English Premier League

West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United

West Ham United 2-0 Manchester United. West Ham scored twice in six minutes to condemn Manchester United to an eighth Premier League defeat of the season at the London Stadium.

It took 72 minutes of a drab encounter for West Ham to find the opener when Lucas Paqueta lifted the ball into Jarrod Bowen’s path and the Hammers’ top scorer this season bundled past Andre Onana.

Mohammed Kudus, who has scored in his last three home games for West Ham, latched onto Kobbie Mainoo’s defensive error to drill into the bottom corner and double the home side’s lead.

Manchester United have won just one match out of their last five in the top flight and Erik ten Hag’s side have lost more games than they have won this season across all competitions.

As a result West Ham leapfrog them into sixth place in the table as United drop to eighth.

Bowen said that the Irons want to be in the “top six, minimum”, while manager David Moyes said it was “amazing” to be in the top six going into Christmas.

“We want to be [in the top six],” Bowen told Match of the Day.

“But I think you look at the top 10 and it’s probably the most open it’s ever been with teams coming in – Aston Villa, even they’re in the top four, Brighton and Chelsea are top sides.

“All we can do is win our games but we want to be in that top six minimum, for sure.”

Manchester United host unexpected title-challengers Aston Villa on Boxing Day while West Ham travel to Arsenal on Thursday 28 December.

West Ham are used to watching their opponents dominate possession – they have beaten Arsenal and Tottenham over the past two months with less than 30% possession.

But David Moyes’ side struggled to be effective on the counter in the first half in a flat game of poor quality on both sides.

Bowen’s brilliant header from a corner required Onana to tip over the bar as West Ham struggled to find their rhythm.

But after Paqueta’s sublime ball set up Bowen, West Ham upped the tempo and the volume from the crowd increased with it.

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes said Paqueta – who Manchester City attempted to sign in the summer – reminded him of Eric Cantona.

“With performances like that – there will be big clubs wanting him,” Scholes said on TNT Sports.

“You can see Real Madrid, Man City, Arsenal all wanting him. He is a unit and reminds me a bit of Cantona.”

Kudus doubled the hosts’ lead with his 10th goal of the season, nine of which have come at London Stadium, as Manchester United struggled to get back in the game.

Fans have called for West Ham manager Moyes to enter the transfer market in January for a striker but with the threat of Bowen, Kudus and Paqueta, who has assisted the Hammers’ last five goals in the league, West Ham look on track to enjoy another fruitful season.

After Manchester United secured a point against Liverpool at Anfield last time out, the mood of negativity seemed to ease but, following a poor performance against a team managed by their former manager, the statistics make for grim reading.

United have lost 13 games in all competitions already this season – the last season they lost more matches before Christmas was in 1930-31 (16), a campaign in which they finished bottom of the top flight.

They have also recorded more defeats so far this season than in all 62 competitive games last term.

And they have failed to score in their last four matches in all competitions for the first time since November 1992 under Alex Ferguson.

Rasmus Hojlund, who was replaced by Marcus Rashford after 55 minutes, is still yet to register a goal in the Premier League while Antony has failed to score or provide an assist in all 19 appearances this season.

While Ten Hag’s list of injuries is extensive, forcing him to turn to the academy and hand a first senior appearance to 19-year-old defender Willy Kambwala, the lack of chances created with the forward players at his disposal will be a concern for the Dutchman.

Their response to going behind appeared to be indifference and they will have to quickly pick themselves up with the prospect of an in-form Villa on the horizon.

Off the pitch, uncertainty around their ownership continues to rumble on and a resolution looks increasingly unlikely before Christmas.


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