FANS BACK IN STADIUMS
In the weekend round of Premier League action that saw fans return to stadiums (depending on your situated Tier), West Ham played host to Manchester United at the London Stadium. The Hammers would have welcomed the support of their home fans especially having been absent since March due to the global pandemic. Whilst Covid-19 guidelines restricted the numbers to just 2000 supporters, it is very encouraging for football that we are headed in a positive direction.
The home-side began the match with a lot of confidence in the way they attacked Man Utd as they moved the ball freely. Fornals hit the post whilst Bowen gave the United defence a torrid time in the first half and should have made his endeavour count on a couple of occasions. West Ham deserved to go in front and did so through Soucek who snuck in at the back post to give the hammers the lead in the 38th minute of play.
Wan-Bissaka kept United in the game having made a brilliant tackle against Bowen who was clear on goal and would have scored but for the United defender’s intervention (amazing recovery tackle). Manchester United had introduced influential mid-fielders Rashford and Fernandes in the second half and this ultimately recused and revived the away team. It was the Portugal international’s pass that lined Pogba up for an absolute screamer which left the West Ham’s goalkeeper, Fabianski no chance and drew the Red Devils level in the 65th minute of the game.
The tide now seemed in Manchester United’s favour and they delivered quality within the final half hour of the match and were rewarded when Greenwood put them ahead shortly after the Pogba goal with a neat finish. Rashford completed the 3-1 route with a delicate dink over the West Ham keeper in the 78th minute sealing 3 points for Solskjaer’s boys and they move into the top four (the United attacker had earlier hit the post). West Ham have a lot of positives that can be taken away from the game and will probably be disappointed that they were not more clinical in front of goal (they will always miss Antonio, so the likes of Haller need to step forward and be counted).
In the other Saturday matches, Manchester City continued their ascend for the summit as they comfortably dispatched Fulham at the Etihad stadium. Sterling put City ahead in the 5th minute before De Bruyne converted a penalty in the 26th minute to give Man City a 2-0 victory. There is absolutely no doubt that City will believe that they are still in the race and will definitely be pushing on till the end of the season.
Chelsea ended the day top of the league after a 3-1 win over Leeds with Giroud, Zouma and Pulisic grabbing the goals for the blues. You have to feel for Leeds because they play the game in the right fashion but their points tally doesn’t justify their on-field displays. Burnley and Everton drew 1-1, although Everton did look like they had the better creative changes to seal the game.
Sadly we had to say goodbye to an iconic footballing legend. Nobody played the way he played (I know some may say Messi, but he never sn**** nah I’ll leave it there!!!).
Rest in Peace…..The Greatest of ALL TIME!!!!