West Ham 1-3 Man Utd: The Red Devils come from behind again to win the crucial points

After being recently defeated in their Champions League fixture at home to Paris Saint-Germain, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are back into winning ways as they picked up an important victory away from the home. The Red Devils travelled down South to face West Ham, a team that the side haven’t performed greatly against the last few years, especially at the London Stadium.

Looking at the match as a whole, the visitors had dominated the possession of the ball and for majority of the second half, but it was the hosts that had created the most big chances and also missed the most big chances too. Most importantly, it was David Moyes’ men that took the well-deserved lead in the 38th minute of the game through Tomas Soucek, as Pablo Fornals’ cross from the corner was met by the head of Declan Rice, followed by Soucek tapping it into an empty net.

However, Manchester United were able to turn the game around after the half-time break, with both Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford entering the match for Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek. As the goals came from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Rashford in the final 25 minutes of the game, the Red Devils showed how clinical and ruthless they can be when required.

Overall, when viewing the Premier League table, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently in fifth place, three points behind first-place Chelsea and with a game in hand. On the other hand, for the Hammers, they have now drop to seventh place and could drop further in the league, as the likes of Southampton and Wolves are yet to play this weekend and Aston Villa now have two games in hand.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s half-time changes proved to be influential

Manchester United were all over the place in the first half, as they failed to show consistency and composure on and off the ball, allowing West Ham to create enough chances and have no problems on the defensive side of the game. Though, the whole situation turned around with Solskjaer making two important substitutions at the half-time break, as the side began to benefit with the creativity and decision making of Bruno Fernandes as well as the directness and pace of Marcus Rashford.

Once both players had entered the pitch, West Ham were spending most of the second half defending in their own half and trying to keep up with the opposition’s midfield and attack. Given the amount of quality and depth that Solskjaer has available at his disposal, he is able to rotate around in the key areas, rather than draining out the important players like he has done this year.

Manchester United are unable to create and attack without Bruno Fernandes

In the first half of the match, United were absolutely limited to zero chances being created, three shots and with two of them being on target in 45 minutes of football. Not only that, but the side were having great difficulties in reaching into the final third of the pitch, despite the constant high pressure and the aggressive defending from West Ham. It was the first time that Bruno Fernandes had been rested since joining the club, and the side were very slow, lethargic and poor without him.

However, the Portuguese international came to the rescue just after the half-time break, as he went on to produce eight key passes as two big chances were created by the playmaker. With the influence he is proving to have on the team and how is he able to get the best out of his team-mates, it can easily be stated that he is the side’s best signings post the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Greenwood’s time has come, as both Cavani and Martial are faced with a setback

As Edinson Cavani went off at half-time with a knee injury and so did Anthony Martial just after the hour mark with a groin injury, it leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a rising problem given that the upcoming fixtures are against Leipzig, Manchester City and Sheffield United. However, the manager could have a short-term solution in Mason Greenwood, whose instincts and movement is very unique for a youngster whilst he continues to prove himself as the most clinic attacker at the club.

For sure, the 19-year-old hasn’t had the perfect start to the season, with personal issues he has had off the pitch and the English media being on his case since a mistake he made during the international break back in September. But, it looks like he has now put everything that’s happened the last few months behind him, as Greenwood has opened his account in the Champions League and now in the Premier League. Mason Greenwood can do anything he wants to, the world is his oyster.

Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 9

Tottenham are the new league leaders after they beat Manchester City 2-0 at home in a huge game for Jose Mourinho’s team. It was the 4th win in a row for Spurs and they lead on goal difference from Liverpool who overcame Leicester 3-0.

Chelsea are in 3rd place and just 2 points behind Tottenham as they remained undefeated for their 10th game in a row in all competitions and got a 2-0 victory over Newcastle. Everton won for the first time in four games against Fulham and Manchester United have crept up to 10th place after they got a narrow 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. It is a concern to see Manchester City so far down in 13th place though.

After another exciting weekend in the Premier League did any of your players make the team of week 9? Let’s take a look.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

Given that Tottenham were playing Manchester City this was always going to be a busy time for Hugo Lloris and he made some good saves and communicated well with his defence to keep a clean sheet as Tottenham beat City 2-0.

