Man Utd secure second place with goalless draw at West Ham

Date published: Thursday 10th May 2018 9:37

Manchester United secured a second-place finish in the Premier League despite a goalless draw with West Ham.

Luke Shaw had the best chance for the visiting side in the first half when he arrived first at a rebound from an Alexis Sanchez shot, though his low strike hit the post.

There was a moment of controversy with just minutes remaining as Paul Pogba and Mark Noble clashed; the West Ham captain appearing to raise his hands at the Frenchman before Andy Carroll came in and made his presence felt. Somehow though, no red cards were issued.

The point means United will finish as best of the rest behind runaway champions Manchester City while David Moyes’ Hammers move within two points of the top half with a game remaining.

Two years to the day since West Ham won this fixture, the last at their old Upton Park home, and the stage could not have been further removed. There were empty seats, a lack of atmosphere and two sides lurching towards the end of fairly disappointing league campaigns.

Mourinho reacted to Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Brighton by making eight changes, introducing a back three and utilising fit-again Alexis Sanchez as his main striker.

The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata paid the price for a poor showing on the south coast with the trio dropped to the bench here.

The away supporters in attendance paid near-constant tributes to former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the 76-year-old now out of intensive care having had an operation on a brain haemorrhage over the weekend.

West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic hit an early strike straight at David De Gea before the Austria international could only head over from six yards after Chris Smalling made a mess of clearing Aaron Cresswell’s cross.

United’s first decent chance came at the midway point of the first-half and fell the way of Scott McTominay – but Mourinho’s choice for player of the year could only arrow a shot wide of Adrian’s goal.

Jesse Lingard forced the Spanish goalkeeper into his first save moments later with a drive from a similar position.

The visitors started to take control of the contest, Sanchez drawing another stop from Adrian before the West Ham stopper turned Shaw’s follow-up strike onto the post.

West Ham reacted, Cresswell firing wide from long-range before Joao Mario turned an Arnautovic cross behind from six yards.

Adrian was again on hand to keep out Lingard’s strike on the stroke of half-time as the teams headed in level at the break.

Paul Pogba headed wide as the half wore on without any real drama, Moyes turning to Andy Carroll with 25 minutes remaining after the pair buried the hatchet following a falling out in the aftermath of the defeat to Manchester City.

Mourinho turned to Rashford in an attempt to sway the game in favour of United, who were again below-par just over a week before their FA Cup final date with Chelsea.

The game seemed to be petering out before a flare up between the sides as Pogba’s foul on West Ham skipper Mark Noble led to a fracas.

Both players grabbed hold of one another but it was Noble who was arguably the luckier of the pair to only be cautioned following his angry reaction.

That proved to be the final action of note as a poor game deservedly ended with no side able to muster up a winning goal.

 

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