Manchester United, after their first taste of glory over the weekend, gave their all against West Ham to remain in the hunt for another trophy.
It took a frustrating first-half display in the final third followed by Said Benrahma’s goal in the 54th minute to really wake up the Red Devils. But once the hosts got going, they swept David Moyes’ men away.
United rattled West Ham’s net four times in last 20 minutes to win the tie 3-1, with Casemiro’s effort in the 73rd minute ruled out after a VAR review for offside.
Nayef Aguerd’s own goal levelled the score, and the remaining two goals came from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred, with Wout Weghorst involved in both. Garnacho beat Alphonse Areola from the Dutch striker’s rebound, and Fred sealed the win after Weghorst dispossessed Aguerd in the penalty area.
Weghorst also played Marcus Rashford through on goal, but the Englishman struck his effort wide. Apart from finding the back of the net himself, the 30-year-old did everything right on Wednesday night, and fans made sure to give him his flowers for the performance.
Carl Anka of The Athletic, tweeted: “Weghorst will not leave Manchester United as a prolific goalscorer. Still, he nearly got a header that became United’s 1st goal, and then his blocked shot led to United’s second via Garnacho’s. The Dutchman’s pressing would also lead to Fred scoring the third.”
“People assume that if a forward doesn’t score goals, he’s having a bad game. But Weghorst is proof that a CF can be a game-changer in other ways. He makes everyone around him better. His link-up play, movement and work rate; all massively invaluable,” said one fan.
“Weghorst has proved to be such a smart signing. And you can see by the celebrations how much he’s appreciated by his United teammates,” noted another.
Further, in his post-match interview, Ten Hag said Weghorst was one of the best players on the pitch, and insisted the goals will come.
United have scored 28 goals in their last 12 games in all competitions. As such, they aren’t in desperate need of goals from their number nine as long as he continues to create space and goal-scoring opportunities for the likes of Rashford and Garnacho.