Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United Tactical Analysis: Frustrating draw for United at home as Hammers go home happy

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United Tactical Analysis: Frustrating draw for United at home as Hammers go home happy

After a resounding victory in the Europa League, United were expected to take all three points from this one, but were frustrated by a thoroughly organised and physical display from Slaven Bilic's West Ham United.

Ninad Barbadikar

It was yet another frustrating night for Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United side at Old Trafford as West Ham United became the latest team to escape the theatre of dreams with a point.

The Hammers took an early lead in the game when a Dmitri Payet set-piece found the head of Diafra Sakho and the Senegalese took full advantage of some poor marking to give Slaven Bilic's team the lead. United struggled to get back into the game and were finding it difficult to break down a solid Hammers defence.

After having much of the ball, United finally found their much wanted equaliser when Paul Pogba launched a wonderfull ball into the penalty box and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was there to put a downward header past Darren Randolph in the West Ham goal.

The rest of the gaame involved United missing vital chances, most notably when Marcus Rashford was one on one with Randolph and the Irishman came up with another save to deny the home side any joy in the game.

United couldn't make possession count

After an impressive showing in the Europa League from club captain Wayne Rooney, one would've hoped to see him play against the Hammers, but Jose opted to consign him to the bench as well as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who also deserved a start.

There was very little fluidity in the build up to goals from United, the players looked a bit jaded and weren't able to put quick passes together like they did before in games against Arsenal, Stoke City and Feyenoord. The inclusion of Rashford and Jesse Lingard gave United an injection of pace but the two players were put under constant pressure from the physical style of Bilic's West Ham.

The Hammers were happy to let United have the ball and hold their ground as United looked out of ideas when they had the ball and almost always looked for a long pass as they were being put under a great amount of physical pressure from the West Ham players, in all fairness, the referee's decisions didn't help make things any better either.

West Ham made life difficult with physical style 

The Hammers have been in woeful form this season and surely nobody would've expected them to go to Old Trafford and gain anything, but against all odds they put in a shift and gave their all to rescue the one point they could.

Bilic's plan was simple, let United have the ball, let them have possession, his players were to get behind the ball as much as possible and not let the United attackers play their delightful one-two touch football that we've so often seen this season.

Even a player as physically dominating as Pogba found it difficult against the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and the rest of the West Ham side who expertly outmuscled and did everything they could to minimise the influence Pogba had on the game and evidently, the Frenchman was often frustrated with their tactic.

As the minutes wore on, the atmosphere at Old Trafford became increasingly tense, nerves started kicking in and frustration was paramount as West Ham held on to their scoreline. In the end, it was yet another disappointing game, yet another draw that surely must have felt like a defeat for Mourinho and co. The Portuguese himself was sent to the stands by Jonathan Moss after his actions on the touchline were deemed excessive by the referee.

United will have a chance to get the better of West Ham again come Wednesday, in the league cup tie at Old Trafford,which is a must-win game for them, Mourinho needs to pick his team well for this one.