West Ham United’s unbeaten run in the Premier League came to a gutting end as they were defeated by former loan star Jesse Lingard and his Manchester United side on Sunday afternoon.
After coming on as a substitute, the 28-year-old midfielder cut inside and curled an effort past Lukasz Fabianksi with just two minutes remaining after Cristiano Ronaldo had made it all-square before the break following Said Benrahma’s 30th-minute opener.
There was to be late drama as visiting defender Luke Shaw was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area in stoppage time and David de Gea managed to save the spot-kick from Mark Noble, who had come on moments earlier specifically to take it.
Some may be quick to blame the retiring Hammers skipper but on his day, he’s among the finest penalty takers in the division and you’d back him to score nine times out of ten.
Other members of David Moyes’ squad were far more culpable for their struggles on the pitch at the London Stadium, one of whom was arguably Pablo Fornals, who was quite poor out wide.
He played the entire 90 minutes and recorded 56 touches – the fourth-highest of the home side – but he failed to contribute much in an attacking sense.
Fornals struggled against the likes of Paul Pogba, Shaw and Ronaldo on his side of the pitch and it saw him earn the lowest rating in the West Ham squad with 6.1.
He lost 11 of his 14 duels (79%) both on the ground and in the air, and from those 56 touches, he lost the ball 13 times – or once every 4.3 times and once every seven minutes.
Fornals was also dribbled past three times, only reinforcing the fact that he couldn’t match his opposition on the flank and he recorded one error that nearly cost them hugely, via SofaScore.
Moyes would’ve expected a lot better from one of the more experienced members of the squad, particularly as he knew the Spaniard would need to step up to help fill the void left behind by Michail Antonio, who was suspended for this fixture.
Fornals badly let the Irons down on Sunday afternoon, and he must improve if he’s to keep his place in the team, particularly with the likes of Nikola Vlasic arriving in east London.