Aaron Cresswell: Manchester United defeat was a game of two halves
Aaron Cresswell felt West Ham United’s 3-1 Premier League defeat by Manchester United was a match of two completely different halves.
The Irons were dominant for much of the first period, taking a deserved lead thanks to Tomáš Souček’s close-range effort on 39 minutes, and could have been even further ahead prior to the half-time whistle were it not for a succession of missed opportunities.
Pablo Fornals, Sebastien Haller and Jarrod Bowen all went close for the home side but, having failed to make those chances count, there was always a threat of the Red Devils clawing back into the game.
The first half, we could have scored a lot of goals. We created a load of chances. The second half, they bring the two boys on and, fair play to them, they changed the game.
The visitors sent on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford at half-time and the game gradually changed direction.
Paul Pogba equalised in controversial circumstances when it appeared Dean Henderson's clearance had curled out of play in the build-up, before Mason Greenwood and Rashford scored with clinical finishes to take all three points back to Greater Manchester.
Cresswell believed the Hammers should have been well ahead after 45 minutes, but could not handle the threat posed by the Red Devils in the second half.
“I think if we had come in and we had been 3-0 up at half-time, it would have been no surprise,” the defender said. “But it was a game of two halves.
“The first half, we could have scored a lot of goals. We created a load of chances. The second half, they bring the two boys on and, fair play to them, they changed the game.”
A VAR check of Manchester United’s equaliser failed to rule Pogba's goal out but Cresswell thought Henderson’s clearance had gone out of play. The No3 also admitted the Hammers had failed to react quickly enough when play continued to prevent play continuing, Bruno Fernandes crossing and the Frenchman curling in from 25 yards.
“I thought it was out,” Cresswell added: “I’ve just tried to look at it back. I mentioned it to the linesman, and he said it would go to VAR. I said to him: ‘Unless there is a camera along the line, you’re not going to get a clear view of if it has gone out.'
"The one (replay) I’ve seen, it was kind of at an angle where you can’t really tell, but at the time I thought it was out. But the goal has been given and we’ve got to move on.
“I kind of stopped, waiting for the linesman’s flag. I think there was even a few shouts on the line, but we can’t just stop. Before we know it, the game has carried on and the ball is back in the net ten seconds later.”