emerson, where he decided to shoot himself and ignore the players in the box, slicing the shot wide. Bowen also had a 1-1 chance against Onana that ended being blocked by a recovering Darmian after Bowen just took too long to get his shot off. It's this decision making in the final third that really hurt West Ham, where they could've found themselves 2-1 up just after the beginning of the second half had they played their cards right. It was also evident that players like Edson Alvarez were really trying to get something going. Alvarez played very well in the middle of the park, shifting past United players trying to find key passes. He made 97% of his passes and created 3 chances for the hammers, the second most in the team. Another player to note is Ward Prowse, who made 93% of his passes, and making 17 passes into the final third. If the hammers can utilise the balls into the box and their big chances, they can really start to improve.

  3. West Ham are desperately missing Lucas Paqueta. It was clear whilst watching the game that West Ham just lacked that flair in the middle of park, and those dangerous balls Paqueta makes through the defence. It was also clear that attacking players like Bowen were making dangerous runs into the box, but the midfield a lot of the time decided to go backwards or sidewards, playing very negatively, which also proved to be a factor in West Ham's downfall. Lucas Paqueta has created the most chances for the Hammers this season even with his injury, so it would be valid to think he would've made an offensive difference against United on Sunday. You feel that Paqueta is the man to make those defence-breaking passes to create the chances that the Hammers crave to score goals. Hopefully it isn't too long for West Ham fans to see him back on the pitch.

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