Manchester United roared back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to win 3-1 at West Ham on Saturday, making history in the process. The Red Devils won their first five away games this Premier League season for the first time ever, and even more impressively they came from behind in each of those matches after conceding first.
Saturday's match against the Hammers and former manager David Moyes in London saw the hosts look like the better side in the first half in front of 2,000 fans. This game marked the officially return of fans at Premier League venues, with half of the league's 20 clubs allowed to have fans as things currently stand.
But in the second half, on came Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, turning the tide quickly.
Tomas Soucek's opener was quickly canceled out in the 65th minute with a brilliant curler from Paul Pogba in the 65th minute on a pass from Fernanes. Three minutes later, Mason Greenwood got the winner before Marcus Rashford ended any chances of a West Ham comeback in the 78th minute. United scored all three of their goals in a 14-minute span, with the hosts unable to respond.
The victory moves United into the top four while West Ham are now in seventh place.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
West Ham's missed chances kept United in it
The Hammers were quite dominant in the opening 45 minutes, finishing the first half outshooting United 12-3 and with and with an expected goals total of 1.61 compared to United's 0.14. Two of those chances came from Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals, who had himself a night to forget. The former Villarreal man finished with three shots and an xG of 0.72. He missed an opener header at the far post and toe-poked a shot off the left post, failing to convert two clear chances that could have put West Ham in full control.
Bruno Fernandes made all the difference
The Portuguese star came on in the second half and turned it around, all while not even recording a single shot. Commanding respect thanks to his creativity, he created eight chances, had one assist, completed 84 percent of his passes and got the comeback started. His light pass to Paul Pogba set up the midfielder for his highlight moment.
Here it is:
Props go to Pogba for finishing a shot like that though, as the Frenchman finished with an xG of 0.07 on his two speculative shots. That's the thing about speculative shots, sometimes you hit the jackpot and Bruno Fernandes saw the opportunity. He continues to prove that he is the engine in the middle, and when he's on the pitch the team is exponentially better by creating chance after chance.
Momentum restored ahead of UCL showdown
After that humbling defeat to PSG last week in the Champions League, United return to the competition this week with some positive vibes thanks to this one. United go to RB Leipzig on Tuesday, with both teams fighting for a spot in the round of 16.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes should be pretty fresh, and the club hopes to get David de Gea back after he was kept home for Saturday's win to rest with a slight injury. The second half performance will give them plenty to build upon, especially when it comes to those effective one-touch passes forward that led to two goals.
This is a team that really needed that momentum back after that four-game winning sneak that was snapped on Wednesday and this sets them up nicely ahead of the big clash in Germany.