Manchester United ensured they kept pace with Liverpool after seeing off West Ham 2-1 at the London Stadium in the most dramatic of circumstances.
In a game that looked to be petering out to a 1-1 draw, the last six minutes of the clash turned into pure carnage.
The two sides will do it all over again in just three days time in the Carabao Cup clash at Old Trafford, but following each clubs midweek European exploits and the emotion that today’s game brought, both teams will probably ring the changes on Wednesday.
But who were United’s three best players against West Ham…
David de Gea
De Gea couldn’t have done anything to prevent West Ham’s goal, the wicked deflection off Raphael Varane gave him no chance.
It was yet another match where he collected crosses with ease and when called upon he gathered shots comfortably and looked to get his team back on the attack by distributing quickly.
The Spaniard’s renaissance this season shows no sign of losing momentum and the only thing that was missing for him to gain further confidence from was saving a penalty.
There was no better moment for him to come up with the goods following the Europa League disappointment then the pressure situation he faced today.
When Mark Noble entered the field just to take the penalty he was probably fancying his chances of converting considering De Gea hadn’t saved a penalty since 2016.
But the 30-year-old guessed the right way and palmed Noble’s effort to safety which sent his teammates, fans and manager into raptures.
Today was always going to be a difficult day for Lingard but that wasn’t just because he was going back to the club where he found joy in his football once again during the second half of last season.
But he would have been very eager to erase the midweek demons his error in Switzerland brought.
There could have been every chance that due to playing in front of the West Ham fans again and his mistake against Young Boys, Lingard could have tried too hard to impress.
But having been on the pitch for just 15 minutes, United’s number 14 scored the goal of the game with a tremendous curling effort that found West Ham’s top corner.
Out of respect for the home supporters, the 28-year-old’s celebrations were mooted, but his teammates and manager couldn’t hide their joy in what proved to be the match winner.
Lingard could make his first start of the season against West Ham on Wednesday after making it two Premier League goals from two substitute appearances.
With United trailing 1-0 and the vultures circling and licking their lips following our midweek hiccup, Ronaldo yet again stepped up to rescue his side.
Just like his goal on Tuesday, the 36-year-old owed a lot to Bruno Fernandes’ pinpoint pass, but it was Ronaldo’s darting run that gave him the chance to score.
Ronaldo had a glorious chance to give his side the lead early in the second half after being played in by Fernandes, but he was thwarted by Lukasz Fabianski who was off his line quickly.
The man who scored his 789 career goal was unlucky not to win a penalty in the dying stages after being brought down by Kurt Zouma.
Ronaldo’s winning desire will pull United through on so many occasions this season and with four goals in three games, the great man shows no signs of slowing down.
The Portuguese forward will probably be given a well-earned rest midweek and then return to the starting line-up against Aston Villa on Saturday.
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