West Ham United defender Ryan Fredericks was David Moyes’ only silver lining of Tuesday’s FA Cup loss to Manchester United after upstaging Jarrod Bowen at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay saw that the Irons exited the competition when the substitute dispatched a volley into Lukasz Fabianski’s net seven minutes into extra-time, to break the visitors’ resilience after soldiering one despite two centre-halves sustaining injuries.
The enforced withdrawals of Angelo Ogbonna and the Italian’s replacement Issa Diop saw Moyes introduce Fredericks and Ben Johnson from the bench, with a switch in formation to suit with the Irons forced into a back three that actually improved their performance.
Bowen was the one to make way for Fredericks, who has been a fringe man having made just six starts in all competitions for the Irons this term, to enter the action after providing a quiet opening 45 minutes. The withdrawn attacker rarely had an opportunity to break forward and threaten Alex Telles and was instead forced to help Vladimir Coufal in defence.
But Fredericks made an instant impact, with his injection of pace and willingness to adventure further up the pitch often forcing Telles to retreat into positions where the £3.5m-rated dynamo could deliver crosses into Dean Henderson’s box.
Moyes only saw Bowen attempt one cross into the Red Devils’ penalty area, per SofaScore, and take a mere six touches inside the host’s territory before his exit after 45 minutes, per WhoScored, while frequently pocketed by Telles, Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic on the Hammers’ right-flank.
That was rarely the case for Fredericks, who recorded four crosses and 33 touches in United’s half, compared to 14 in West Ham’s.
He additionally won six of his seven ground duels on the side of the pitch that saw Bowen lose two of his three, to see that Telles could not boast a perfect record when he was withdrawn after 90 minutes with success in three of seven challenges.
The former Fulham full-back was even successful with each of his two attempted dribbles after Bowen had failed to drag possession up the field even once in the first-half, having performed below his usual standards of 1.1 successful runs a game with a 60% success rate in the Premier League this term.
Fredericks’ efforts further came from only 30 minutes extra than Bowen and eclipsed the former Hull City winger’s seasonal league average for ground duels won, with the 24-year-old having won 3.0 a game over his 23 outings in the top-flight to date.
The only silver lining Bowen could take from Fredericks’ efforts was that his accuracy from crosses was on par with his seasonal score of 1.0 accurate deliveries with a 26% success rate in the league. But Moyes can overlook that, as Fredericks’ positives far outweighed the negatives.