You could arguably say that the Premier League is more important than the EFL Cup. But then again some silverware would be good to have in the trophy cabinet, and having reached the quarter final, so get a sniff of Wembley as well.
As usual Slav changed the side up with Adrian coming into goal instead of Randolph – interesting to see if he will move on in the summer.
So, settling down into the game and Utd do exactly what we did to them on the weekend, by getting a goal in the first opening minutes of the game. Zlatan gets in there (some lovely football admittedly) and passes it past Adrian who did his best to stick his studs into the shins of Zlatan. Quite depressing really. We should never have let this happen.
Utd then started throwing everything at the Hammers and it showed. Despite their rubbish league form they are a team of super stars and Hammers defence were taking a right battering. But the storm was being weathered – just about.
Then came a little bit of Hammers magic. Ashley Fletcher, take a bow – getting a goal rebounding off De Gea via good work from Payet and Cresswell on 35 mins to level up the score – surely this is now game on and we could take Utd all the way. Safely the score remained on equal terms at the half way point.
Once again we fell asleep in the opening moments of the second half with Martial scoring and the Hammers defence going AWOL (how many times has that happened this season?!) Just when I thought we might get something out of this game, we go and collapse at the back. And TBH, for the remainder of the second half it was practically all Utd with Martial getting his second and Utd’s third. Then in the dying seconds we concede a fourth with tired players simply not picking up Utd’s.
I thought to myself that this was to be expected really. I was very happy with a point at OT on Sunday, but really was not that bothered about this result. Utd were totally dominant and we just were not at the races. However there was a cameo performance from Payet who didn’t really work his magic apart from the set up of Fletcher’s goal. Cresswell and Antonio both take knocks and Zaza yet again proved that he is not a player that will be signed.
It was a mediocre performance, one that certainly did not match the spirit of the weekend game, but seriously, I really don’t care about this one. League status is everything at the moment. And I am at my last game of 2016 on Saturday as we entertain the Gooners. This is going to be a huge game, but somehow I am a little apprehensive that we just might crumble under the pressure – the Hammers are in a real relegation scrap at the moment – and we need a performance.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Shaw (Blind 46), Carrick, Herrera, Mkhitaryan (Rashford 90), Rooney, Martial (Schweinsteiger 86), Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Romero, Mata, Lingard, Schneiderlin.
Goals: Ibrahimovic 2, 90+ 3, Martial 48, 62
Bookings: Rooney 53
West Ham United: Adrian, Kouyate, Reid, Ogbonna, Antonio (Lanzini 58), Obiang, Fernandes, Cresswell (Masuaku 45), Feghouli, Payet (Zaza 75), Fletcher.
Subs not used: Randolph, Nordtveit, Noble, Collins.
Goals: Fletcher 35