It was a difficult trip to West Ham’s Rush Green for Manchester United’s U23s. They lost 2-0 in a scrappy London game. The points were there for the taking for Neil Wood’s boys, but they let them slip. West Ham trudged into the game dead last in PL2 Division 1 with no wins and United gave them their first. It was a tough game, filled with close calls and terrible officiating. On paper United beats West Ham 10 out of 10 times, but sadly football isn’t played on paper.
United started the game quite strong and were dominating both sides of the ball. During the first half, the Reds’ defense was doing a great job giving West Ham absolutely nothing to work with. On the other side of the ball, Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri were electric on the wings. Then it happened. In the 33rd minute, West Ham had their first attack on United’s goal. Bernado Rosa drove the ball to the top of United’s eighteen. He played a dangerous ball into the box, which then unfortunately resulted in William Fish scoring an own goal. To be fair, had Fish not touched the ball the Hammers would have scored anyway. The half ended 1-0 West Ham.
The second half started horribly for United. In the 47th minute, Daniel Chesters for West Ham drove the ball into the box and Arnau Puigmal gave him the slightest of touches on the back. Thus causing Chesters to totally collapse. The Hammers were awarded a penalty and Oladapo Afolayan converted making it 2-0 West Ham. After the goal, the Reds pushed and pushed but couldn’t get a bite of the cherry. In the 60th minute, Pellistri was clearly hacked down in the box, but referee Alan Dale saw nothing. Dale was atrocious all game and in the 85th minute had the audacity to give United’s Hannibal a straight red for literally nothing. I’ve watched the replay over and over, there’s simply nothing there. The boys were close, but it was just one of those days in London.
United did well all game and didn’t deserve the result. As I pointed out before their wingers, Elanga and Pellistri, were electric on the flanks. However, for every cross that was sent in, there was nothing on the end of it. Ethan Galbraith did well in his CDM role and protected the center backs nicely. In the game, the Reds dominated the possession 69.1% to West Ham’s dismal 30.9%. United were also far superior in shot production, with 20 shots to the Hammer’s 8. In fact, Neil Wood’s squad beat West Ham in every category except fouls conceded and red cards. However, stats do not win games, goals do and sadly the Reds couldn’t find any. The U23s are looking to bounce back at home against Southampton this Friday at 2:00PM EST, and I have no doubt United will come out swinging.