Manchester United defeat could have "gone both ways" says West Ham's Havard Nordtveit

West Ham United defender Havard Nordtveit believes that the 2-0 defeat to an in-form Manchester United side could have "gone both ways."

We worked hard

Slaven Bilic's headed into this clash looking to make up for the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City two days before, and had some great opportunities to defeat Jose Mourinho's side.

Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio had gilt-edged chances either side of half-time, however it was the seemingly wrongful dismissal of Sofiane Feghouli that changed the game.

The Red Devils came out on top with goals from Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the latter shown as offside by the replays, and Nordtveit admitted that it is a hard defeat to take.

“After such a game it’s always hard,” Nordtveit told “We worked hard and after ten or 15 minutes we were quite good in the game."

The 26-year-old said that West Ham "had good combinations and some decent chances," but said that after Feghouli's red card, that “of course it was always going to be hard against a team like Manchester United."

Nordtveit declared that "eleven versus eleven is a tough game against Man United" particularly"when we get a man sent off."

“But it’s part of football," the Norwegian conceded. "We made the best out of it and we were more defensive, trying to use counter attacks and set-pieces."

“It could have gone both ways in my eyes," Nordtveit added. "But of course when they scored it was tough to come back.”


Fixture congestion not to blame

It has been a busy festive period for all sides in the top-flight, with the Hammers playing six games in a 23-day period.

The schedule doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon with Friday's FA Cup visit of Manchester City, but Nordtveit stated that the schedule is not to be blamed for the defeat.

“[Marcus] Rashford of course is a quick guy,” he said. “Of course I’m not complaining or blaming [the result] on the fact that we played two days ago."

“In a way we fought well during the game when we were one down," Nordtveit admitted. "We would have loved it if we had got one point or maybe three from the game.”

West Ham United will take on Manchester City in the FA Cup third round at the London Stadium on Friday, January 6 with kick-off at 7:55 pm GMT.