|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Lys Mousset strikes again to rescue point for Sheffield United at West Ham
Jacob Steinberg at the London Stadium
Date Published Sat 26 Oct 2019 17.07 BST
Sheffield United will feel they made their point. While Chris Wilder’s side fell short of winning this grudge match, they were entitled to celebrate a moral victory. They were better than West Ham in every area and they silenced the crowd’s taunts about Carlos Tevez when Lys Mousset, who had been on the pitch for five minutes, preserved their unbeaten record on the road with a lovely equaliser.
It was Mousset’s third goal since his £10m move from Bournemouth in the summer and a draw was the least the visitors deserved from a punchy display. They were as fearless as ever, even after falling behind to Robert Snodgrass’s first goal of the season, and it must have pleased them to hear boos from West Ham’s fans at full-time.
Manuel Pellegrini’s insistence that West Ham, who struggled to cope with Sheffield United’s robust approach, should have won was hard to accept. This was another laboured effort from his side, who still look too flaky on and off the ball to mount a serious challenge for a place in the top six.
West Ham’s buzz has faded since beating Manchester United last month and it should worry Pellegrini that a team packed with creative players are struggling to make chances for their £45m forward, Sebastien Haller.
“It is not easy to create chances against Sheffield United,” Pellegrini said. “He must play with some players near him.”
West Ham are winless in five matches but at least their fans had fun during the early stages, goading their guests by holding up Tevez masks. This was the first league meeting between these sides since Sheffield United raged at their relegation from the Premier League in 2007 – they won a League Cup second-round meeting on penalties in 2014 – and time has clearly not been a healer. Memories of the bitter row over the deal that brought Tevez and Javier Mascherano to east London 13 years ago still sting.
There was little snarl on the pitch, though. West Ham were flat for long spells, even though Pellegrini made five changes after last Saturday’s drab defeat at Everton, and failed to play with enough intensity in attack.
Sheffield United did not play like a promoted team and it took a point-blank save from Roberto to stop David McGoldrick opening the scoring in the 28th minute.
Ever the tough taskmaster, though, Wilder will feel McGoldrick should have shown more conviction when Chris Basham’s header reached him. The striker’s flick made life easier for Roberto, who would soon spread anxiety in his back four with a flap at a cross from George Baldock. The Spanish goalkeeper was fortunate to see a deflected shot from Enda Stevens fly wide.
West Ham edged ahead shortly before half-time, demonstrating their ability to conjure a goal out of nothing when Basham’s errant header gave Andriy Yarmolenko an opportunity to release Snodgrass. Yarmolenko played the pass on the volley and Snodgrass calmly beat Dean Henderson.
The visitors rallied in the second half and pushed on once Henderson had stopped Felipe Anderson doubling West Ham’s lead. They outnumbered Declan Rice and Mark Noble in midfield and Baldock spurned two excellent chances.
Mousset, surprisingly dropped after his winner against Arsenal last Monday, was called from the bench in the 63rd minute. “It was a difficult one because he’s still not up to speed,” Wilder said. “I’ve got to do the right thing, which I felt was to start him on bench.”
Wilder would be vindicated when a header from Stevens teed up Mousset to volley beyond Roberto.
West Ham could have no complaints and while they went close to restoring their lead when Snodgrass struck the woodwork, Pellegrini’s faltering side had not done enough.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS AND LEAGUE TABLE
West Ham (4-1-4-1): Roberto 6.5; Zabaleta 6.5, Balbuena 6, Diop 7, Cresswell 6.5; Rice 7; Yarmolenko 6.5, Noble 7 (Fornals 78, 6), Anderson 6.5 (Lanzini 66, 6), Snodgrass 7.5 (Ajeti 86); Haller 5.5
Subs not used: Martin, Sanchez, Ogbonna, Fredericks
Goals: Snodgrass 44
Booked: Diop, Balbuena
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini 6
Sheffield United: Henderson 7.5; Basham 7, Egan 7, O'Connell 7; Baldock 6, Lundstram 6, Norwood 5.5 (Mousset 63, 6), Fleck 6, Stevens 6; Robinson 5 (Sharp 54, 6), McGoldrick 7 (Besic 81)
Subs not used: Moore, Freeman, McBurnie, Jagielka
Goals: Mousset 69
Booked: Baldock, Stevens
Manager: Chris Wilder 7.5
Referee: David Coote 7