West Ham United 0 Manchester United 0: Hammers play out drab draw with Red Devils
PUBLISHED: 21:38 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 21:38 10 May 2018
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Premier League: West Ham United 0 Manchester United 0
West Ham United and Manchester United played out a drab goalless draw in the Premier League that will certainly not live long in the memory.
It was two years ago to the day that the pair served up a treat in the final game at the Boleyn Ground, with the Hammers prevailing 3-2.
Sadly, this meeting never got going, with both teams having relatively little to play for at this late stage of the season.
Unsurprisingly, Hammers boss David Moyes elected to name an unchanged XI for the visit of his former employers following a fine win at Leicester City on Saturday.
That meant Adrian remaining in goal, despite Joe Hart overcoming the bout of illness that ruled him out of the trip to the Foxes.
Patrice Evra was named among the substitutes to face United, with whom we won five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.
The first chance of the match went the way of West Ham in the seventh minute, when Marko Arnautovic created room for a shot from the edge of the box, but fired straight at visiting custodian David de Gea.
The Austrian was handed another five minutes later when Chris Smalling attempted a clear a cross from Manuel Lanzini, but sliced it instead.
The ball headed towards Arnautovic, but, under pressure from Phil Jones, the talismanic West Ham attacker nodded over the bar from six yards.
Moyes’ men were almost made to pay for those misses in the 20th minute when Scott McTominay fired wide for the Red Devils from 20 yards after Manuel Lanzini had given the ball away.
That seemed to give United a boost, with Jesse Lingard embarking on a swift run, before testing Adrian from 25 yards less than 60 seconds later.
The Spanish stopper produced a final double save in the 22nd minute, denying Alexis Sanchez and Luke Shaw in quick succession.
Red Devils skipper Antonio Valencia delivered the ball in for Sanchez to shoot, but Adrian was able to parry the shot away.
However, the ball made its way to Luke Shaw on the left who fired at goal, but saw Adrian knock the effort onto the post with his feet, before the hosts cleared.
Eight minutes later, it was Aaron Cresswell’s turn to chance his arm, with the Hammers defender seeing an effort fly wide from 30 yards.
With nine minutes to go until the break, Arnautovic looked to have teed up Joao Mario for the opening goal after a mazy run down the right and into the box.
However, the Portuguese international could not get a telling touch on the ball which would have turned it into the net, despite being just five yards out.
Five minutes later, United midfielder Paul Pogba shot from a central position 20 yards out, but his effort never looked to be troubling Adrian.
The Spaniard was called into action again in stoppage time, this time producing a flying save to deny Lingard, ensuring the teams went into the break level.
Just three minutes into the second half, though, Adrian opted to come off his line to collect a through ball, but was beaten to it by Sanchez.
From an acute angle, the Chilean looked to curl the ball into the net, but his on-target effort was nodded away by Angelo Ogbonna.
Lingard then drew another save from Adrian in the 54th minute, with the keeper collecting his powerful effort at the second attempt.
United continued to probe, with Pogba heading a Valencia cross from the right off target eight minutes later.
The former Juventus midfielder then tried to curl an effort into the net in the 71st minute, but his shot could not find the net.
West Ham were struggling to fashion chances in the second period, though skipper Mark Noble did produce a brilliant ball to find Arnautovic in the box 10 minutes from time, even if the Austrian skewed his volley wide.
Noble was involved in a rare moment of action late on, squaring up to Pogba following a bad tackle from the United man that sparked something of a melee between players from both sides.
Sadly, that proved to be the last talking point in the game as the match ended without a goal.
West Ham will hope they can at least find the net once when they host Everton in their final game of the season on Sunday.
West Ham (3-4-2-1): Adrian; Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Masuaku (Carroll 66); Mario, Lanzini; Arnautovic.
Subs: Hart (GK), Hugill, Obiang, Evra, Fernandes, Cullen.
Man Utd (5-3-2): De Gea; Valencia (Bailly 90+3), Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, McTominay, Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 74), Sanchez (Young 90+2).
Subs: Romero (GK), Mata, Martial, Blind.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.