Not all United players had their hearts in the game, and from the team selection (and the substitutions, neither did Ferguson) and we paid the price for that in terms of a home defeat and a second double defeat of the season (the other team being Arsenal).
The game had little in it – United played like Arsenal at times, over-elaborate and too clever for their own good. With Rooney sitting deep and Solskjaer lacking pace, Smith was left up alone and he’s never going to score many goals like that.
Gradually West Ham fought back and Tevez, scored a goal that was somewhat lucky, but possible only because of his perseverance.
Ferguson brought on Scholes, Ronaldo and Giggs, and that made United more attacking but imbalanced – no Carrick and no Smith meant that United were vulnerable to attack, no creative player linking them from defence to attack and no physical presence up front.
The second half mirrored the first half, United pushing and getting chances but not converting while West Ham battled hard and held their own till the end.
How could United have won? By making the right subs (i.e. taking Fletch and Ole off instead of Smith and Carrick). However, United are champions and the defeat did little to dent the post-match trophy celebrations.
It’s on to Wembley in 6 days, the pain of watching the CL final four days later and after that it’s 3 months of transfer speculation. What fun.
Oh and – Baptista can’t even score from a penalty.
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