Thursday, December 1

Concentrating on the League…

Ken Lucas, Pete, Fraser and Matt
Manchester United 4 West Ham 1 (EFL Cup)

The best part of the evening is the pre-match drinks to celebrate the launch of Goodbye to Boleyn upstairs at the Freemasons Arms. Selected WHU fans are present and we're graced by the presence of Ken Lucas, the owner of Ken's Cafe, along with his son and grandsons. Speech over, it's on to the live match on Sky.

United's incisive football causes West Ham instant problems and the Reds take the lead after two minutes as Rooney finds Mkhitaryan whose clever back heel plays in Ibrahimovic. The big Swede skips past the falling Antionio and prods past Adrian, getting clattered in the process. 

The West Ham keeper has to make a fine double stop, then tips away Rooney's free kick and stops a Martial shot. But slowly West Ham get back into it and on 35 minutes Obiang finds Payet on the left. Dimitri's shot is parried by De Gea straight to Fletcher, who scores his first Hammers goal. "Ashley Fletcher he left 'cos you're shit!" chant the loud Hammers contingent.

Worryingly Cresswell has to go off injured at half-time and West Ham again concede an early goal after the break. Valencia back heels to Mkhitaryan on the left and his pull back is dispatched by the unmarked Martial as the West Ham defence ballwatches. It's 3-1 after 62 minutes as Ibrahimovic dissects the West Ham defence with a superb pass to find Valencia who crosses for Martial, again unmarked, to stroke home. 

West Ham effectively give up on the game by taking off Payet as Feghouli fires over when he should score and sub Zaza hits a shot into touch. Adrian keeps the score down with a great save from Ibrahimovic. The exiled Schweinsteiger comes on gets a big cheer from the home fans and shoots just wide before Herrera sets up Ibrahimovic for the fourth with the last kick of the game.

United have played really well, but it's a deeply disappointing second half from West Ham. We've certainly missed the rested Mark Noble in midfield. Admittedly Sunday's point at  Old Trafford is more use than a cup run in our position, but had West Ham progressed we'd have played Hull in the semi-final. So we'll just have to win the FA Cup now…

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