LONDON – Manchester United lost a Premier League match for the second time in four days as they lost 1-0 to West Ham at the London Stadium.
Report: Manchester United lose to West Ham thanks to De Gea’s mistake
After losing to Brighton on Thursday, United squandered more points in the race for the top four after David De Gea’s howl gave West Ham the victory that secured their Premier League survival, with 37 points traditionally enough to avoid relegation.
Erik Ten Hag’s side started well and had a host of chances in the first 15 minutes, but West Ham took the lead in the first half and held on solidly when Said Benrahma hit a weak shot from 20 yards and De Gea kicked it into his own net.
1. Man United limping towards the end of the season
The good news for United is that if they win their remaining three home matches against Wolverhampton, Chelsea and Fulham, they will be in the Champions League next season. The bad news is that they look like a team that lost steam at exactly the wrong moment.
It was their 57th match in a grueling campaign and it was starting to show, with just three wins from their past eight matches in all competitions – one being on penalties in the FA Cup semi-final after a 0-0 draw with Brighton. The finish line can’t come soon enough. Liverpool are just one point behind in the race for the top four, but United have a game in hand and should still be favorites to qualify for the Champions League. Some will worry that this fight is suddenly more unnerving than it should have been.
West Ham, meanwhile, have reached 37 points and should now be safe from relegation. The timing is perfect ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg against AZ Alkmaar: David Moyes should be able to go all out to reach a European final without worrying about the Premier League clash with Brentford three days later.
2. Ten Hag has a decision to make with De Gea
The Dutch boss says his ultimate aim at United is to build a team capable of winning the biggest trophies at home and abroad, but there is a strong argument that De Gea does not deserve a place in it. There are big doubts about whether he’s good enough on the ball to help Ten Hag build from behind – he slotted the ball straight into Declan Rice after just two minutes on Sunday – and when he makes mistakes like those from Benrahma’s gift what will prove to be the game-winning goal It’s hard to defend by staying put.
Ten Hag kept De Gea in his first place this season because he had other priorities in the transfer market, and that could be the case again this summer. But if United use most of their budget on a striker, one budget-friendly option could be to bring Dean Henderson back after his loan spell at Nottingham Forest and give him a chance in the first team.
De Gea has been a fantastic goalkeeper for over a decade but the time is fast approaching for Ten Hag to decide if he is good enough to help take United to the next level and challenge Manchester City.
3. Further proof that Rice can fit into any of the top six teams
It’s not often that a player is so good that you could make a case for him to improve each of the Premier League’s top six teams, but Rice is pretty close. He is a great No. 6, but can also play further as a No. 8; It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the biggest clubs in England were waiting for his signature in the summer.
It is also clear that Rice deserves action. After more than 200 appearances for West Ham, he has spent his time in east London and is supposed to play Champions League football every week. Arsenal are keen, as is Chelsea, and if Judd Bellingham ends up at Real Madrid, then both Manchester City and Manchester United must also make inquiries about Rice’s availability even if his valuation is set at £100m.
Rice, 24, was the driving force for West Ham against United, running a minute back to tidy up Anthony’s attack, then moments later racing into the opposition penalty area and dancing around two challenges to slip an enticing cross into the area that should have led to a goal.
The England midfielder grew up at West Ham but it’s time for him to be on a bigger stage.
The best and worst performers
Declan Rice, MF, West Ham: His positioning, passing and work rate were spot on and he appeared to be one of the best midfielders in the world.
Lukasz Fabianski, goalkeeper, West Ham: He handled everything thrown at him well, including a good late blocking off Anthony Martial.
Naif Ajord, West Ham United: The hosts had to put up with United’s bouts of pressure and Egwerd was key to his management.
David De Gea, goalkeeper, Manchester United: He made a huge mistake with a weak shot from Benrahma, to give West Ham the lead.
Wout Weghorst, ST, Man United: He started well but had to come off early in the second half because he doesn’t pose any threat at all.
Luke Shaw, DF, Man United: West Ham’s goal was De Gea’s fault, but Shaw was second best in the challenge during build-up.
Highlights and notable moments
De Gea will wish he could recover this…
On La de Gea. 😬
– NBC Sports Soccer (NBCSportsSoccer) May 7, 2023
… And the Hammers really thought they had scored a crucial second goal before VAR intervened.
West Ham had the ball in the net again but there was no goal due to a foul on De Gea.
– NBC Sports Soccer (NBCSportsSoccer) May 7, 2023
Either way, they hold on to an important win when it comes to their Premier League status.
After the game: What the managers said, the players said
“Obviously it’s huge, the importance is huge. The guys, they gave absolutely everything, to win this which we knew was big. Some things suit you in football and that was one of those things. Yeah, I’m giddy.” West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice to BT Sport
“He. She [the result] It leaves us much better, and it’s hard for other teams to catch up [in the fight to avoid relegation]They will find it very difficult to get points. The number has not been confirmed as keeping you in the Premier League so we have to look forward to the next game and try to collect more points.” West Ham manager David Moyes for BT Sport
Key stats (courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info)
David De Gea (540) beats Alex Stepney (539) for most appearances of all time by a Manchester United goalkeeper.
– David De Gea: Second scoring foul in the Premier League this season, and the most T-4 of all players (only Lloris, Gueye and Meslier have more)
– Said Benrahma (WHU): Second goal against Manchester United this season (all companies); He also scored in the FA Cup loss on 1 March
In the past five Premier League seasons, only Jordan Pickford has more goal-scoring errors than David De Gea: Everton’s Pickford (13) leads De Gea’s 11, with Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris (9) and a trio of goalkeepers (Liverpool’s Alisson, Bernd lino). Fulham and Martin Dubravka, who was with Newcastle) in the eighth.
– Manchester United did not win any matches in the past two seasons, as they were late at half-time
Man United: The odds for the top four places drop from 87% to 76% for every thirty-five-eighth
West Ham: David Moyes’ side have a busy week ahead of them, as they try to avoid relegation while also battling for a title in Europe. The Hammers will host the Dutch team Alkmaar on Thursday in the first leg of the semi-finals of the European Conference League, before a difficult trip to Brentford next Sunday.
Manchester United: Ten Hag & Co only have the Premier League to worry about until the FA Cup final on June 3 with Manchester City. On Saturday, they travel to Wolverhampton for a league match in which both sides can really use the points.