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Manchester United secure 2nd after 0-0 draw away to West Ham

Manchester United have secured second place after drawing 0-0 away to West Ham. Both teams had some chances on the day, but neither could grab the winning goal.

 

It was an interesting starting XI named by Mourinho, who changed the formation and the personel. The manager opted for a back three, with Smalling, Jones, and Lindelof making up that trio. Shaw got to start at one of the fullback positions, with Valencia coming in on the other side. Mourinho played a midfield three of Pogba, Herrera, and McTominay, with a front two of Sanchez and Lingard.

 

It wasn’t the prettiest opener to the game, as the new formation and personnel had its effect on the players. United created a half chance when Pogba picked out Shaw on the wing, but his low cross was unable to pick out anyone in the penalty area.

 

West Ham had their first opportunity of the contest soon after. Arnautovic picked up the ball out wide, and dribbled into the middle of the park. He found some space on the edge of the area, but his shot was hit right at David De Gea.

 

The home side were on the attack again, and almost capitalized on a United error. A cross was whipped into the area, right to Smalling, who messed a mess of the clearance. It almost fell perfectly to Arnautovic at the back post, but the Austrian was just unable to get a head on the ball.

 

It would be United trying to capitalize on a West Ham error only minutes later, when the home side lost the ball in their own third. It fell to McTominay, who turned and ripped off a shot. It had plenty of power behind it, but the ball flew just wide of the post.

 

United had their best chances of the match later on, but were unlucky not to score on two separate occasions. A Valencia cross found Alexis on the top of the box, but his shot was well saved by Adrian. The rebound spilled out to Shaw, who smashed a shot, but it was saved onto the post, before bouncing away from danger.

 

Jesse Lingard went for a screamer from distance, and came close to scoring one of the goals of the season. He cut inside from the left wing before unleashing a shot from far out. Adrian did well to react quickly, getting in position to reach out a hand and make the save.

 

West Ham were able to hit on the counter, with Arnautovic carrying the ball up the field. He easily dribbled past Smalling, but his low cross finds no one in the penalty area.  

 

United created one last chance before the half, with Lingard going for another long shot. Adrian was up for it again, and punched it away from goal.

 

United almost grabbed a goal right at the start of the second half, only to be stopped by a goal line clearance. Alexis got onto a through ball, and rounded the West Ham keeper. He chipped it toward goal, but his effort was headed off the line by Ogbonna.

 

Pogba went for an audacious chip from almost half field, sporting Adrian off his line. He came close, but ended up hitting it high and wide.

 

Pogba had another chance almost immediately after, when Sanchez found him on the edge of the area. The Frenchman went for a curler to the back post, but hit it just wide of the target.

 

Marcus Rashford then came on for Jesse Lingard.

 

A scuffle broke out late in the contest after Pogba fouled Kouyate. There was a tie up between the players, which set off Mark Noble, who shot up to his feet and put both hands all over Pogba. He was lucky to stay on the field, and was only given a yellow.

 

Mourinho made two late changes, Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Valencia coming off for Ashley Young and Eric Bailly.

 

Manchester United’s next game is on Sunday, as the Red Devils host Watford at Old Trafford.

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