Defender: Andrew Robertson-Liverpool 7pts

Andrew Robertson assisted in Liverpool’s 2nd goal for Jota and then helped to keep a clean sheet as Liverpool won a very important game against Leicester beating them 3-0. Robertson now has 3 assists already for the season.

Defender: Angelo Ogbanna- West Ham 5pts

West Ham have been putting together some impressive results lately and they kept another clean sheet at the weekend by beating Sheffield United 1-0. Angelo Ogbanna had a great game at the back and he has helped to keep four clean sheets this season.

Defender: Eric Dier- Tottenham 5pts

Huge game for Tottenham and Eric Dier shone through with a commanding display at the back as Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0. Dier earned another 5 points in the process and he is currently the highest ranked defender in the team in the fantasy points.

Defender: Hector Bellerin- Arsenal 5pts

Hector Bellerin arguably put in his best performance of the season in defence as Arsenal head on to a 0-0 draw away to Leeds. Arsenal were under a lot of pressure and Bellerin kept focused throughout the match.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 6pts

Bruno Fernandes keeps being the difference when Manchester United do win games and his cool head to convert the penalty won a narrow game 1-0. Fernandes has scored six goals already this season and has 30 points in the United midfield, 22 more than the 2nd placed player.

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Liverpool 6pts

Diojo Jota was arguably the best summer transfer in the Premier League, his switch from Wolves to Liverpool has added another layer for the champions. Jota was on hand to score Liverpool’s 2nd goal as they beat Leicester in a crunch encounter 3-0.

Midfielder: Roberto Firmino- Liverpool 6pts

Roberto Firmino rose to the occasion and had more chances in the game than usual possibly owing to the fact that Mohamed Salah was unable to play. Firmino put himself in more attacking options and his hard work paid off as he scored Liverpool’s 3rd goal as they eased to a 3-0 win over Leicester.

Midfielder: Giovani Lo Celso- Tottenham 6pts

Giovani Lo Celso was the unlikely hero as the ex Real Betis player scored Tottenham’s winning goal against Manchester City. That was Lo Celso’s first goal of the season and his value is 7m.

Striker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin- Everton 8pts

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is having the best season of his career so far and scored 2 goals as Everton beat Fulham 3-2. It was an important victory for the club who had lost their previous three games in a row. Calvert-Lewin took his goals well, scoring his first after just 42 seconds and has scored 10 goals this season already.

Striker: Sebastian Haller- West Ham 4pts

Sebastian Haller was the hero for West Ham as he scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers overcame Sheffield United 1-0 away from home. Haller has scored 2 goals in the league and his value is 7.5m.

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Did Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah really dive against West Ham and should he be punished?

The big controversy over the weekend in the Premier League was when Liverpool played West Ham. The Reds came back from a goal down to beat David Moyes side 2-1. But their equaliser came by the way of a penalty, which many media pundits and ex footballers believe should never have been given.

Inside the box Mohamed Salah tries to take hold off the ball but West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku clearly caught the striker on the sole of the foot and Salah went down. In theory this was always going to be straight forward and the referee awarded a penalty. The problem is how Salah went down.

Salah seemed to turn into a 180 degree angle and it looked like he almost threw himself to the ground. Was their contact? Yes, did it warrant a player to go down as Salah did? This is what is questionable.

At the end of the day whilst pundits and the media are saying that there was no penalty to be had- there actually was. Masuaku’s challenge was clumsy, one can’t even point to the fact that he was going for the ball as his foot was nowhere near it, it was a silly challenge and disputing whether it was a penalty or not does not seem correct, 100% in the rules of the game this was a penalty and Masuaku had clearly made an error. But that doesn’t make what happened right.

It doesn’t feel like a natural way to go to the ground and it could have been in Salah’s mind that he knows he has been touched but to make it 100% convincing to the referee he must go down in a ‘Hollywood’ style way. And he did. So yes Liverpool deserved the penalty but maybe Salah as a consequence of how he went to ground deserved a yellow card.

Salah has a history of going to ground quite easily, and it is not a good character strait of his. He is without doubt one of the best forwards in the Premier League and one of the best in Europe. His impact at Liverpool can’t be measured. And of course because of this he is seen as a role model. That is why the more you look at how he went down just feels wrong, Salah is a role model to many kids growing up who will undertake the game and say quite rightly that they were influenced by Salah.

