Five takeaways from United's loss to West Ham

That was not good. Manchester United failed to improve on last year’s defeat to West Ham, losing 2-0 at the London Stadium on Sunday.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell gave West Ham a deserved win. There were not really any United players to come out of the game with credit.

Here is a look at five takeaways from a real dud of a performance…

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Missed chances crucial

Despite the poor display, there was a way for United to have got a result in this one.

Juan Mata missed from close range early in the second half when it seemed easier to score. That would have been a vital equaliser at a key time.

Harry Maguire also missed a simple chance from inside the six yard box from a corner.

Scoring either of those could have changed the game, and United need to learn to be clinical, or face the consequence of defeats.

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Striker predicament

Alarm bells were ringing when Marcus Rashford was named as the only striker in the matchday squad, with both Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood unavailable.

Typically, Rashford suffered an injury in the second half and had to be taken off. Even so, he was not really providing much of a goal threat.

United have left themselves dangerously light up front and the worst case scenario of injuries is hitting.

The decision not to replace Romelu Lukaku even with a back-up option like Mario Mandzukic looks foolish.

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Europa League gamble backfired

Solskjaer is clearly still learning how to balance the squad for Europa League matches.

With a lack of options, its difficult. Even so, playing Rashford against Astana was unnecessary.

Now to see him pick up a muscle injury days later is sadly both unwelcome and predictable.

United need to minimise risks, especially with the forward line already an area of the squad which is stretched.

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Too static and no width

United’s midfield lacked invention and that should be no surprise with Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata as two of the three selected.

Solskjaer should be looking for pace and energy and neither player provided it.

Out wide, Andreas Pereira is just not a natural winger, and this is an area which should have been given proper thought to in previous transfer windows, even before Solskjaer arrived.

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Can United come from behind?

This was the second time this season in which United have trailed at half-time, and we ended up losing both games.

The United teams of old used to have a reaction to losing a goal, and bounce back stronger. It’s not the case at present.

The team lack the invention and creativity to break down teams, and this gets even harder when the onus and pressure is on United to attack.

Score first against United, and you probably win. This is a trend this team must learn to overcome.

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