Home » Three things we learned from Manchester United’s loss to West Ham

Three things we learned from Manchester United’s loss to West Ham

by Harry Henshaw
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United exited the EFL Cup after a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to West Ham.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 11 changes from the side that beat the Hammers in the Premier League just three days ago, with a number of players making their first starts of the season.

But a Manuel Lanzini goal in the ninth minute proved the difference on the night, with United trying and failing to level the game despite having a raft of chances.

Here are three things we learned from last night’s game:


Continue to leak silly goals

Despite now boasting a defence that on paper looks one of the strongest in the league, United have so far only managed to keep one clean sheet in their seven games so far this season.

And even the one game they did keep a clean sheet in, a 1-0 win vs Wolves, they were out-shot 15 to 10 and had a worse xG than their opponent (Wolves 2.06- United 0.85).

While last night’s game involved a much-changed line-up, similar issues presented themselves, with Alex Telles being dribbled past too easily and Donny van de Beek losing his man in the box, resulting in another sloppy goal to concede.

Solskjaer must resolve these early season teething problems if United are to challenge for major honours, as they simply won’t be able to outscore every team they come up against.


Second string cost themselves gametime

With United’s first team so strong, the onus was on many of the players last night to stake a claim to be starting regularly in both the league and Champions League.

With minutes on the pitch hard to come by, it was crucial for these second-string players to, at the very least, progress to the next round in order to guarantee another start in the coming weeks.

Having crashed out, it is now hard to imagine some of these players getting another look in any time soon.

While Van de Beek and Diogo Dalot impressed, they were perhaps the only two with a number of players missing a huge opportunity.


Anthony Martial

It should have been the perfect showcase opportunity for the once-loved Martial, as he was given the opportunity to lead the line against a second-string West Ham side.

But across 90 lifeless, uninterested minutes the Frenchman may have put the final nail in his Old Trafford coffin.

Reports earlier this week suggested he was available for transfer for around £40m; it’s very hard to see anyone stumping up that kind of cash after a horror performance like last night’s.

Given a generous four out of ten by the Manchester Evening News, could we have seen Martial’s last game in a United shirt?

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