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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 18 October, 2017
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail sport@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick of is at 4pm.

All eyes will be on the two new strikers for both clubs today. Can Lukaku hit the ground running and will Chicharito return to haunt his former employers?

There are quite a few familiar faces in that West Ham lineup. They’ve been busy in the transfer market and it’s a big roll of the dice from the top brass.

Joe Hart is back from Turin, Pablo Zabaleta comes in from Man City too and Marko Arnautovic is included here after his move from Stoke.

Worth pointing out Mark Noble too. What a terrific career he’s had with this club and this is his 14th season in West Ham colours.

Teams are out. And so is Fred the Red. Great to have him back.

Let’s keep an eye on Pogba today too and see if he’s properly ‘unleashed’ because of Nemanja Matic’s acquisition.

A brief hint of a chance for West Ham as Valencia is too busy arguing with the referee to notice a quick free-kick down the United left. The ball is worked back inside to the edge of the area but United get bodies back.

7Mins

There’s a glimpse of what Lukaku brings to the United side. Many think he’s just a big presence up top but he’s got pace and power. He bursts down the left side from deep after a terrific first touch, holds off the close attentions of a dark shirt before whipping in a cross and forcing a corner.

11Mins

Ibrahimovic obviously brought plenty to United last term but not much in terms of all-round contribution. Lukaku gives them more in terms of build-up and platform.

15Mins

West Ham haven’t laid a glove on their hosts so far but United, for all their possession, haven’t had much in the final third either.

19Mins

Worth pointing out that Matic has been terrific so far, bringing calm and composure to the middle of the park and being really good in possession. Not quite sure what the Paul Pogba plan is, though. He’s still alongside Matic and not exactly being ‘freed up’ to pick up higher positions.

Flag 21Mins

CLOSE! First decent chance of the game as Mata makes the run in behind and Mkhitaryan slips him in. Hart does well to squeeze the angle and makes himself big to block. But, the ball stays in play from his save and Mata first-times it back towards the six-yard area and Lukaku looks set to finish to the net. But, there are a few dark shirts close to him and they do enough to cover the shot and West Ham get it clear. The striker ends up on the ground and there are half-hearted appeals for a penalty but Martin Atkinson waves them away.

28Mins

CLOSE! Almost a direct replica of United’s previous good chance as Mata makes the angled run in behind and it’s Pogba who plays him in this time, with a lovely dinked ball over the top. Hart saves again and they need to be better with this, West Ham. It’s a pretty cliched Mata move, isn’t it? And they already had one previous warning. Good to see Pogba involved in that zone, though.

35Mins

That’s a lovely, lovely goal and Lukaku is up and running but it’s more about Matic and what he’s already bringing to this United side. He makes a big tackle and then charges forward to support Rashford. The youngster races clear and it’s swift counter. He elects not to play in Matic but slides a perfect pass through for Lukaku instead and he whips it first time towards Hart’s near post. It smacks the inside of the upright but curls across the goal and into the far corner.

Flag 44Mins

BOOKING! Eric Bailly is the first player to pick up a yellow card here after catching Chicharito.

Flag 45Mins

CLOSE! West Ham have attempted to up the ante since going behind and they get in their first shot in anger with the last kick of the first-half. It’s a pretty good chance too as Ayew and Fernandes almost get in each other’s way as they run onto the tee-up pass. It looks like Fernandes who actually strikes it and De Gea does well to push it away.

45Mins

Good stuff from United and Matic has been absolutely outstanding. But West Ham came to sit back and offer nothing in the final third. So, the hosts haven’t exactly been put under much pressure.

They created two identical chances for Mata as his darting runs weren’t tracked while the goal was superbly worked between Matic, Rashford and Lukaku, who finished brilliantly.

Encouraging, certainly. But it will be nice to see West Ham push and give United something to worry about. Then we can get a better idea of things.

54Mins

Well, that should be that. A second goal early in the second half and United are coasting. It’s pretty simple in its creation. Henrikh Mkhitaryan curls in a free-kick from the left side and Lukaku gets up and glances it to the corner.

An early statement of intent from him and his employers.

Flag 59Mins

CLOSE! Oh! A little reminder from West Ham that there’s still a game on. A cross from the left and Arnautovic – who’s been pretty invisible – gets up and loops a header towards goal. De Gea is beaten but it hits the crossbar and drops over.

Flag 61Mins

SUBSTITUTIONS! Sakh0 (on) – Fernandes (off) and Rice (on) & Noble (off)

What a big moment for 18-year-old Declan Rice who makes his second ever West Ham appearance. Ireland underage international and voted Irish U-17 Player of the Year for 2017.   

Flag 63Mins

BOOKING! Valencia is the second United player to pick up a yellow after catching Arnautovic on the ankle.

Flag 67Mins

CLOSE! That would’ve been a superb third for United but Rashford sees his brilliant curler come off the inside of the far post.

Flag 71Mins

CLOSE! This is all too easy for United and worrying for West Ham. Nice build-up down the right and Valencia is on the overlap before pinging a perfect cross to the far post where the unmarked Daley Blind arrives bang on cue. He takes it on the volley but hits it into the ground and it bounces off the turf and catches the roof of the net rather than the inside of it.

Flag 76Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Fellaini (on) – Mata (off)

First change for United as the Spaniard is swapped out. He gets a big hug from Mourinho as he walks off. Fellaini slots into a midfield three, alongside Pogba and Matic.

Flag 80Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Martial (on) – Rashford (off)

He came within a whisker of getting on the scoresheet and he teed up Lukaku for his first goal. All in all, a good afternoon for Rashford. Martial impressed in pre-season but still seems like he has to persuade Mourinho he’s worth persisting with. Good chance for him here, with West Ham so disinterested.

Flag 83Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Cresswell (on) – Masuaku (off)

For all West Ham’s heavy spending, they don’t seem to have much depth to the squad, do they? One last change for Slaven Bilic but they really don’t look like rescuing anything here.

87Mins

And there is Martial getting in on the act. It’s really well worked with Mkhitaryan again the architect from deep and sliding it through. Lukaku is offside but Martial times his movement to perfection and tucks it beyond Hart with ease.

91Mins

United absolutely running riot now as Pogba gets in on the act. Martial slips it inside to him and the midfielder takes a couple of touches as he races towards the edge of the area before opening up his body and curling the side-foot finish around Hart.

90Mins

United will get lots of people talking after that performance and it certainly bodes well, and for the new signings particularly.

Matic was superb throughout and looked immensely composed in the middle of the park while Lukaku took his goals really well.

West Ham didn’t offer anything and never gave United anything to worry about. It was a stroll for the home side in the second-half and tougher tests await them.

However, for the moment, lots of positives and Mourinho will probably be delighted that Pogba popped up with a goal (he wants him to hit between 10 – 15 goals this season) and that Martial came off the bench and scored too.

Thanks for staying with us and we’ll have lots more post-game reaction on the site shortly.

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