Fan blogger Joe Difford analyses Saturday's draw at Man Utd...
After a run of four games without a win, an away trip to Manchester United probably wouldn’t have been anyone’s first choice, but we were incredibly unlucky not to take all three points on Saturday afternoon.
A game at Old Trafford is always one from which fans would be happy with a point before the match, but after seeing chances come and go, the travelling claret and blue army were no doubt a little gutted to just draw, although it was an excellent result.
Our magnificent away record against top clubs this season was churned out across social media and numerous mainstream media outlets, and deservedly so, but subsequently there was a quiet feeling of expectation.
This belief seemed to be felt by the players in claret and blue too, as the left hand post of David de Gea’s goal was rattled twice early on. A clearance crashed against Mauro Zarate and onto the post before Winston Reid rose and directed a bullet header at the woodwork.
The intention was clear from the beginning; beat Manchester United.
Victor Moses was unfortunate not to have scored when he was played through by an inch-perfect Mark Noble pass, but de Gea was quick off his line.
The first controversial incident of the game came in the first 45, as Marouane Fallaini broke away from his defence, drifting past a number of our men, before James Tomkins slid in and stole the ball.
As the Hammers’ No5 did so, Fellaini landed on his ankle forcefully, but referee Mark Clattenburg failed to produce a card.
The second, and perhaps most obvious incident followed soon after, this time Bastian Schweinsteiger the man lucky to stay on the field. A little bit of rough and tumble is fair game at a set piece between attackers and defenders, but on another day Schweinsteiger could have seen red.
The second half was thankfully controversy free, with some attractive football on show; Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial the most influential.
Martial saw his effort from inside the area curl narrowly wide of the goal, before Adrian was called into action, making an excellent save from a Fellaini shot.
For everything the Red Devils threw at us, we had a response, and defended admirably, with Winston Reid leading by example and proving why he is one of the best centre backs in the Premier League.
Mauro Zarate had a chance to win the game when a smart ball was played through by Andy Carroll, but he dragged his shot wide and fell to the ground, clearly disappointed to have not clinched the victory.
We performed with clear belief and resilience, and it was difficult to see that Diafra Sakho, Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet were missing, so credit is due to the eleven who were selected.
A draw is probably the fair result, but our defence deserve most of the credit, limiting United to just one shot on target.
A tough match against Stoke is up next, and with Lanzini hopefully returning to action, Bilic and Co. should have enough to put an end to this frustrating run of form.
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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United