Premier League
West Ham United 1-0 Manchester United 

Sunday, 7th May 2023
by Staff Writer

VAR is once again at the centre of controversy tonight after yet another blatant hand ball inside the penalty area was ignored.

Yet for once this particular sorry tale had a happy ending, as Said Benrahma's 27th-minute strike was enough to secure three vital points for the Hammers - a victory that virtually guarantees the club Premier League football next season.

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As was the case against Liverpool last month when the Hammers were trailing 2-1, West Ham were denied what appeared to be yet another cast-iron penalty when Manchester United's Victor Lindelof clearly handled the ball inside his own box.

However match official Peter Bankes refrained from pointing to the spot whilst the VAR team, led this week by Stuart Attwell, failed to intervene - to the surprise of most inside and outside the London Olympic Stadium this evening.

West Ham also had two further efforts ruled out by Bankes - a Michail Antonio effort for a foul in the build up and a Tomas Soucek header in the closing stages, after the Czech midfielder was himself correctly ruled to be marginally offside.

Fortunately for West Ham, by that time they had already scored with a goal decreed to be legitimate by the match officials - one which Man Utd 'keeper David De Gea will be keen to forget.

With 27 minutes on the clock Benrahma drove through the heart of the visitors' defence before pulling the trigger from just outside the box.

It appeared to be a comfortable save for the Spaniard, who instead watched horrified as the ball trickled past his outstretched hand the give the Hammers an advantage they maintained until the final whistle, which came after nearly nine minutes of added on time.

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Player Ratings

Lukasz Fabianski
Barely had a save of note to make during the 100 minutes of football played but was on hand when required - specifically to save the late Martial effort in the first minute of added-on time.

Thilo Kehrer
His best display bar none since arriving in east London. Every tackle and header was perfectly timed and he saw off the challenge of Rashford and Sancho with comparative ease. Only once did he get turned by the England international, although Rashford was going away from goal at the time. And that Delap-esque long throw is handy.

Aaron Cresswell
Anyone suggesting "his legs have gone" should take a look at this game again, as he provided a constant outlet on the left for the likes of Rice and Benrahma. His set piece deliveries were quite on point however while Man Utd appeared to target his side of the pitch in the first half, specifically.

Angelo Ogbonna
A superb performance from the recalled Italian veteran, who looked largely untroubled all evening, full of confidence and assuredness.

Nayef Aguerd
World class effort from the Moroccan, who had one of those games where everything went according to plan. While he still has the capacity to make a ricket, there was little evidence of any today. One 60-yard cross-field pass that led to a chance for Michail Antonio early doors was simply sumptuous.

Declan Rice
With the bit firmly between his teeth, Rice was more than a match for anyone Man Utd had to offer in a central position. Casemiro was a bystander as the England international showed him how to take control of a game. Was everywhere and created one or two good chances.

Tomas Soucek
Almost certainly Tomas' best game of the season so far. He kept a close eye on Bruno Fernades throughout and almost had an assist before Antonio's effort was ruled out.

Lucas Paqueta
Some unbelievable touches from the Brazilian, who is finally beginning to find his feet following his move from Lyon last summer. Still gives the ball away a little too cheaply at times, which on this occasion didn't prove costly.

Said Benrahma
An exceptional performance from the Algerian, who teased and tormented Man Utd's rearguard throughout. His goal was a calamitous error by De Gea, but if you don't buy a ticket...

Jarrod Bowen
The usual effort and determination was evident even if Jarrod was lacking a little in end product on the day. A blocked shot and a great pass to Paqueta that created a chance were probably his highlights.

Michail Antonio
A really strong performance from Micky, firmly set in beast mode for the occasion. Very unfortunate to have a 'goal' disallowed for a supposed foul on David De Gea, who simply crumbled under pressure. Was involved in the build-up to the winning goal and his size and power generally threatened the visitors all afternoon.


Pablo Fornals
(Replaced Benrahma, 87) A sub to waste a few valuable seconds - even though, with the added nine minutes, he actually played for 12.

Flynn Downes
(Replaced Paqueta, 90+5) Another sub used to eat up a few seconds - but he still had time to make one lung-bursting run into the corner in order to waste a bit more time as the seconds ebbed away.

Ben Johnson
(Replaced Antonio, 90+5) Introduced to face the music for a matter of minutes, he may not have even touched the ball.

Emerson Palmieri
(Replaced Cresswell, 90+8) Almost certainly didn't touch the ball!

Alphonse Areola
Did not play.

Joseph Anang
Did not play.

Manuel Lanzini
Did not play.

Maxwel Cornet
Did not play.

Danny Ings
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Thilo Kehrer, Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna, Nayef Aguerd, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Lucas Paqueta, Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio.

Goals: Said Benrahma 27                  .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka (Dalot 88), Lindelöf, Shaw, Malacia (Fred 88), Casemiro, Fernandes ©, Eriksen (Sabitzer 72), Antony (Sancho 72), Rashford, Weghorst (Martial 57).

Subs not used: Butland, Williams, Maguire, Garnacho.

Goals: .

Booked: Malacia (36), Wan-Bissaka (64).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Attendance: 62,477.

Man of the Match: Thilo Kehrer.