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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the London Stadium

Hammers back on song as Kudus and Paqueta heap more agony on ten Hag's Man United

West Ham United (0) 2 Bowen 72, Kudus 78

Manchester United (0) 0

The Happy Hammers shrugged off the gloom of recent away shellackings to pile more misery on Manchester United, while hoisting themselves up to sixth in the table.

After an abject first half - so soporific that it might count as one of the countdown sleeps before Christmas - Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus bagged two goals in six minutes to leave a poor United facing yet another pointless visit to the capital, having already lost at Spurs and Arsenal.

In the end, it all felt so very straight-forward.

Both Irons goals were created by Lucas Paqueta, who is really starting to show the class which led to interest from none other than Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the summer.

The Brazilian's first assist was particularly beautiful - a first-time return pass to the scampering Bowen, who latched on the perfect chip over the United back line and bundled home after Andre Onana had parried the initial shot.

It was Bowen's 11th Premier League goal of the season.

Not long after, Kudus received a ball played in from the right by Paqueta and a side-step took him into the inside-right channel, paving the way for a low shot which found the far bottom corner.

Pre-match talk in the West Ham coffee hall under the club shop was of the dismal Carabao Cup showing at Liverpool in midweek and the failure of David Moyes to field his strongest side. No danger this time and arguably the pay-off today made it worthwhile.

Kudus is the man in form for the Hammers but for all his skill on the ball and energetic promptings - he was man of the match - he almost gifted the visitors the lead when his sloppy crossfield pass fell straight to Antony and a quick transfer to Alejandro Garnacho gave the Argentinian a clear run on goal. Luckily the winger made a mess of it and could not get his feet sorted out in time to test Alphonse Areola more fully.

The Hammers keeper was then nearly caught out by Kobbie Mainoo's bobbling low effort which Ramus Hojlund got a faint touch on - the sprawling stopper got just about enough on it to turn the shot aside.

But that was as threatening as a powder-puff United turned out to be as what little speark they had shown fizzled out. The pressure mounts on Erik ten Hag and that backs-to-the-wall draw at Liverpool last week already seems a long time ago.

The second half had to be better and it certainly was for the Hammers, who had not done much to rouse their fans in the opening 45. From a James Ward-Prowse corner, Bowen got in a firm header at the back-post that Onana tipped over, but an increased tempo from the hosts was changing the dynamic.

Kurt Zouma had an impressive afternoon and one of his most telling interventions was when he made a vital interception to stop Luke Shaw's cross from reaching a lurking Garnacho, and soon after came the two-goal salvo which settled the outcome.

It's Arsenal away next for the Irons, followed by Brighton at home ahead of the FA Cup third round. The mood-swing is back in Moyes' favour.

Hammers: (4-2-3-1) Areola - Coufal, Zouma, Mavropanos, Emerson - Soucek, Alvarez - Kudus (Johnson 90+2), Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paqueta - Bowen (Fornals 87)

Man U: (4-2-3-1) Onana - Wan-Bissaka - Kambwala (Reguilon 84), Evans, Shaw - McTominay, Mainoo - Antony (Pellestri 73), Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho (Eriksen 84) - Hojlund (Rashford 57)


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