West Ham vs. Manchester United: Four Things We Learned as Hammers Hold Jose Mourinho’s Men

Manchester United’s preparations for the FA Cup final took another hit against West Ham. 

A goalless draw followed Friday’s defeat at Brighton, further improving the atmosphere at the London Stadium but raising questions for Jose Mourinho’s outfit. 

United had the better opportunities, with Adrian saving smartly from Alexis Sanchez and then turning Luke Shaw’s driven effort onto the post. 

The Hammers had their chances too, especially through Marko Arnautovic, but this was a typical end-of-season non-contest, with both teams having little to play for. 

Here, Newsweek presents four things we learned from the goalless draw at the London Stadium. 

Mourinho’s Message

If Jose Mourinho’s words weren’t clear enough on Friday, his team selection here got the message across. 

With Romelu Lukaku in a race to get fit ahead of the FA Cup final, Mourinho opted to go without a recognized striker at the London Stadium. 

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who both started in the defeat at Brighton, watched from the substitutes’ bench. 

They are clearly among the group that have disappointed Mourinho and will likely miss out on a starting place against Chelsea at Wembley on May 19. 

Rashford was given a 20-minute cameo, brought on for Jesse Lingard, but the 20-year-old was unable to impact the game. 

Jose Mourinho Jose Mourinho at the AmEx Stadium, Brighton, England, May 4. Bryn Lennon/Getty

Not Our Home 

Two years have passed now since West Ham said (a protracted) farewell to Upton Park and moved into the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. 

The toxic protests that erupted earlier this year have been hushed as David Moyes and his team climbed out of the relegation zone and secured their Premier League status.

But this bowl of a stadium, this marvelous athletics arena with its moat-like parting in the stands and gulf between fan and footballer, still doesn’t feel like home. 

“Worst f*cking ground I’ve ever seen,” the traveling fans sung in the first-half. 

And the home support could only agree, some choosing to applaud and others joining in. 

Hold on to Hammer of the Year 

The best work Moyes has done since arriving in East London is firing up Marko Arnautovic. 

The Austrian striker made his debut for West Ham against Manchester United last year and was a frustrated figure in the 4-0 defeat, substituted by then-manager Slaven Bilic. 

But Moyes' arrival has lit a fire under Arnautovic. 

Arnautovic has been the linchpin of West Ham’s resurgence, giving swagger to a stuttering team, providing 10 goals and five assists under the Scot. 

Here, he was no different. His best opportunity possibly came too early, wrestling away from Victor Lindelof but sending his driven shot straight at David de Gea. 

He was worthy of the Hammer of the Year accolade. 

Moyes’s biggest job this summer—if he stays—is to hold on to the big striker. 

Cup Concern for Mourinho 

Mourinho opted to make eight changes to the team that lost on the south coast last Friday, but the improvement was small. 

With an FA Cup final in just nine days, Mourinho will be scratching his head over team selection.

Lingard, who frequently performs at Wembley, did enough to earn his place in the starting lineup as United’s best player. 

Alexis Sanchez, signed in January, is showing signs of coming good. 

But most of the team looked lethargic, like a squad that feels a distant second in the Premier League. 

It will trouble the Portuguese, who will be desperate not to end the season without any silverware. 

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