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Man Utd 0-1 West Ham: Five talking points as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rues rotation
23/09/2021 10:19:01

Manchester United crashed out of the League Cup at the first hurdle on Wednesday in defeat to West Ham.


Manuel Lanzini's ninth-minute strike was enough for the Irons to advance into the fourth round as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to change his entire starting XI backfired.


The Red Devils had beaten David Moyes and co on Sunday in the Premier League as goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesse Lingard saw United take all three points in the capital.


But Moyes got revenge on his former employers by dumping them out of a competition which could have offered Solskjaer an early piece of silverware to end the Old Trafford drought.


Lanzini stakes his claim


With both managers making a combined 21 changes from a possible 22, the tie gave plenty of fringe players (or Sunday's substitutes) to make a mark.


Manuel Lanzini featured for the final two minutes of the Premier League meeting but needed just nine to make an impact at Old Trafford.


He drifted off Donny van de Beek's shoulder and coolly slotted home Ryan Fredericks' cutback.


The strike was his first goal since netting West Ham's equaliser in spectacular fashion in their 3-3 thriller at Tottenham Hotspur 11 months ago.


More misery for Martial


Another blank made it one goal in 24 for Martial and even his most staunch supporters will struggle to make a compelling argument for the 25-year-old to be given an opportunity to lead the Red Devils' line.


After a quiet start, he had a chance to score from an angle he is usually clinical from from the left of the penalty area.


Shortly after Lanzini's opener, the Frenchman was put through on goal by Nemanja Matic, but Martial bafflingly opted to play a square pass to right-back Diogo Dalot rather than shooting.


Reds rue VAR again


The vast majority of debate following the weekend encounter was around referee Martin Atkinson's decisions to deny United what Solskjaer described as two "stonewall" penalties.


This time, the Norwegian will be less than pleased with Jon Moss after he waved away Lingard's appeals for a penalty.


Mark Noble, who missed the spot-kick that the Irons were awarded on Sunday, tugged his former team-mate's shirt inside the box but, with no VAR in operation, Moss had all the power to say no.


First trophy chance gone


Billed as the season's first true piece of silverware, the League Cup is often coveted by top teams in order to give them a boost after a busy winter period.


And if anyone needs a trophy among the Premier League's elite, Solskjaer is that man.



The Red Devils will have to wait until at least May to pick up a trophy in what would be four years since their last.


For now, though, the only thing Solskjaer can collect is further pressure to deliver at Old Trafford.


Irons up for the cups


Having qualified for the Europa League by finishing 6th last season, many believed West Ham's primary source of joy would come from their European exploits.


But Moyes' men have a domestic scalp already, marching on to the fourth round knowing one contender has already crashed out.


The Scot has only won two trophies during his managerial career; the 2013 Community Shield with United to begin his ill-fated Old Trafford tenure and the old Second Division with Preston North End, where he began his coaching career.


With how well things are going at the London Stadium, can Moyes make it three?

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