It was a sloppy performance from Manchester United, but they saw it out to pick up a key three points in the Premier League against West Ham.
Marcus Rashford’s powering header at the back post, meeting Christian Eriksen’s delightful cross, gave United a 1-0 lead going into half time.
In the second half, United were pinned back and defended under pressure for a lot of it. But they toughed it out and picked up a win which puts them in a strong position in the top four battle.
Here are five things UtdDistrict learnt from the 1-0 win:
#1: Marcus Rashford adding a new dynamic to his game?
After a five game goal drought, Marcus Rashford has now scored brilliant goals with his head two games in a row.
Having historically struggled to score with his head, it is refreshing to see this from the Englishman and goes to show how much work has gone into improving his game under Erik ten Hag.
#2: Diogo Dalot owns the back post
Conceding chances at the back post from crosses coming from the left hand side had been an issue for a while at Old Trafford.
But since Diogo Dalot has come into the team this has become less and less of an issue. Today, he dominated the back post in a way United haven’t seen a right back do in years.
Every single cross that came near him was cleared, nobody was even given a sniff. Against one of the most dominant aerial sides in the league, Dalot was the one standing tall.
#3: Question marks around Harry Maguire in a performance of two halves
A solid performance at Old Trafford on Thursday night was followed on by a sloppy one in the first half today, in which it was very evident Maguire hadn’t started a league game since August. United dominated possession and territory, and he stuck out like a sore thumb.
In the second half he picked up hugely as United were pushed back and made some very key interventions, towards the end of the game especially. In a high line, there are still questions about him and Lisandro Martínez.
#4: Height is overrated
Lisandro Martínez has been relentlessly targeted online, and by certain idiotic pundits, ever since he was signed by Manchester United for being a five foot nine centre back.
Since he joined he has been absolutely exceptional, and if he hadn’t already shut these people up then a clean sheet and standout performance against one of the league’s most dominant sides aerially should do so.
#5: United tough it out again
It wasn’t easy, in fact they made it hard for themselves a lot of the time, but Manchester United once again showcased the fight and mental resilience they have so lacked in recent years.
Erik ten Hag’s men have not had it easy this season, but they have overcome every hurdle and the work he has done in strengthening his players mentally is central to this.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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