Vladimir Coufal, Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku risk the wrath of David Moyes after their roles in West Ham’s defensive collapse at home to Manchester United on Saturday.
The Irons welcomed supporters back to the London Stadium for the first time since March and delighted the 2,000 in attendance when Tomas Soucek nestled the ball home past Dean Henderson nearing half-time.
Moyes’ men made by far the better start of the two sides and were well rewarded for their efforts when the Czech Republic international headed home his second goal of the campaign.
West Ham should have stretched their advantage before the break with Pablo Fornals hitting the post and Sebastien Haller slipping after rounding Henderson, and were made to pay for their errors after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scrambled to bring on Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese helped flip the script with eight key passes in the second period alone, more than double any other player who featured over the 90 minutes with Haller the Irons’ best with three key balls to his name, per WhoScored.
The introduction of Marcus Rashford for Edinson Cavani and decision to move Mason Greenwood into a central position also played their role in Manchester United enjoying a 13-minute period of dominance to move up to fourth in the Premier League standings.
Solskjaer accepted his initial plans were failing after the opening 45-minutes and sought early changes, ultimately reaping the rewards despite an exceptionally woeful display.
“First-half, we had loads of the ball but couldn’t create anything,” Solskjaer said, via quotes by the Manchester Evening News. “Second-half, I thought we tweaked a couple of things tactically, just small little things, making the space bigger, a couple of runs that we made that created space for Bruno in the middle.
“The quality of the finish – the three goals were all an exceptional finish – and that was the difference between us and them today. They had chances as well in the first-half but they couldn’t score. The quality we had in the second-half was too high.”
Solskjaer’s decision to replace Donny van de Beek with Fernandes and the resulting impact will raise concerns in east London, as the early switch worked a treat and space opened across the West Ham defence for Manchester United to mount their comeback.
Coufal, Ogbonna and Masuaku will need to buck up their ideas from the second-half collapse if they are to avoid Moyes’ wrath, as each of them were found out.
Rashford’s pace allowed the England international to skin Coufal on multiple occasions after witnessing his teammate Anthony Martial struggle.
Ogbonna’s positional awareness saw the Italian drop deeper than his defensive partners and allow the Red Devils to make decisive runs between Moyes’ centre-halves, playing into Rashford’s hands when he broke free to net the third.
Much like West Ham’s overall first-half performance, Masuaku was miles better in the opening period than the last, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka able to silence the DR Congo international.
Only Fabian Balbuena and Coufal had a successful tackle to their name among West Ham’s defenders in the second-half, having been the sole members to attempt a duel, while neither of the five who started attempted a clearance or interception.
Moyes has shown this season that he will not rush into any unforced changes, but Coufal, Ogbonna and Masuaku face an anxious week in training knowing they must impress or see their place come under threat.