But players do not seem to get cautioned if they have been fouled against- that seems to make sense, but there are cases like Salah where it could be an exception to the rule. As an example everyone remembers when Brazilian star Rivaldo feigned injury in their 2002 World Cup match against Turkey- it’s a long time ago but it is a great example. Rivaldo was technically fouled as the ball was shot on purpose at him. It actually hit him as he was about to take a corner on the arm and partial stomach, and yet Rivaldo touched his face, screaming and went down. A foul suddenly meant a sending off for Turkey because of Rivaldo’s overreaction. It was an anti football moment by such an incredible player.

Salah’s foul in the penalty box just felt the same way. Of course Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended the Egyptian and he said that he had marks to prove he was fouled. No one is denying this, because Salah was fouled. It is the reaction afterwards that feels that the game of football has been let down once more.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Tottenham 3-3 West Ham

West Ham broke records as the first team since the Premier League started to come back from 3 goals down with just 9 minutes remaining in a game. And what a game of football this was. The often told tail that football is a game of two halves could be summed up here as fiery London rivals Tottenham and West Ham put on a dazzling, breathtaking show as the clubs drew 3-3.

But the game should never have been a draw, from the first whistle there was only one team in it and that was the home side Tottenham. Their last game here had ended in a controversial draw with Newcastle and it was clear that the players wanted to eradicate that memory with a memorable performance over David Moyes side.

Within 60 seconds Tottenham had made their mark and let it be known despite how the game would turn out Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are at present the deadliest strike force in the Premier League. And they both linked up as Kane set up Son for a good opening goal. Son returned the complement just seven minutes later as he teed up Kane for Tottenham’s 2nd, and West Ham looked finished.

A 3rd goal followed as early as the 16th minute and it was Kane who reeled away once again- his 5th goal of the season, indeed he has been involved in 12 of Tottenham’s 15 goals this season, an incredible statistic. New signing Sergio Reguilon set Kane up and up to this point manager Jose Mourinho would have been more than delighted. Tottenham were bossing the play and looking for a 4th against a West Ham team who thought it was the start of the season again and that they were playing Newcastle.

The Hammers simply looked a shadow of the team that had beaten Wolves 4-0 and then Leicester 3-0 in their previous two games, was the international break to blame? Or was it that David Moyes had returned to the dug out? That seems harsh, and as it proved was. Moyes has worked hard trying to get the best out of this West Ham team.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline at half time West Ham hadn’t been that poor but just lacking in ideas. They had made 3 corners to Tottenham’s zero and had 2 shots on target to Tottenham’s 4. Second best yes, but not quite out of the game. Although in truth it did look like it.

As the second half kicked off and went on West Ham played some good football but to no avail and Tottenham looked like adding a 4th or simply easing to a 3-0 victory. Gareth Bale made his emotional return to playing for the side in the first time in seven years, and his presence was felt on the pitch when he came on as a second half substitute.

Looking for more attacking options Moyes brought on Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini and Mourinho took off Son to shore up the team, and then the game changed. Some have blamed Son’s departure in letting Tottenham in again as their high line came more forward and suddenly Tottenham looked more exposed. And then Fabian Balbuena scored. Still with just 9 minutes left, 3-1 was acceptable- Tottenham were going to win this game. But just a few minutes later Davidson Sanchez unfortunately turned the ball into his own net after a dangerous low cross, now it was 3-2 and there was a belief that Tottenham could blow this.

But cometh the moment cometh the man, Bale showed just how good he is as he escaped his man and ran with the ball it seemed as if something he has done many times before for both Tottenham and Real Madrid would end up in the back of the net and it was deep into injury time, this goes in and Tottenham have won the game. But he missed and the Hammers counter attacked straight away as the seconds were running down.

And then it happened. Call it hit and hope or call it a piece of magic but in the 94th minute Lanzini struck from outside the area and the ball went flying in via hitting the bar, it was an unstoppable shot. And even without fans the players went crazy and seemed to generate some sort of atmosphere within the near empty stadium. It was joy for David Moyes too he hopped and skipped on the touchline.

