De Futebol

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Man U and West Ham tied one all at Old Trafford. This Red Devils fourth straight tie at Old Trafford for the first time since 1980. The guys have dropped further off the leaderboard.

The guys have 20 points. Top dog Chelsea has 31. So eleven points separate the Red Devils from first place Blues.

This is Man U’s third draw in their last five matches. The Red Devils have one win, one loss and three draws over this span of matches.

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Diafra Sakho noddle home the rock ninety seconds into the match for the Hammers to make one nil.

Man U responded with a scorcher of a header by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 21st minute.

The Red Devils applied the pressure but could not find the back of the net.

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The Guardians Jamie Jackson wrote: “This was not the first time Manchester United failed to turn dominance into victory and not the first time José Mourinho was sent off.

United will again rue their lack of ruthlessness and Mourinho may regret the 27th-minute incident when a water bottle was sent careering in anger at Paul Pogba’s booking for diving by Jonathan Moss, which was actually the correct decision by the referee.

Mourinho received a one-match ban for verbal misconduct towards Mark Clattenburg during October’s draw here with Burnley. He may well be handed a similar punishment – at minimum – for his behaviour today, with Moss also the referee who showed him a red card against West Ham United last season at the Boleyn Ground.

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All of this should not distract from another disappointing result. Towards the end, Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit the right post and Jesse Lingard finished but this was adjudged offside. Pogba went close with a shot Darren Randolph, who had a fine afternoon, saved impressively.

But despite the grandstand finish United might have lost at the death when the replacement Ashley Fletcher forced David De Gea into frantic use of his chest to stop from close range.

What it means is that United are now a yawning 11 points behind Chelsea and any title-challenging hopes rather distant.

For the third time this season United had been caught slumbering at kick-off. The previous two led to goals by Chelsea (after 40 seconds) and Fenerbahce (two minutes) and 90 seconds were gone today when United went behind.

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This was Route One, simple stuff. Dimitri Payet lifted a free-kick in from the right and Diafra Sakho eased ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to head home.

Ander Herrera may or may not have been impeded by Antonio as the ball flew past but the Swede should still have done better. Or, perhaps an actual defender – Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo – might have been detailed to mark the centre-forward.

The bottom line was that the Portuguese was reduced to waving his men back to restart quickly and United were behind far too soon.

Beforehand Mourinho once more bewailed how unlucky his side have been in recent outings. They were, indeed, the dominant force against Arsenal and Burnley (each draws), in two of their past three league matches. Slowly, United repeated this pattern: they took the contest to the Hammers and, 19 minutes later, equalised.

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This was a slick move executed via the intelligence of Pogba and Ibrahmovic. When the Frenchman looked up he saw the No9 making a smart dart into space. Pogba landed the chip plum on Ibrahimovic’s head and he beat Randolph for a ninth this term.

Now came Mourinho’s latest fall-out with an official. When Pogba went down following a Mark Noble challenge it appeared the midfielder had been wrongly booked for a dive. This had Mourinho incandescent but replays showed Moss was correct. Moments before Payet had bought a free-kick when Ander Herrera seemed to make zero contact and this had also made Mourinho cross. This might have added to his fury at Pogba’s yellow card yet, really, he should have calmed himself. Instead, a water bottle went flying and off he went, though where to was a mystery.

While the score remained 1-1 at the break each side had chances. Rashford saw Rudolph save a shot with his legs. Later, Lingard caused the goalkeeper to deny him to his left.

Moments before Moss’s uncomfortable afternoon continued when he turned down a West Ham penalty despite Payet clearly hitting Marcos Rojo’s left hand.

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Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth earlier had increased the need for United to win if they wished to keep the top four in sight. So as he ordered his side out for the second half Mourinho surely urged them to hunt for the three points.

The XI chosen showed six changes. Out went Wayne Rooney, Mkhitaryan, Luke Shaw, Sergio Romero, Michael Carrick and Daley Blind. In came De Gea, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Rashford, Lingard and Ander Herrera.

There was a place, too, for Bastian Schweinsteiger on the bench – a first time in the 18 under the manager – and a first match-day involvement since March’s 1-0 victory at Manchester United.

As the second period began, Rashford troubled West Ham along the left. Then, Antonio tussled with Darmian – conceding a foul – and later banged in a cross that Marcos Rojo deflected for a corner. Payet, again, was precise when dropping the ball on Sakho’s head but the effort was misdirected.

 

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Payet was the visitor’s top performer. A free-kick from a righthand angle became a snap shot that De Gea scrambled to save. Next, a Payet corner was missed by De Gea and Pogba was relieved to clear.

On 64 minutes Mourinho made a move by taking off Juan Mata and Rashford for Rooney and Mkhitaryan.

The captain immediately had a chance. Lingard passed to Ibrahimovic who laid the ball on to Rooney, but in trying to curl a finish inside Randolph’s left post managed only to cede the ball.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/27/manchester-united-west-ham-premier-league-match-report

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