For only the third time this season, Manchester United have registered back to back wins in the Premier League and it has been a timely reminder of the potential in this squad once Manchester United have started getting players back into the squad from various injuries.
Dare I say the "Ten Hag Out" brigade have quietened down after two good victories in the last week. This article will delve into three of the biggest talking points from the victory over West Ham United.
Has Erik Ten Hag found his perfect front three?
Hang that picture in the Louvre.
Counting from that Tottenham game at Old Trafford at the beginning of the year, Manchester United's forwards have been involved in 7 of the 9 goals in which we have scored in the past 3 games.
This is a far cry from the paltry goals and assists they were putting up before Christmas. There seems to be confidence and some good link up play at times and a desire to find their teammates in attack. Hojlund has been especially impressive, showing his ability to score off either foot and being able to create for others with his unselfish running. The almost equally impressive feature has been him showing his ability to not be greedy and pass to his other forwards who are in better position to score - like the assist he gave to Rashford againgst Wolves for the opener. Moving forward, Ten Hag has found his front three that works in Rashford, Hojlund and Garnacho which in itself casts doubts about Antony who is going to struggle to get significant game time when he is not performing on the level as the others ahead of him.
A much needed clean sheet comes at Old Trafford
Surprisingly, this is only Manchester United's third home clean sheet of the season but they as a team will welcome it.
West Ham did not put them under the pressure that Wolves did midweek, but there was still a couple of sloppy readings and errors from Harry Maguire this game that could have lead to United conceding. If it wasn't for better finishing from Emerson and a great last ditch challenge by Diogo Dalot, it could have been a different story. Even Andre Onana in the first half made a couple of decent saves which will definitely boost his confidence, and having a bit more of a settled back four will hopefully bring more clean sheets. However, one man from that backline will not be featuring in the near future…
Lisandro Martinez’s injury setback will affect the race to a Champions League spot
Since coming back from injury, Martinez has been the epitome of calmness in the back line and also brought back a well needed balance that was forgotten with Luke Shaw and himself on the left side of the defence.
His ability to play through the lines and play longer diagonal balls to the forwards are invaluable for Manchester United. When all is said and done, Martinez is pound for pound arguably United’s best player. The diagnosis has come back better than anticipated, but Martinez will miss the next 8 weeks of football.
Martinez has been so unfortunate with injury setbacks that has robbed Manchester United consistently of being able to put together the "holy trinity" of triangles with Varane, Martinez and Casemiro who worked well together last season. This was most definitely the biggest downer on what turned out to be a big win for Manchester United to build on the momentum they have created going into a tough fixture against Aston Villa next weekend.