As the first international break becomes a distant memory, teams in the Premier League refine their focus, aiming for a strong position going into the Christmas schedule. West Ham continued their impressive progress with a solid home win against a floundering Man United side. Without a penalty in sight, the visitors struggled to a disappointing 2-0 defeat, once again leaving the Olympic Stadium with nothing.
West Ham lined up in a 4-1-4-1 system, with Declan Rice deployed as the holding midfielder, positioned in front of the back four. Forced changes for Manuel Pellegrini saw Aaron Cresswell – whose sumptuous free-kick doubled the host’s lead – replace the suspended Arthur Masuaku. Pablo Fornals started in midfield alongside Mark Noble, in place of the injured Manuel Lanzini. Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna continued to impress as the centre-back pairing; their physical presence bullied Man United’s forwards, not just in aerial duels but 1v1 duels too.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær stuck with the same team that narrowly beat Leicester last week. The visitors continued to rely on youth, registering the lowest average age of any starting 11 in this year’s Premier League campaign – 25 years and 123 days.
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