At Old Trafford, Manchester United defeated West Ham 3-1 to go to the FA Cup quarterfinals. Here are five things we discovered as a result of the game.
After a lackluster performance, top stars are needed to spark the team
Erik ten Hag used his roster effectively by rotating the players due to his hectic schedule and upcoming game against Liverpool. He probably wasn’t impressed by what he saw, though.
Roy Keane, an analyst, claimed that the first half’s underwhelming performance was caused by the unduly jubilant environment that followed the presentation of prizes.
Erik ten Hag thought enough was enough at the midway stage and replaced Scott McTominay with Casemiro. This was McTominay’s first start since January and only his third of 2023; it was a missed chance for him.
He only completed 18 passes in 45 minutes, which led to his rres. Then Marcel Sabitzer was partnered with Casemiro.
Before the hour mark, Lisandro Martinez and Marcus Rashford were also introduced. Although Erik ten Hag had hoped not to use them, a poor performance made sure of it.
United is harmed by a refereeing blunder
Middlesbrough lost the FA Cup to Manchester United last year after their goal was scored despite one of the most flagrant handball decisions you will ever see going unpunished.
This time, West Ham gained the advantage due to a mistake. The ball appeared to be well out of play on the flank, and the visitors profited as United’s players argued for it.
Said Even though Benrahma curled the ball into the corner, the goal should not have been accepted. VAR reviewed it but did not change the selection. Replays show that this was a poor choice, with United taking the most hit.
It was a disastrous night for United’s appeals when Casemiro’s header in the 72nd minute was ruled offside. In order to win, United had to fight.
United’s offense needs an own goal to succeed
Opportunities were few and far between, but the ones United did have—14 shots in the opening 70 minutes—were wasted.
Thank goodness for West Ham, as Naif Aguerd assisted United by putting a Bruno Fernandes corner into his own goal.
Wout Weghorst, who went scoreless for a second straight game, put pressure on Aguerd. For United, a proficient striker would be a game-changer.
Weghorst was crucial even if he wasn’t scoring. All three United goals were a result of his involvement. He’d be ideal if he could just add a few of his own.
Hammers are worn out by Garnacho
Beginning the game, Alejandro Garnacho became more frightening as time went on. His rapid acceleration created numerous issues for West Ham down the left side.
On a few times, West Ham had little choice but to foul him, and Garnacho also had a penalty appeal denied.
Garnacho has good fitness levels, and when West Ham’s performance declined, he grew more at ease on the field. The teen’s game still has room for development, but he persevered and eventually got his reward.
The ball dropped to the Argentine in the area in the 90th minute, and he calmly curled the game-winning goal into the bottom corner. It wasn’t a simple low; he was just making it seem that way.
The way Wout Weghorst set up Fred’s OT game-winner was superb.
Still pursuing trophies
Manchester United’s quest for additional hardware continues despite having already won one trophy. The draw is starting to open up now that the squad has advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals.
The club will carry this momentum into its Premier League match against Liverpool this coming Saturday.
It’s possible that United will add to the Carabao Cup’s collection of trophies. The fixture gridlock persists, as do the distant dreams of a quadruple. Of course, a double of any combination would satisfy us.
With a home quarterfinal showdown against Fulham looming, Erik ten Hag’s late victory was just another spectacular event in an equally magical rookie year.