West Ham’s push towards the top four was halted as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to David Moyes’ former side, Manchester United.
It was a tentative opening period, with West Ham showing virtually zero ambition in the first half, Moyes seemingly sending his side out with instructions to sit deep and keep it compact.
The first clear cut opportunity of the match came in the 25th minute, Mason Greenwood putting in a delicious cross from the right, only for Marcus Rashford to make an absolute mess of his header at the back post.
Greenwood would have an effort of his own nine minutes before the interval, Manchester United playing some good football straight through the middle of the pitch, the 19-year-old forward curling an effort towards the bottom corner, only for Lukasz Fabianski to get down quickly and tip it onto the post.
The Red Devils would however take the lead eight minutes after the restart, a Bruno Fernandes corner being met by the head of Scott McTominay, his effort deflecting into the back of the net off Craig Dawson.
After trying to sit back and shut up shop for an hour, West Ham finally started to try and play with a bit of positivity. The Hammers looked better, but never really troubled United ‘keeper Dean Henderson – failing to get a shot on target in the entire 90 minutes – while they also left more space in behind, with Greenwood seeing another effort crash back off the post following a swift counter.
The result leaves West Ham in fifth in the Premier League, three points adrift of Chelsea but with a game in hand on all of the sides above them, and speaking afterwards, Moyes said that the disappointment of the defeat should be a measure of their progress this season.
15 – Only Harry Redknapp (15) has managed more away Premier League games at Old Trafford without winning that West Ham boss David Moyes, who has never won in 14 visits (D4 L10). Bogey. pic.twitter.com/IRgIgunFGU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 14, 2021
“Disappointed that we have lost but parts of the game we played okay and other parts we didn’t,” he told Sky Sports.
“The way we set up maybe didn’t quite work. We changed it a bit at half time and again later on. It improved it a little bit. Manchester United grew into the game and caused us problems.
“I wanted to try and change it. We never really got up when we broke. Our breaks were really poor tonight. I’ve only just been told it was actually an own goal. Tonight it wasn’t our night.”
“We were much better and we played much better [after we made changes]. Manchester United then had a 1-0 lead so it left it a bit more open as they had something to protect. In the last 15 minutes or so we did quite well.
“We are getting greedy now because we have enjoyed that feeling of winning. We don’t feel good tonight. I don’t enjoy coming here and losing 1-0 which shows how far we have come. I’m disappointed with it but it shows we are doing much better.”
Asked if he would have done anything different with the benefit of hindsight, the Scot insisted: “No. No.”
Next up for the Hammers is a London derby against Arsenal at the London Stadium.