The Premier League had rewarded us with yet another game of incident and goals. As for Tottenham they should take encouragement that Son and Kane are on fire, that there are goals in this side and that despite a bumpy start to the season they have in fact lost just once.

As for West Ham it seemed after their first defeat in the opening weekend of the season against Newcastle United that looking at their fixtures the club were doomed. That hasn’t happened and if the Hammers keep up performances like these they have every chance to keep surprising their critics.

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West Ham internal fighting, playing poorly and they could have zero points by Halloween

At the end of last season which of course didn’t end until July there seemed to finally be a light at the end of the tunnel for West Ham. A team who looked one of the favourites to be relegated picked up 12 points in their last six games and easily survived relegation. One of those matches was beating Champions League hunting Chelsea, West Ham were for real and manager David Moyes had found the tactic to connect the players, or had he?

Was the back end of last season simply a group of players, us against the world, and us against dropping down to the Championship? Did the players unite together and show what they are capable of only to not get relegated? If so West Ham have more problems than they initially thought. That kind of team spirit usually leads to the sacking of the manager six months later and everything slowly falling apart. Players can’t win every game, granted, but there needs to be the want to play 100% for the team, throw in consistency and you a decent side.

Last season West Ham had dreams of being Wolves or Sheffield United but they played much like bottom club Norwich for the majority of the season. But those final few games did suggest that the team had turned a corner and yet they went and lost their first game of the season.

A 2-0 loss at home v Newcastle is not good, but of course it isn’t the end of the world. But it was the way the team played. It was as if this game was number 60 in a long hard season and not the Hammers first. Everything seemed off even Moyes final team selection. Leaving Felipe Anderson on the bench just seemed odd. The players played without heart in a game that on paper they could have won. There was nothing here, it reminded one of their first game of the season last August, against Manchester City they put in a dire toothless display. But then again this was Manchester City. But still he performance was a foreshadow of how the majority of their season would end up.

Then there is the in fighting. Thankfully this isn’t with Moyes, he’s seen as the good guy and the players are with him, though you would be forgiven for thinking that in the Newcastle game. This is all down to ownership,David Sullivan and David Gold need to go according to West Ham fans, enough is enough. Wasted money, too much bad recruitment and of course THAT stadium move, the fans have had enough. It’s hard to blame them, change is needed and fresh owners that can pounce on ideas and inject cash into the team would be a welcome change.

Possibly the final straw for the players, especially captain Mark Noble was when the board decided to sell Grady Diangana. He tweeted his disapproval with “As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!” Diangana was sold to Premier League rivals West Bromwich Albion for just £18m which is a steal if as Noble suggested he goes on to have a great future. West Ham will counter that with the pandemic they needed to raise some money.

As for Noble most football media have said he was wrong to make his feelings public, but at the same time Noble isn’t stupid and did this to highlight the fact that Sullivan and Gold need to go. At the same time all of this came on eve of their Premier League game with Newcastle and with such a poor display Noble was made the scapegoat. But Noble would have told his teammates of his feelings behind the scenes anyway.

Despite a poor league performance West Ham did beat Charlton in the Carabao Cup which was a big boost for the club in their 3-0 win. It was telling that Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko who played with pace on the flanks both started, and yet in the league match remained on the bench.

Maybe there is hope for the side to bounce back quick, but they have a very tough schedule up until October 31st. Their next league game is away to Arsenal who have an abundance of confidence right now and that will be the Gunners first home game of the season. Then they will return home to play Wolves which will be a tricky game and Wolves controlled the last match played at London Stadium near the end of last season.

Leicester is up next and that is at King Power Stadium and with the way the Foxes have started this season they look just as good as last. Then it’s time for more London rivals as they take on Tottenham away from home, by then Jose Mourinho’s side could be in need of points themselves after starting the campaign with a loss.

What follows is a double whammy. Facing the last two Premier League champions. It’s Manchester City at home first up, in a fixture that ended 5-0 to City last season. And then on Halloween it could be a right horror story when the club face the champions Liverpool at Anfield.

It’s very possible that David Moyes team could be looking for their first point as we enter November. At the same time the Hammers have proven to step up in the face of tough fixtures before just look to last Christmas as evidence for that, and then again the last few games of last season. There is that burning desire in the team that somehow lasts, and that is to prove people wrong in the heat of it, but fail against teams in which they are expected to beat.

