West Ham 1, Manchester United 0
David De Gea’s error gifted Said Benrahma the winning goal as West Ham beat Manchester United at the London Stadium.
A horrible mistake by De Gea allowed Benrahma to break the deadlock and VAR denied the Algerian a penalty at the end of the first half when Victor Lindelof appeared to handle his shot.
The Reds had the chance to overtake Newcastle United in third but only hit the woodwork twice despite having far more shots than the Hammers in a wasteful first half, and they performed even worse once again after the break.
After a poor start followed by a strong rally under manager Erik Ten Hag the exhausted Reds’ season seems in danger of falling apart at the very end – and De Gea’s error was symptomatic of United’s poor form on the road this term.
The result leaves United looking over their shoulder at the likes of Brighton, Liverpool, and Spurs who will fancy snatching their Champions League spot off them if they continue to flounder.
For West Ham, who play AZ Alkmar in the Europa Conference league on Thursday, the win takes them to 37 points and virtual safety in the Premier League – and handed former United manager David Moyes his first win against the Reds at the 10th attempt.
After the 99th minute penalty defeat at Brighton in midweek United boss Erik Ten Hag made three changes to the side at West Ham.
Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Wout Weghorst came into the side while Diogo Dalot, Fred, and Anthony Martial missed out.
West Ham brought back all the big guns who were missing at Manchester City as the effects of the virus that swept through the camp a few days ago seemed to have lifted.
Antony scuffed a shot wide as the Reds had three early wayward shots in the opening stages at the London Stadium.
David De Gea error allows Said Benrahma to break the deadlock
Marcus Rashford hit the outside of the post as United dominated but there was yet another shock for the Reds on their travels as Said Benrahma tried a speculative shot after dispossessing Luke Shaw and a diving David De Gea, who thought he had it covered, allowed it to roll over his glove from 20 yards out after 27 minutes.
Jarrod Bowen had a great chance to double that lead three minutes later but Shaw got a block on the shot allowing De Gea to catch the deflected ball.
Antony’s deflected shot shaved the post as United tried to react.
Benrahma saw a shot saved by De Gea and unsuccessfully claimed a handball on the rebound from Victor Lindelof while Eriksen finally forced Lucasz Fabianshi into the save in added time.
Bowen and Tomas Soucek started the second half with shots that were blocked.
Michail Antonio thought he scored but the effort was ruled out for an arm across De Gea by the striker after United failed to deal with a set piece.
Weghorst had been largely ineffectual but his tame shot, which was easily saved by Fabianski, didn’t save him from being hooked in favour of Anthony Martial after 57 minutes.
Declan Rice pulled the ball back across the area but behind the waiting West Ham players while Lucas Paqueta drove a shot wide and Soucek drove a shot into the side netting and Antonio headed wide with United at sea.
And Aaron Wan-Bissaka was lucky that Lindelof was covering when he brought down Antonio in full flight – a red card would have been the only response without the Swede.
Marcel Sabitzer and Jadon Sancho replaced Eriksen and Antony or the last 15 minutes and although Rashford had a shot saved a clash of heads between Soucek and Wan-Bissaka led to a lengthy stoppage and were allowed to stay on the pitch which ratcheted up the tension some more.
United’s final two changes with 2 minutes to go saw Diogo Dalot and Fred come on to replace Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia.
There were 8 minutes to be added on following the earlier injury stoppage and Martial’s shot was parried by Fabianski.
Martial messed up a header from Fernandes’ cross as United belatedly pushed for the equaliser but they couldn’t make the breakthrough.