West Ham United held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford this evening, with Diafra Sakho’s early opening strike cancelled out by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It’s the first time since 1990 that the Red Devils have failed to win at home in four consecutive games, and the pressure is clearly taking its toll on Jose Mourinho who was sent to the stands in the first half.
It was West Ham who came out of the blocks the quicker in Manchester, with the visitors taking the lead only two minutes into the clash.
Sakho, making just his second start of the season, nodded his side in front after outmuscling Ibrahimovic to meet Dimitri Payet’s fine free-kick from the right wing, grabbing his first goal since May.
But United responded well to a disastrous start, with Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard causing problems for West Ham’s nervous back line.
And 21 minutes in the Red Devils had their equaliser, as Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic linked up superbly – something that hasn’t often been said this season.
The world’s most expensive player spotted the run of his team-mate, sending a long ball over the Hammers defence and onto the head of the centre forward, who made no mistake in nodding the ball past Darren Randolph.
It wasn’t long, though, until Mourinho stole the headlines. The Portuguese coach expressed his fury at a yellow card being shown to Pogba for diving, consequently getting sent to the stands for angrily kicking a water bottle. It’s yet another foolish decision from a manager who seems to be feeling the pressure of expectations in Manchester.
Despite the touchline drama, United looked the more likely team to get their noses ahead.
Lingard had an excellent opportunity to give his side the lead, firing a volley over the crossbar from close range. Rashford, a few minutes later, outpaced West Ham’s defenders, bursting into the penalty box with ease, but his effort was stopped by the right leg of Randolph.
With it 1-1 at half-time, all was to be played for, but United continued to waste their chances.
West Ham posed little threat so far, but United, despite carving plenty of openings on goal, failed to really test Randolph, made to suffer for their poor decision-making in the final third.
But into the final 10 minutes and the game became stretched, and the Hammers looked particularly dangerous on the counter attack.
Former United striker Ashley Fletcher had a fine chance to snatch the three points for the visitors late on, dribbling his way into the box, but his effort from the right of David De Gea’s goal was straight at the Spain goalkeeper.
United should have been out of sight at half-time, but were ultimately made to pay for miserable finishing and few could argue that either side were deserving of the three points.