This will be an interesting few weeks then and will show the real character of the club. David Moyes winning percentage for them simply isn’t good enough though and the writing may start to get written on the wall as early as November. For West Ham it’s time to step up once more.

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Can West Ham move on with David Moyes or was the end of last season a false dawn?

David Moyes and West Ham- the two parties have quite a history together. Moyes is in his 2nd stint with the club after being sacked in the first one. He was rehired last season with the Hammers in trouble. They looked like they would go down under him but the former Everton manager found the right balance just when it mattered and, in the end, West Ham comfortably stayed up.

It was interesting to see the turn around and form from the Hammers, and one could even go as far as saying that the feel good factor around a Moyes managed side has not been this good since his days managing Everton a decade ago.

At that time Moyes was seen as a special manager mostly because he kept regularly getting Everton into the top 6 in the league despite a small transfer budget every summer. He impressed so much that he convinced Sir Alex Ferguson that he would be the man to eventually take him over at Manchester United. The rest is history of course and after spells at United and Real Sociedad Moyes reputation was in tatters.

Many thought that getting Moyes back in at West Ham made no sense and to be fair for the majority of his time at the club in his 2nd term they would have been right. Despite West Ham picking up form and collecting 12 points in their last month which saved them from possible relegation we have to look at the hard facts.

It would be easy for any West Ham fan to get carried away- and some even hailed Moyes after the club was saved from relegation this season. The problem is is that Moyes was a contributing factor in the first place to how low the club had fallen last season. The hard facts tell us that Moyes winning percentage this season is 28%, that’s actually lower than when he was sacked the first time around.

From the 21 games he managed this season he won just 6 games, but of course those wins were the ones that mattered towards the end of the season. He did well and there was a feeling of togetherness- us v them, the fight was on and victory was had. One just wonders in the cold winter months coming up if the games played after the restart were just papering over the cracks?

Moyes’ West Ham earned 23 points in those 21 games, which if averaged out would mean that over a full season he was heading for around 36 points. That’s edgy stuff and by no means guarantees safety in any way shape or form.

Having said that if West Ham begin the season the way they ended it, they will be fine and even could challenge for a top 10 place. But one has to wonder how much of that run in was based on a comeback of hope and not skill, quality and a consistency that is needed to make an impact over the course of a season?

So far the Hammers much like other Premier League clubs have been quiet in the transfer market. Although they have made Tomas Soucek a permanent signing after he impressed last season. He has been snapped up for £15m which is a real bargain in today’s game.

Perhaps the Hammers biggest battle before the new season kicks off is keeping Declan Rice who is on the radar of a few clubs. If history tells us anything it is that West Ham have an uncanny ability to have world class talent in their ranks who are always sold when clubs come knocking.

The Hammers kick off the new season at home to Newcastle and then they are away to Arsenal before returning home to play Wolves. A good start will be needed to keep any confidence that has lingered over from the summer. If not this could end up being a long hard season for the Hammers. One way or another this season should reveal if Moyes has been able to find the magic once again or if those few weeks in the summer were just a flash in the pan.

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Moyes gets midfielder Tomas Soucek on permanent deal

After spending six months playing for West Ham on loan from Slavia Prague, Tomas Soucek has completed a four-year, £19m deal with the Hammers.

After arriving from his native Czech Republic, the 25-year-old defensive midfielder played 13 games for West Ham, scoring three goals, one of them in the win against Watford, three matches before the end of the season, when the David Moyes’ team secured their Premier League status for another year.

The two time Czech Player of the Year won the trust of the Moyes with both his defensive and attacking qualities, a strong physical presence and an eye for goal. Although the loan was Soucek’s first experience outside his home country, he was quick to adapt to English football and made a big impact in east London.

His versatility and enthusiasm was crucial after the Premier league restarted, when West Ham were on the cusp of relegation with only 27 points, the same as Watford and Bournemouth who are now Championship-bound. Since then Soucek has showed his full potential while also gaining interest from numerous of teams around Europe.

David Moyes expects the Czech to be one of the biggest assets for the Hammers in the upcoming season. With his 6ft 4in frame and energetic box-to-box game, Soucek provides something for Moyes that others in his squad lack, and team may well be adjusted to suit his skillset.

