“Our strength thorough is obvious for everybody to ascertain now,” wrote Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his program notes before West Ham United’s visit to Old Trafford within the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. The Manchester United manager might need a rethink after watching his much-changed team lose 1-0 and with it one among four chances to win a trophy this season. You can argue this was a United team crammed with players with no kind of rhythm after watching the opening weeks of the season from the bench, but they ought to still have beaten West Ham, who made 10 changes of their own.
While Jesse Lingard, the match-winner when the 2 teams met within the Premier League on Sunday, was bright, others like Anthony Martial were poor. The French player, without a goal since February, did nothing to suggest he is going to be anything quite a substitute when Aston Villa comes to Old Trafford on Sunday. The regulars are going to be back for that one. “Every game is vital, and you’ll see by the team selection that we’ve always used this competition when I have been here at the club to offer minutes to those who need it,” Solskjaer said. “It’s an extended, long season. I’ve never actually won this tournament; that hunt will keep going. it is a trophy I’d wish to have. We made decisions to urge the squad up to hurry .”
Solskjaer promised changes for United’s first involvement within the Carabao Cup and made 11 for the second meeting with West Ham United within the space of 4 days. David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, and Cristiano Ronaldo were all given the night off to form room for squad players hoping to impress like Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, and Donny van de Beek. Dean Henderson returned in goal to form his first senior appearance since recovering from COVID-19 contracted over the summer. And Alex Telles made his comeback following an ankle injury suffered during the preseason. The Brazilian left-back didn’t enjoy the simplest start after being ignored by Andriy Yarmolenko within the opening two minutes. Telles was fortunate that Jarrod Bowen, the sole player from either team to start out here and at the London Stadium on Sunday, scuffed the resulting opportunity. Telles wasn’t so lucky five minutes later when Ryan Fredericks blew past him on the left and squared for Manuel Lanzini to offer West Ham an early lead that they never gave up.
Telles wasn’t alone in missing the chance to impress Solskjaer. Martial toe-poked one half-chance wide within the half , but that was as close as he got. aside from that, his evening consisted of a series of heavy touches and periodically being bundled off the ball by Craig Dawson.
When Solskjaer turned to A-listers Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes within the 62nd and 72nd minutes, respectively, in an effort to rescue the result, it had been a surprise that Lingard, who may need to be won a penalty within the half when he was pulled down by Mark Noble, instead of Martial was called off. it had been a performance that shows why he’s now United’s fourth-choice center-forward, behind Ronaldo, Greenwood, and Edinson Cavani. Martial’s recent record reads two goals in his past 24 appearances. he’s running out of chances, although afterward, Solskjaer refused to single out anyone for particular criticism.
“I don’t think it’s right to travel into individual performances,” the United boss said. “[Martial] was an equivalent because of the remainder of the team. We played some nice football, we lacked a number of that leading edge and he knows what we would like from him. He’ll keep working and obtain his chances.” “It was a poor start, then once we decided that we wanted to hitch the sport, we played some good football,” he added. “Loads of shots, a lot of pressure, excellent attitude, but we lacked that tiny bit, definitely.
“It’s a transparent penalty for Jesse again. Mark Noble falls and pulls him down. you cannot dwell an excessive amount of thereon. the primary 10 minutes we were slow both in and out of possession, which are some things we’ve to deal with. I wasn’t pleased with the beginning, but we will not find ourselves in these situations and expect to urge wins; we’d like to start out games better.”
David Moyes, meanwhile, had an evening to recollect. In his ninth game against United since they sacked him in April 2014, he finally tasted victory, even with Declan Rice and Michail Antonio watching from the stands. West Ham had not won at Old Trafford since May 2007, but they’re going to remember this one, particularly after the way of their defeat at the weekend — sealed by an 89th-minute Lingard goal.
United ended the night having had 27 shots, but West Ham should have scored again late on when Yarmolenko hit the post. Henderson made two good saves — one from Bowen and another from Noble — to offer United hope into stoppage time, but Alphonse Areola, making his West Ham debut, never looked panicked. In a battle of squad players, it had been West Ham’s who gave their manager something to believe .