Home » Under-fire David de Gea and Marcus Rashford shine against West Ham United

Under-fire David de Gea and Marcus Rashford shine against West Ham United

United duo have had their critics this season but put in match-winning performances

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United displayed great defensive acumen, as they held on for a 1-0 win against West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The win means United are now only a point behind fourth-placed Newcastle United and three behind Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.

Erik ten Hag‘s men had the chances to put the game to bed but in the end had to hold on for dear life as David de Gea made multiple great saves in the closing moments of the game.

DDG proving critics wrong

His shot-stopping has never been in doubt and the display could be an answer to the constant criticism he has been receiving since the Dutchman took over.

Many pundits surmised that this might be the end for the Spaniard as a United player due to his passing woes and reluctance to leave the line.

Whether United would offer him a new contract was the subject of many a report and alternatives United have been targeting have been mentioned in recent times.

Against the Hammers, he finished the game with a passing accuracy of 76 % as he completed 26 passes while he was even seen playing the role of sweeper-keeper.

He was not the only under-pressure player who delivered. Marcus Rashford is currently the highest goal-scorer this term with six goals prior to Sunday’s game.

But his lack of guile when clean through on goal and his tendency to go for power over precision has not impressed fans and pundits recently.

Rashy not letting criticism affect him

Ten Hag has still stuck by the England international and he has now scored two on the trot with both coming via headers.

Even more impressive was the fact that this goal was the 24-year-old’s 200th in United colours and the United goal record is firmly within reach.

The United academy graduate does not normally score headers and this was only his seventh headed goal but what was impressive was despite a few initial hiccups, he never let his head drop.

Steve McClaren had spoken of the need to fix his mental state and that is certainly working at the moment. He was not always 100 per cent but never gave up and the change in quality is definitely starting to shine through.

Ten Hag’s management style has got so many players finally back to playing at their best and that is one of the brightest points so far in his nascent United career. United are now eight-games unbeaten and long may it continue!

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