“I’m delighted that Tomas has signed his permanent contract to secure his long-term future at the Club. When I came in, we talked about needing another midfield player, to help Declan Rice and Mark Noble, and I think he’s been a really good fit for us. He’s a terrific lad with very good physical capabilities. He has scored some really important goals for us, against Chelsea, Newcastle and Watford. We’re glad he’s going to be a West Ham player for a good period to come”, said Moyes.

Soucek started his football dream as a six-year-old in a small club in his native Havlíckuv Brod. The club that is currently playing in the Czech Republics’ fourth division recognised his talent and potential. before letting him move on to the most successful Czech team, Slavia Prague. The owners of Havlíckuv Brod also put a clause in the contract demanding a percentage of any future transfer of Soucek from Slavia. Six years later, they will collect £1.4m on the back of this transfer.

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham: The Red Devils are a point away from Champions League football

Following the recent defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals, Manchester United would have hoped to return back to winning ways and usual standards as they took an in-form West Ham side, who are three points above the relegation zone. However, that was not the case, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were unable to cause severe problems to a well organised David Moyes team.

Going into the game, the Red Devils were looking for nothing but the much needed three points, especially after Leicester City had lost to Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend whilst Chelsea face a difficult trip away to Liverpool. On the other hand, the Hammers main focus was to ensure they do not lose the fixture by a large number of goals, should they feel the force of United’s rapid attack.

Looking at the match as a whole, the hosts had just about dominated the possession of the game as many had expected, as they went on to achieve 57% possession of the ball and 192 passes in the attacking third compared to West Ham’s 85 successful passes in the final third area. Nonetheless, it was actually the away side that had shown to be more effective on and off the ball, in all honesty.

West Ham took the lead just before the half-time break, through Michail Antonio, who had very little to work with, but had the opportunity to give his team the lead from the penalty spot, which he calmly slotted down the middle of the goal. However, the visitor’s goal was cancelled out straightaway after the break, as Mason Greenwood worked a nice one-two phase with Anthony Martial near the penalty area, before lashing the ball low and into the corner of the net.

In the end, there was not many clear-cut chances for either side, to go on to taking the full three points and moving higher up the table. The 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening leaves Manchester United currently in 3rd place, whilst West Ham recent rise has taken them to 15th place.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Solskjaer’s lack of in-game management has to be questioned

Majority of the focus will be on Paul Pogba giving the penalty away, the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic performing poorly, or the lack of attacking contribution coming from the full-backs. However, the questions has to be raised on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s lack of in-game management, as he more or less cost his team two crucial points in a must-win game.

As majority of the starting line-up had looked fatigued, Solskjaer had failed to bring on individuals such as Daniel James, Diogo Dalot and Fred, who potentially could have provided the energy and positivity the team was missing throughout the match. Not only that, he made just two out of five changes during the game, with a full-back coming on for another full back and a forward for a winger, evidently showing that Solskjaer did not actually go all out for the much needed victory.

United should look no further for a defensive-midfielder than Declan Rice

Since signing a contract extension with the club in recent weeks, Nemanja Matic’s performances have instantly dropped to a level where he is taking too many touches on the ball, and is committing constant fouls in dangerous areas, just outside of the penalty box. Given that he is 31-years-old and is currently on his last legs, he is one player that should not be dependent on to perform at a high level and on a regular basis, leaving Solskjaer in an issue where he needs a new defensive-midfielder.

On that basis, the manager and the club do not need to look any further for a potential defensive-midfield signing other than Declan Rice, who has played a pivotal role in helping West Ham stay above the relegation zone and is proving to become more of a complete midfielder since the Premier League season has restarted. From his consistent tackles and interceptions to his types and range of passing, he seems to be the perfect player to provide solidity and balance to the midfield.

The Red Devils have a huge final on the last day of the season

With how the fixtures have resulted on Wednesday evening, it leaves Manchester United in third place and just above fourth-place Chelsea on goal difference, whilst Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City remain in fifth position. And on the final day of the Premier League season, Chelsea face a tough match at home to Wolves whilst Solskjaer’s men have a difficult away trip to King Power Stadium.

