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West Ham 2-0 Manchester United: What Were The Main Talking Points As The Pressure Stacks On Erik Ten Hag’s Shoulders?

Putting in another toothless performance on Saturday lunchtime, Manchester United slumped to a 2-0 loss against West Ham at the London Stadium.

While chances might have come at a real premium at both ends of the pitch prior to the half-time break, the Hammers put in a far more improved display as the red-hot Jarrod Bowen opened the scoring in the 72nd minute.

With the pressure on Erik ten Hag’s shoulders now reaching a boring point, Mohamed Kudus eventually doubled West Ham’s lead just six minutes after Bowen’s strike.

Although Saturday’s 2-0 win might see David Moyes’ men briefly climb to sixth in the Premier League table, it will be Manchester United’s latest top-flight struggle that will steal most of the headlines.

In the midst of another public crisis and once again struggling in the final third here, the Reds now face a major uphill battle in their bid to claim a crucial top-four finish in the New Year.

With just a single win from any of their previous seven appearances across all competitions, we have taken a look at the main talking points as West Ham piled more pressure onto an under-pressure ten Hag.

Where next for ten Hag?

Putting in a gritty performance at historic rivals Liverpool last weekend as they snatched a 0-0 stalemate, Manchester United had hoped that they had created a platform to build on.

However. crashing out of the Champions League earlier in the month and breaking a string of unwanted European records, fingers are certainly being pointed in ten Hag’s direction.

Coming under a huge amount of scrutiny on December 9th as they slumped to an infamous 3-0 drumming at home against Bournemouth, the former Ajax boss has also seen his squad gain a reputation for their glaring issues in the final third.

With summer recruit Rasmus Hojlund yet to open his Premier League account since completing a £72million move from Atalanta, United have now failed to find the net in any of their last four appearances on the spin.

Free-falling down the Premier League table and currently sat six points adrift of breaking into the top-four, ten Hag will have some serious questions to answer when United return to Old Trafford.

Moyes gets the response he was desperate for

Crashing out of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night following a woeful 5-1 drumming at the hands of Liverpool, Moyes’ questionable team selection at Anfield certainly raised plenty of eyebrows.

However, at the heart of a relegation scrap last season and only just limping their way over the finish line, West Ham have continued to shine this time around.

Making real history out in Prague over the summer as they were crowned Europa Conference League champions thanks to a 1-0 victory against Fiorentina, the ex-Manchester United boss would have been smelling a golden opportunity to get one over on his former employers here.

Cruising their way to the Europa League knockout stage earlier in the month and not really having to get out of third gear, West Ham have gained plenty of plaudits this season.

Turning the London Stadium into a real fortress and not suffering a single defeat in front of their own supporters since the end of October, the Hammers should find the mood in their camp at a real high.

Bowen-Paqueta-Kudus = West Ham’s lethal attacking trio

While West Ham might have found goals hard to come by last season, the Hammers now have an attacking trio that can cause all of the Premier League’s elite issues.

With Bowen notching his 11th Premier League strike of the season here, the former Hull starlet only sits behind Erling Haaland in the Golden Boot race and will certainly feature in Gareth Southgate’s EURO 24 squad.

Although Bowen might have continued to spearhead West Ham’s charge this season, Kudus is quickly staking his claim as one of the signings of the summer.

Arriving from Dutch giants Ajax and hitting the ground running in east London, the Ghana international has already notched nine strikes across all competitions for Moyes’ men.

With Brazilian talisman Lucas Paqueta also now registering an assist in all of West Ham’s previous five Premier League goals, it is no surprise why fans around the London Stadium are so excited by their fearsome attacking trio.

Match Report

West Ham: Areola, Coufal, Zouma, Mavropanos, Emerson, Alvarez, Soucek, Ward-Prowse, Kudus, Paqueta, Bowen

Subs: Fornals, Johnson

Manchester United: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Kambwala, Evans, Shaw, Mainoo, McTominay, Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho, Hojlund

Subs: Eriksen, Rashford, Pellistri, Regulion

Goals: Bowen (72’), Kudus (78’)

Yellow Cards: West Ham: Kudus, Paqueta – Manchester United: Fernandes, Evans, Shaw

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Simon Hooper

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