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Man Utd hoping lady luck shines again at Leipzig after fortunate West Ham win

If you can’t be good, be lucky.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping he has saved some of his Premier League luck used up here for Manchester United’s Champions League climax on Tuesday night.

United cannot afford to lose their final first stage game at RB Leipzig in a group that has gone down to the wire.

Anything like the fortune they enjoyed here at the London Stadium and United will be home and hosed.

West Ham would have wiped them out in the first half had David Moyes’ men not kept missing sitters.

What a surrender for the 2,000 returning fans to come back to.

West Ham could have been out of sight in the first half after missing a whole host of chances

Not all masks were on faces in the stands, which is a bit like refusing to ensure your underwear covers the bits it should.

Nor were the instructions not to sing for fear of transmitting the droplets of the dreaded virus listened to.

And the distinct feeling persisted that had West Ham come back to get even a point, the fans might have broken the rules on social distancing to celebrate with a hug.

But there were masks, there were temperature checks, you couldn’t go 10 paces in any direction without finding some hand sanitiser and there was life back in the London Stadium.

Even with only 2,000 fans, this was a far less soulless experience than football has ever been over the past nine months.

Paul Pogba’s goal got them back into it

The ‘visiting’ armchair supporters – especially the ones that want Solskjaer out – probably didn’t know whether to laugh or cry by the end. A team with more quality in the final third would have slaughtered United.

A West Ham side with Michail Antonio up front would have finished off the chances that neither Sebastian Haller nor Pablo Fornals could take.

Instead it was the fourth Premier League game in a row in which Solskjaer has escaped the walls closing in on him. They should nickname him the Teflon Don.

After defeat to Bahaksehir in the Champions League on November 4, they were building the footballing gallows for him ahead of a game against an Everton side on a four-match winning run at home – only for Carlo Ancelotti’s side to shoot themselves in the foot.

A shocking refereeing performance then saw struggling West Brom denied a penalty that would have taken a share of the points.

Mason Greenwood then put United into the lead

A week ago Southampton were two-up at half time against them, only to wave the white flag in the second half.

Now this.

If United start as badly as they did here against Manchester City next Saturday, they will be demolished. Old Trafford or no Old Trafford.

So woefully inept and shambolically shameless were they during the first half with their high line continually shredded by the West Ham attack, one home fan could be clearly heard asking: “This is Manchester United we are playing, isn’t it?”

Victory here would have extended West Ham’s winning streak to four games and taken them into the top four.

United have now won their last four Premier League games in a row

Instead, United came off the ropes to cancel out Tomas Soucek’s first-half opener with a wonder goal from Paul Pogba, a close range finish from Mason Greenwood and a cheeky chip from Marcus Rashford. You just can’t keep missing sitters against them.

If West Ham move for Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud in January, Haller – who has sadly failed to transfer his goalscoring form from Holland and Germany to London – can have few complaints.

If Solskjaer has any sense, he’ll go off and do his lottery numbers.




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