On Sunday afternoon, it will be all or nothing for the likes of Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United, where all three teams will have to be at their very best, in order to play in the Champions League next season. The Red Devils and Solskjaer have worked a huge miracle to turnaround the race for a top four finish, as they were 14 points behind Leicester and 5 points behind Chelsea at the start of the year, but all that matters now, is the huge final fixture on the last day of the campaign.

West Ham have one foot in safety from relegation after a win over Chelsea and draw against Newcastle

For a while there West Ham looked destined to be relegated. There was no shape, discipline or attacking method. Everyone was looking at David Moyes as if to say ‘what now’?

Strange then how just 2 games can change the perspective. The first was against Chelsea where the Hammers were the obvious underdogs and yet not only did they beat the Blues they also put 3 goals past them in a fantastic 3-2 victory.

This match was followed up by a trip to Newcastle, a team under Steve Bruce who were still unbeaten since the restart of the league. The game finished 2-2, the battle was there for all to see. True the Londoners had taken the lead twice and been pegged back as many times but a point away to Newcastle is always a good point.

Those two matches stopped the rot and that was the most important thing for the club who suddenly had a self belief. Led by the inform Michail Antonio his goals have really counted. One could also suggest that Chelsea did the Hammers a favour, it was simply the right fixture at the right time, as West Ham always up their game when they are playing their London rivals.

Relegation can still happen but it feels much more distant now. The club have pulled 4 points clear from both Aston Villa and Bournemouth, only a few weeks ago the only thing saving West Ham from the drop was goal difference.

West Ham now have 31 points and this week they will play Burnley at home. They will be the favourites to win that and if they do they would have taken a huge step for survival this season.

The Hammers remaining games after that is an away trip to Norwich. It’s very possible that by the time they play the Canaries they will have been relegated. This could make the game easier for Moyes’ team. They will then be at home to Watford another game which many would fancy them to win.

Their last two games are against Manchester United away from home and then Aston Villa. It seems like the only tricky tie left for the Hammers will be their trip to Old Trafford as it is very possible that United will be needing a win to qualify for a top 4 spot and thus playing in the Champions League next season.

Even the Hammers final game which is against Aston Villa could be a dead rubber anyway, as the way Villa are playing they are looking like they could be down by then.

West Ham are making a superb recovery just at the right time, and for now all Hammers fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Tottenham beat London rivals West Ham but VAR grabs all of the headlines once again

For Jose Mourinho it was relief when the brilliant Harry Kane sealed victory over London rivals West Ham to make it 2-0 on the night near the end of the game. Three points had been achieved, and him and the rest of the team could breathe once more. But threatening to overshadow the game once more was VAR which affected one goal and could have done so with another.

Heung-Min Son for example had thought he had scored the opening goal, and a good one it looked too before replays showed that his toe nail was offside. At the end of the day VAR did its job, but again common sense and VAR do not go hand in hand. Offside surely should only be punished if a player is clearly offside and looking for an advantage. In this case like literally hundreds before it Son was not looking for an advantage, and he was offside due to luck, in his case bad luck.

That incident could have spelled disaster for Tottenham who really needed the win given that Chelsea had gone 9 points clear of them, and Mourinho wants a Champions League finish.

With Tottenham looking like the better side, West Ham still remained a danger with Pablo Fornals given a glorious chance to put the Hammers in front but he miss kicked the ball.

Tottenham eventually opened the scoring but it was an own goal by the Hammers Tomas Soucek just after the hour that provided it. It was unfortunate for the club but perhaps the goal was coming. However after the game West Ham manager David Moyes was enraged as he said replays could show Tottenham player Davison Sanchez had hand balled the cross. He demanded why VAR did not come into play, and by the laws that goal should not have counted. However the incident is not very clear as the ball moves so fast. The end result it looks like sour grapes from Moyes. However if VAR want to give Son’s goal offside, maybe Moyes has a point that it should have stopped the game and looked at the incident.

That goal took the stuffing out of West Ham and then Tottenham went onto win the game. It was an important win and keeps the club in the mix for a European finish.

As for West Ham they are hanging onto survival and are only in 17th place by virtue of goal difference. West Ham’s next game will be against Chelsea whilst Tottenham will play Sheffield United.

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