5 talking points as Greenwood equals record with Man Utd equaliser vs West Ham

Manchester United were unable to find a winner as West Ham secured Premier League survival with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

The Hammers took the lead from the penalty spot just before the break as Michail Antonio converted after a Paul Pogba handball.

United came out with more pace and purpose in the second half as Mason Greenwood fired in a powerful equaliser after a well-worked move gave him space inside the box.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side could not find a winner as they inch towards a top four spot as their battle to secure Champions League football will go to the final day against Leicester City.

Here are five talking points from a lacklustre United performance which did earn them a potentially important point.

1) Greenwood’s record

It is hard to believe Mason Greenwood is still only 18-years-old.

The teenager was making his 50th appearance for the Red Devils against West Ham.

And he fired them level with a typically powerful and clinical finish.

It was his 17th goal of a memorable breakthrough term – and a historic one in the process.

No teenager has scored more goals for Manchester United in a single season in all competitions, with Greenwood’s latest strike levelling the efforts of George Best in 1965-66, Brian Kidd in 1967-68 and Wayne Rooney in 2004-05.

2) Bruno is human

Bruno Fernandes has been top class since his arrival at Manchester United.

But he was uncharacteristically poor in a lacklustre first-half.

United lacked pace and purpose with Fernandes amongst those to never step things up a gear as he looked far from his best.

He was never short of ideas as he tried to get things going, but it was not his finest game.

After several man of the match displays, maybe he is showing he is human after all?

3) Rashford struggles

Marcus Rashford has enjoyed a fine season.

But he looked in desperate need of a rest as he struggled badly against West Ham.

The England international was desperate to return when the Premier League restarted after his back injury nightmare.

Yet he has struggled to put together a run of form and failed to offer any real threat at Old Trafford.

He has started every game since action resumed and he was not at the races against West Ham.

4) Unlikely solution?

Cover for Aaron Wan-Bissaka was an area touted as a possible target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer transfer window.

But he may have found an unlikely solution in the form of Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

The young full-back has barely put a foot wrong since being brought in from the cold after three years without featuring for the Red Devils.

The return of Brandon Williams at left-back saw Fosu-Mensah shifted to right-back to replace Wan-Bissaka after he suffered a knock against Chelsea.

He looked solid defensively and also looked to attack with purpose, almost providing an assist with a teasing cross and being keen to get involved.

He was unfortunate to be booked just before the break, giving away the free-kick which led to West Ham winning a penalty.

As a result, Wan-Bissaka was introduced at the break. 

But Fosu-Mensah’s performance was largely encouraging as he gets back up to speed after an injury-plagued year.

Wan-Bissaka has rightly established himself as first-choice, but Fosu-Mensah is showing he could give Solskjaer depth in the position moving forwards.

5) De Gea’s future secure?

All eyes were on the first name on the team-sheet when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer selected his side.

David de Gea’s name duly appeared at the top of the list as the under-fire Spaniard retained his spot in goal.

Whilst De Gea was always unlikely to be replaced by Sergio Romero, his spot is set to come under growing threat when Dean Henderson returns from his loan at Sheffield United.

Solskjaer was asked about De Gea after the game, and his comments suggested he will remain the top choice as the manager insisted: “Form is temporary, class is permanent”.

De Gea had little to do against West Ham, and events at Old Trafford will do his confidence no harm.

Source: Read Full Article