ARTICLES Player Ratings

Player Ratings: West Ham 1-2 Manchester United

Manchester United travelled down to London for the first time this season, today to visit the London Stadium and West Ham United. It was West Ham who took the lead after 30 minutes, through a deflected shot by Algerian attacker Said Benrahma. United equalised just five minutes later, with what felt like an inevitable goal by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker scored a rebound after his first shot was spilt by Lukas Fabianski.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær left it fairly late to make a substitution, but when he did, it was an inspired one. Former West Ham loanee Jesse Lingard scored a superb last-minute goal, curling his shot into the top corner.

Just when it seemed like all three points would be United’s, West Ham won a penalty after Luke Shaw committed a handball. This was only moments after United should’ve had a penalty of their own, with Kurt Zouma bringing down Ronaldo. However, spectacularly, David De Gea pulled off a brilliant penalty save, preventing Mark Noble from earning his side a point. Noble was subbed on specifically to take the penalty.

Goalkeeper

David De Gea – 10/10

The Spaniard won two points for United at the death, brilliantly saving Noble’s penalty in incredible fashion, moments after United should’ve had a penalty of their own. The narrative of the situation was somewhat against United, and De Gea, with Noble being subbed on right at the death, looking to equalise from the spot. United’s number one, however, produced a superb one-handed save to deny West Ham a point, in the most dramatic circumstances. This save alone earned De Gea his perfect rating. Aside from the penalty, however, De Gea looked comfortable throughout the game, and his penalty save capped off another excellent performance.

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Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7.5/10

After a tough game in Bern for Wan-Bissaka, where he was sent off for the first time in a United shirt, the right-back bounced back well. It was an impressive showing overall, and he seemed confident when attacking, putting in a few crosses when the situation arose. It was a great response after a disappointing mid-week outing, and Wan-Bissaka proved yet again why he deserves his place in the starting eleven.  

Raphael Varane – 6.5/10

The Frenchman gets a lower rating than he arguably deserves, after another comfortable game, on the whole. Varane was the unlucky player who Benrahma’s shot deflected off to give West Ham the lead in the first half. It wasn’t so much an attempted block from Varane, but more the fact that the ball happened to bounce off him, taking the shot goal-bound. He did make a good block before West Ham’s goal, although it looked like Jared Bowen’s shot was headed wide. Apart from his part in the home side’s goal, Varane was defensively solid, and, despite one or two sloppy passes, he looked comfortable on the ball.

Harry Maguire – 6/10

The United skipper didn’t look at his best today. He made a poor mistake in the first half, which led to the chance that Bowen had, requiring his centre-back partner to make the aforementioned block. He also misplaced a few passes, occasionally leaving his teammates in tough situations. Not Maguire’s best game for United, but by no means was it a terrible performance.

Luke Shaw – 7/10

Another solid showing from Luke Shaw. He has grown to be arguably United’s most consistent performer over the last 12 to 18 months, and today was another good outing. He attacked well down the left-hand side and had a shot from range early on which tested West Ham goalkeeperFabianski. Shaw’s set-piece delivery was once again excellent, and he was unlucky that no one could convert any of the deliveries he put into the box. It was Shaw’s handball that gave West Ham the penalty, an unlucky way to end a good contribution. Overall, it was another pleasing performance from the Englishman.

Midfielders

Fred – 4.5/10

The Brazilian struggled to find his feet properly throughout the game. Despite showing some flashes of good play, Fred struggled to win many tackles and misplaced some simple passes. He will certainly look to improve on his performances from the start of the season, which has been rocky for the midfielder.

Scott McTominay – 4.5/10

McTominay never looked at the races today, and it isn’t surprising, considering it was his first game back since his operation during the September international break. Surprisingly, he got through 90 minutes, and despite not looking himself throughout most of the game, made some important contributions at times, including an excellent through ball to Ronaldo, of which the striker couldn’t make anything of. It will be vital to manage McTominay’s fitness over the next few weeks, with some important games coming up soon.

Bruno Fernandes – 7/10

Unfortunately, Ronaldo’s goal will not go down as being assisted by Bruno Fernandes, due to the striker tucking home the rebound from his initial shot. Despite this, it was an excellent cross again to find his countryman. Whilst Fernandes didn’t score or assist himself, he made a good contribution throughout the game. He saw a vicious volley saved onto the post by Fabianski, a strike that could’ve easily found its way into the back of the net on another day.

Forwards

Paul Pogba – 6.5/10

Deployed on the left today by Solskjær, Pogba never really got the chance to directly influence the game directly, whether by scoring or assisting. With that being said, he still showed some excellent skill to dribble past defenders, as he so often does, and his passing was once again second to none. A decent display overall by Pogba.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 8/10

Cristiano Ronaldo has made an incredible start to his second spell at Manchester United. He struck his fourth goal in just his third game, cancelling out Benrahma’s opener just 5 minutes after minutes after United conceded. He once again displayed incredible movement off the ball, making some exceptional runs, whether he was passed to or not. Ronaldo should have had two penalties in the second half, and was exceptionally hard-done-by, especially since neither of them was consulted at the pitch-side VAR monitor. It was another great performance by United’s number seven, yet again showing why he is one of the greatest ever players.

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Mason Greenwood – 6/10

Playing out on the right today, Greenwood didn’t have the impact he would’ve hoped. Whilst he put some good crosses in the box, the chance to unleash a deadly shot never arose, although he too made some good runs in behind West Ham’s back four. He was subbed off after 73 minutes for Jadon Sancho.

Substitutes

Jesse Lingard – 8/10

On his return to the London Stadium, following a hugely successful loan spell with West Ham last season, who else could it be but Jesse Lingard to score the winner for United. The 28-year-old sent his curling effort flying into the top right corner, leaving Fabianski rooted to the spot. Before his excellent goal, Lingard didn’t really put a foot wrong, making some excellent passes and retaining possession well. An incredible way to bounce back following a tough week in the Champions League.

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Jadon Sancho – 6/10

Sancho was subbed on at the same time as Lingard, and whilst he didn’t score, as his England team-mate did, he looked sharp during his brief cameo. Once again, he demonstrated his incredible dribbling ability and played some tidy passes. There is, without a doubt, more to come from Sancho over the next few weeks, and beyond.

Nemanja Matic – 6.5/10

Although he was only on the pitch for less than ten minutes, it was Matic’s pass that assisted Lingard’s winner. Aside from that. Matic had little to do, and his rating is more down to his assist than anything else.

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