Manchester Utd vs West Ham Final Football Score 02 March 2023
Fresh from lifting the EFL Cup, Manchester United seek to move one step closer to booking their place in another Wembley cup final when they host West Ham United at Old Trafford in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday. David Moyes, meanwhile, returns to familiar territory as the former Red Devils boss bids to avoid a third successive elimination with the Hammers at this stage of the competition.Six months after suffering embarrassing defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford at the start of the season, few would have imagined the swift transformation that has taken place at Man United under the tutelage of Erik ten Hag, who has guided the club to their first trophy in six years with success in Sunday’s EFL Cup final.The League Cup trophy has become a regular resident of Manchester, but for the last few years it has been draped in blue ribbons rather than red.
In seven of the last eight seasons, it has been brought back to the city. Five times by Man City, and four times in the hands of Pep Guardiola. There is no manager who understands or respects the trophy quite like the City boss, which is why his comments following United’s triumph felt a bit odd.Guardiola has frequently faced questions about the financial backing that has underpinned his success, and he used the opportunity to caveat United’s own trophy win with the money they have spent. “Congratulations to United for the Carabao Cup and to Newcastle as well – the game was entertaining,” he said at his press conference on Monday. “If they spend a little more money, yes [they can challenge more regularly]. It’s because they didn’t spend, isn’t it?It’s normal, they’re in the position they normally should be.
The reality is that they fought against two teams in the last years – Liverpool and ourselves – that have done incredibly well in the numbers. When I landed here I thought United would always be there, for the history, for everything. Erik is doing an incredible job.” There can be no ignoring the fact that United invested a record sum of money last summer, but there was mitigation to it.United had never exceeded the £150million mark on permanent signing across a single window, and blew that out of the water with over £220m in Ten Hag’s first window. Club officials themselves admitted they were further along in the rebuild process than they had ever envisaged following the late captures of Antony and Casemiro, but they were signings that were deemed essential to make this season a success.
However, that level of investment was in part funded by the huge savings in wages United experienced when six first-teamers left for free at the start of the summer. Figures via Spotrac estimated an annual savings of £44.8million per year in wages after Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Lee Grant left the club. The biggest issue with the comment is that while United’s summer signings have certainly played a big part in their transformation this season, the biggest changes have been with those already at the club. Marcus Rashford is the finest example. He is now playing the best football of his career, and he has done so by putting in notable performances in almost every standout win this season.
Ten Hag has also managed to get Fred, Bruno Fernandes and David de Gea back to their best after poor campaigns a year ago, all of whom have played key roles this season. Then there is his magnificent man-management, which has seen Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho gradually integrate back into the line-up with a new hunger to their game. All of this culminated with the Wembley performance at the weekend, which, while headlined by the impact of Casemiro, featured a backbone of players rejuvenated by the United manager. It should be something Guardiola relates to himself, given that he has often not got the credit he deserves for all the work he has done in his managerial career. The 52-year-old has seen his own success caveated by the money spent or the talented squads he has worked with, with his own expertise often overlooked and unfairly dismissed.
So perhaps there is a hint of jealousy in all this, given that Ten Hag has been getting huge credit despite spending so much, while Guardiola has done the same. There is also the element of Man City’s own spending, and perhaps Guardiola feels making public digs is the best way to voice his own concerns about the need for more backing from his board in the transfer market.First-half strikes from serial winner Casemiro and goal machine Marcus Rashford helped the Red Devils secure a 2-0 victory over a spirited Newcastle United side, with Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes given the honour of lifting the club’s first trophy since the Europa League in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.
Ten Hag has restored belief among the Old Trafford faithful as they bid to begin a new era of success, and the Dutchman is now tasked with keeping their audacious hopes of winning the quadruple alive when they return to action in midweek for a tie in the FA Cup. Man United, who are sure to receive a rapturous welcome from the Old Trafford crowd on Wednesday, have put together a 10-game unbeaten run across all competitions, with a 3-1 home win against Reading in the FA Cup fourth round on January 28 one of eight victories during this run. The Red Devils have progressed from more FA Cup fifth-round ties than any other team (41) in the competition’s current format (dating back to 1925-26), but they failed to even reach this stage last season after losing to Championship side Middlesbrough on penalties in the fourth round.
The 12-time FA Cup winners will be full of confidence when they take to the pitch against West Ham, but extending their unbeaten run is not a given considering their struggles against the Hammers in recent cup meetings. Indeed, Man United scraped past West Ham with a 1-0 extra-time win in their last FA Cup meeting in February 2021, before losing 1-0 at home in the EFL Cup fourth round seven months later.Under-fire manager Moyes was facing the prospect of losing his job had West Ham suffered defeat at home to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League last weekend. However, the Scotsman lives to fight another day in the Hammers hotseat courtesy of a huge 4-0 win at the London Stadium.
The West Ham supporters were growing frustrated with the game goalless heading into the final 20 minutes, but the floodgates opened as soon as January signing Danny Ings tucked away his first goal for the club, with a second following just two minutes later before Declan Rice and Michail Antonio capped off a vital victory for Moyes and co. The East Londoners have now climbed out of the relegation zone, sitting two points clear of the dotted line, and while top-flight survival remains a priority, their focus now shifts to the FA Cup – a competition that they last won back in 1980 when Sir Trevor Brooking scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Arsenal.