Analysis: West Ham’s ‘big team’ performance

West Ham United celebrate beating Manchester United


West Ham United produced the 'big team' performance Manuel Pellegrini has been demanding in Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Manchester United.

The Hammers produced an outstanding all-round display to score a deserved win over Jose Mourinho’s side at London Stadium.

While Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic will take the headlines for their goals, it was a result that was only achievable through the efforts of the whole team. From Lukasz Fabianski in goal to Arnautovic in attack, every Hammer played their part.

West Ham outran their opponents by nearly 1.5km at London Stadium, with Noble, Pedro Obiang, Declan Rice and Felipe Anderson all passing the 11km mark individually.

At the back, Fabianski was virtually unbeatable, making one truly world-class save from Marouane Fellaini’s powerful header to maintain West Ham’s 2-0 advantage midway through the second half.

In front of him, Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop worked superbly together to keep Romelu Lukaku quiet, combining to make 15 clearances, five tackles and four interceptions, while full-backs Pablo Zabaleta combined attacking intensity with defensive solidity.

Rarely in recent times has a West Ham team been so good in possession, with only Felipe Anderson completing less than 80 per cent of his pass attempts.

Skipper Mark Noble was at the very top of his game, completing 59 of his 67 passes, including 34 inside the Manchester United half.

The captain added an inch-perfect assist for Arnautovic’s match-clinching third goal, having earlier played another fine pass to release Zabaleta to cross for Felipe Anderson’s opener.


Felipe Anderson in action against Manchester United's Luke Shaw


But it was Brazilian winger who was the undoubted star of the show.

Not only was his goal one of eye-catching brilliance, but his all-round contribution to the Hammers’ cause was top drawer.

Known for his attacking prowess, Felipe Anderson made seven tackles – yes, seven – and an interception as he worked back to stifle the attacking threat of Manchester United wing-back Ashley Young.

The No8 also scored with his only goal attempt and made three key passes, confirming his importance in the final third.

Having collected seven points from nine games, scored six goals and conceded just two and matched two of the Premier League’s big guns in the past week, confidence is rising in east London.

The challenge now for Manuel Pellegrini’s team is to keep their momentum going at Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday night.