Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Capital Punishment Not a Hammer Blow

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Capital Punishment Not a Hammer Blow

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

HAMMERED by the Hammers as never before this campaign. A reality check for the Mags? No club has achieved a bigger double against United than West Ham with their 5-0 aggregate.

Not Manchester United (5-2), Chelsea (4-2) or Spurs (3-1).

Hardly a memorable day as United failed for the first time to take an away point against teams outside the top six.

This was an hour and a half when the lights went out for United's stars of late.

Fabian Schar was at fault for the first goal, losing Declan Rice, who he was marking, only six minutes in. Later booked then subbed.

Florian Lejeune gave way the second with a clumsy tackle on Javier Hernandez that brought a deserved penalty which Mark Noble lashed home.

Sean Longstaff was booked and hooked at half-time with knee trouble after an indifferent first half.

And Miguel Almiron discovered the harsh reality of life in the Premier League following two glittering and winning home dalliances.

Sure, United improved second half, but that wasn't difficult after 45 minutes of self-destruction and the reality was that they never looked like saving the game.

Mo Diame, seeking a two-year contract and the only outfield ever-present earlier in the season, came on for Longstaff, taking his opportunity to remind all of his assets without being able to turn the tide. He brought some much-needed physical presence and urgency to an overrun midfield.

United the after 45 self-they like Although Salomon Rondon was denied by woodwork with only a minute to go, it was all too late. This was a backward step.

It had been billed in some quarters as the battle of the English pretenders Longstaff and Rice. Well, in front of international spies, it was the Hammer who pinched the honours, although I have no doubts whatsoever about United's finest kid. …

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