LONDON: Manchester United lost 2-0 at West Ham on Sunday to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side winless in seven Premier League matches on the road stretching back into last season.
To compound United’s problems, Marcus Rashford limped off early in the second half after Andriy Yarmolenko had given the hosts the lead in the 44th minute. Aaron Cresswell completed the victory by curling in a free kick in the 84th.
With Anthony Martial already missing through injury and youngster Mason Greenwood ill, United finished the match without a recognised striker and Jesse Lingard playing in attack.
Rashford’s early departure will raise more questions about United’s summer transfer business, when the club failed to bring in a replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
While West Ham have 11 points in six matches, the same as third-placed Leicester City, United are three points worse off. Solskjaer is tasked with returning United to the four Champions League places.
Jose Mourinho, who was fired to make way for Solskjaer last December, was withering in his assessment while working as a TV pundit on the game.
“We were bad last season, but I don’t see any improvement this season — even with three new players,” Mourinho said on Sky Sports. “I have to say, players with a positive impact. I like the three and I think they’re bringing good quality to the team.
“But the team, as a team, I don’t like at all. I’m not surprised by the result and I don’t think Ole can take many positives from the game.”
JOTA’S LATE GOAL
In the day’s other game, Diogo Jota’s last-gasp equaliser earned Wolverhampton Wanderers a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace as their wait for a first win of the season continued.
A mistake by Joel Ward five minutes into stoppage time allowed Jota to score from close range, earning Wolves a fourth draw from their six games.
They had to do it the hard way though as they played the final stages with 10 men after Romain Saiss was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Wilfried Zaha.
Palace, who could have gone sixth with a win, took the lead a minute after halftime when Ward’s powerful shot was headed into his own net by Leander Dendoncker.
Wolves remain second from bottom with four points.
In Saturday’s late game, Andy Carroll came on for his first appearance for Newcastle United in nearly nine years but couldn’t inspire the team to victory in a goalless home draw against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 30-year-old striker, who rejoined Newcastle in August after spells with Liverpool and West Ham, entered to a huge ovation in the 82nd minute and made his presence felt in a bustling cameo performance at St. James’ Park, which featured large swathes of empty seats as fans turned their backs on a team with only one win this season.
He had not played since February because of an ankle injury that required an operation.
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2019