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Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United
WEST HAM UNITED confirmed their Premier League status with a hard-fought share of the spoils against top-four chasing Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Hammers headed to the North-West with a six-point advantage and a superior goal difference for security. However, another stout display sealed the deal – David Moyes again doing exactly what he was brought in to do, again from a seemingly hopeless situation.
Indeed, the Scotsman recognised the improvement in his side, particularly since the restart: “This period we have had has really benefited the players,” he explained.
“I think they are in good condition, you can see that in their performances and their energy. I hope we continue improving but we need to get away from this club being a couple of good games and then some bad ones, I want to get away from that inconsistency.
Despite – perhaps expectedly – conceding much of the ball during the opening period, it was West Ham who snatched the lead in stoppage-time. Paul Pogba handled from Declan Rice – VAR took its time – Michail Antonio sidefooting home his eighth goal in six games from the resulting spot-kick.
But six minutes after the restart, United were level. Mason Greenwood’s emergence this season has been nothing short of spectacular – the 18-year-old exchanged passes with Anthony Martial before rifling his tenth goal of the season beyond Lukasz Fabianski.
However, West Ham’s new-found resolve ensured they got what they came for and Moyes was clearly delighted to have completed the task with a game to spare: “I liked the sound of it before the game because it would have taken quite a big total for other teams to catch our goal difference and points, but the maths didn’t make it safe,” he said.
“Thankfully today the players put in a good job and thoroughly deserved a point.”
Moyes will undoubtedly reshape the squad during the shortened pre-season. However, the Hammers chief believed there is a good reason for optimism: “I think we’re moving in the right direction already, we’ve got some young players and good talent who I believe will improve and get better,” he added.
“I think we have to build West Ham up if we can and given time we will do that.”
West Ham United complete their Premier League campaign with a visit from relegation-haunted Aston Villa – London Stadium – Sunday, July 26 (4pm).
Manchester United: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah (Wan-Bissaka 46’), Lindelöf, Maguire, Williams, Pogba, Matic, Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford (Ighalo 85’), Martial Subs not used: Mata, Lingard, Fred, Dalot, James, Romero, McTominay
West Ham United: Fabianski, Johnson, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Masuaku 75’), Soucek, Rice, Bowen (Yarmolenko 90+1’), Noble, Fornals, Antonio (Haller 78’) Subs not used: Balbuena, Felipe Anderson, Lanzini, Wilshere, Randolph, Coventry
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Ian Hussin and Darren Cann
Fourth Official: Mike Dean