West Ham 2-0 Man Utd: Player ratings as Bowen & Kudus stun poor Red Devils

  • Jarrod Bowen broke the deadlock of a tepid contest in the 72nd minute
  • Mohammed Kudus continued his excellent form to double the lead
  • West Ham leapfrogged Man Utd in the Premier League table

West Ham celebrate a win over Man Utd before Christmas
West Ham celebrate a win over Man Utd before Christmas / West Ham United FC/GettyImages
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Second-half goals from Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus earned West Ham United a 2-0 win at home to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, sending the hosts above their visitors in the Premier League table.

Ahead of kick-off, David Moyes unconvincingly insisted: "I've always enjoyed playing Manchester United." The former Old Trafford boss would have been satisfied with his side's final result before Christmas but it was not a spectacle to savour.

Bowen broke the deadlock in style as Lucas Paqueta crafted both goals separated by six second-half minutes but West Ham owed a lot of their result to United's slack display.


How the game unfolded

Taking the same joyless approach which quelled the Anfield din, Manchester United subdued a sleepy London Stadium still waking up for the lunchtime kick-off. Fittingly, the only fleeting sights of goal in the first half were born out of errors.

Kudus aimed a dozy back-pass straight at a white shirt half an hour in. Antony gobbled up the gift and slipped Alejandro Garnacho into the box but United's wide man couldn't contort his body, weakly firing straight at Alphonse Areola.

After an early sighter in the fifth minute, West Ham had to wait until the second half to test Andre Onana again. A typically vicious corner kick from James Ward-Prowse was swung on to Bowen's head, forcing Onana into a sharp tip over the top.

Bowen belatedly broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute with a rare burst of quality. Drifting out wide to get a feel of the ball, West Ham's nominal centre-forward played a crisp one-two around United's static defence, bringing down Lucas Paqueta's wonderfully deft return pass inside the six-yard box. Onana smothered Bowen's initial effort but the ball bounced kindly for West Ham's top scorer to add another to his tally.

It's only so long before the Manchester United virus infects every one of the Red Devils. Kobbie Mainoo had been one of the few bright sparks this season and on Saturday but was gripped by the plague, lackadaisically letting the ball squirm under his studs while under no pressure. Paqueta sent Kudus straight into the gap opened up by Mainoo's blunder and the Ghanaian made no mistake, swiping the ball ruthlessly into the bottom corner.

Erik ten Hag's listless side slumped to their 13th defeat of the season in just their 26th game. United only suffered 12 losses in 62 matches last term.


West Ham player ratings (4-2-3-1)

GK: Alphonse Areola - 4/10 - Avoided a calamitous first-half concession despite fumbling a pea-roller.

RB: Vladimir Coufal - 6/10 - Cantered forward regularly, holding the width while Kudus floated infield.

CB: Konstantinos Mavropanos - 7/10 - Used his speed and physicality to make up for his positional lapses most of the time.

CB: Kurt Zouma - 7/10 - Authoritative when called into action.

LB: Emerson - 6/10 - Picked his moments to bomb up the pitch carefully, rarely leaving himself exposed defensively.

CM: Edson Alvarez - 8/10 - Incredibly adept at plugging the gaps that opened up between the shades of claret and blue.

CM: Tomas Soucek - 6/10 - The rest of east London may have been subdued but Soucek was full of fight, putting his body on the line and ending up with a bloody shirt.

AM: James Ward-Prowse - 5/10 - Endured limited influence in open play.

RW: Mohammed Kudus - 7/10 - United didn't punish Kudus' effort but West Ham's silky trickster ruthlessly pounced upon Mainoo's slip.

ST: Jarrod Bowen - 8/10 - Feeding off scraps for much of the contest, Bowen did his best with what little he had in the way of chances.

LW: Lucas Paqueta - 8/10 - Burst into life with a piece of nonchalant brilliance to crack open the contest and teed up West Ham's second.


Substitutes

SUB: Pablo Fornals (88' for Bowen) - N/A

SUB: Ben Johnson (90' for Kudus) - N/A

Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski (GK), Thilo Kehrer, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Said Benrahma, Divin Mubama, Danny Ings


Manager

David Moyes - 5/10 - West Ham were as uninspired as the visitors for large swathes of the contest but ultimately benefitted from more individual quality at the top of the pitch. Those roles are usually reversed in this fixture.


Man Utd player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Andre Onana
Andre Onana lined up for Man Utd between the sticks once again / Julian Finney/GettyImages

GK: Andre Onana - 4/10 - Hardly at fault for the goals but fell back into the bizarre approach of baiting West Ham's press before skittishly punting the ball upfield aimlessly as soon as an opposition player trotted his way.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 4/10 - A little too eager to get touch-tight to Paqueta for so much of the match but was nowhere to be seen when he teed up Bowen's opener.

CB: Willy Kambwala - 6/10 - On his senior debut for the club, Kambwala enjoyed a quiet outing individually.

CB: Jonny Evans - 5/10 - Clearly had no confidence in his goalkeeper but didn't inspire a great deal of belief himself when lured into wide areas.

LB: Luke Shaw - 6/10 - Dealt well with Kudus one-on-one but wasn't helped by his teammates.

CM: Kobbie Mainoo - 5/10 - Undermined another composed display with one lapse of concentration that was brutally punished.

CM: Scott McTominay - 5/10 - Chuntered around the pitch gamely if aimlessly.

AM: Bruno Fernandes - 5/10 - Brimming with endeavour but little end product.

RW: Antony - 3/10 - Utterly bamboozled the entire West Ham backline at one point, not with a piece of skill but by delivering a first-time cross with his right foot. Antony, naturally, didn't dare try that again.

ST: Rasmus Hojlund - N/A - No shots, no chances created, one inconsequential touch inside West Ham's box. Hojlund should feel guilty accepting his appearance bonus for Saturday's holographic display.

LW: Alejandro Garnacho - 4/10 - On the end of United's best chances but lacked the clinical edge to take advantage of these opportunities.


Substitutes

SUB: Marcus Rashford (57' for Hojlund) - 5/10

SUB: Facundo Pellistri (73' for Antony) - 5/10

SUB: Christian Eriksen (85' for Garnacho) - N/A

SUB: Sergio Reguilon (85' for Kambwala) - N/A

Subs not used: Altay Bayindir (GK), Rhys Bennett, Sofyan Amrabat, Hannibal Mejbri, Donny van de Beek


Manager

Erik ten Hag - 3/10 - Tried to make United more defensively solid but had blunted his side in the process. When individual errors are so frequent, this knife-edge approach is rarely a recipe for success.


Player of the match - Edson Alvarez (West Ham)