United Nail Hammers
Like a fight between two brothers, Manchester United and West Ham United went at one another in a very scrappy, unsurprising manner when the teams met at Old Trafford on Saturday 27 September, the bigger brother taking a 2-1 victory.
West Ham went into the game on the back of an inspired 3-1 win over Liverpool last weekend and would have hoped for a similar result at Old Trafford with the home team still feeling the effects of a 5-3 hiding against Leicester City. However, it was the Red Devils who got the scoring underway. Attacking wing-back, Rafael made a trademark burst down the right before rounding in a driven cross for Wayne Rooney who smashed home on five minutes.
United fans didn’t have to wait long before celebrating again open as Alex Song, who proved old habits really do die hard, providing a poor back pass which turned into an assist for Robin van Persie.
West Ham began to find their shape and made a few attacking plays of their own and, on 37 minutes, David De Gea ran out to punch a corner to safety but a typical blunder insued as the Spanish ‘keeper completely missed the ball and Sakho finished to pull one back.
The second half was a cagey one from both sides with United playing football like an anorexic model would play with her food: very tentative, shaky, not really into it, and looked nervous throughout.
Just when Louis van Gaal may have thought his squad couldn’t get any thinner, on the hour mark, Rooney went from Captain Fantastic to something resembling the lovechild of Joey Barton and Robbie Savage when he blatantly kicked out at Stuart Downing and received his marching orders from referee Lee Mason. West Ham continued to press and had the ball in the back of the net 8 minutes from time through Kevin Nolan, only to find the assistant had raised his flag for offside.
A second win of the season leaves United in seventh on eight points while an impressive West Ham, who dominated on total shots and corner count, find themselves sitting just outside of the top ten on seven points.