Manchester United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the first time of asking on Wednesday night, with West Ham United winning by a goal to nil at Old Trafford.
These two sides met only three days ago in the league, with Jesse Lingard scoring a late winner for the Red Devils at the London Stadium.
Lingard was among 11 changes to be made to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting line-up, with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Dean Henderson also earning rare starts.
But as was the case on Sunday afternoon, West Ham started this one very much on the front foot.
With only two minutes on the clock, Jarrod Bowen fired wide from inside the area, and Alex Kral saw a goalbound effort deflected off Eric Bailly and out for a corner.
And on nine minutes, David Moyes’ side took a deserved lead. Ryan Fredericks jinked his way past Jadon Sancho and Telles, advancing to the byline before rolling the ball back for Manuel Lanzini, who calmly slotted into the bottom corner.
Fredericks limped off injured in the aftermath, but nonetheless, the Irons’ fine start to proceedings had been rewarded.
This seemed to jolt the hosts into life. After Lingard had a penalty appeal waved away having been tugged by Mark Noble, Juan Mata rattled the crossbar from an acute angle, before Sancho had an effort deflected wide at the near post.
Chances were being carved out in quick succession, though. Nemanja Matic embarked on a surging run forward before playing in Anthony Martial, whose toe-poked effort rolled across goal and narrowly wide with Diogo Dalot lurking.
Lingard then forced Alphonse Areola into action with a rifling effort from distance, before Martial danced his way into the area before shooting wide.
Plenty of territory in the final third, then, but a lack of cutting edge on show from the Red Devils. Van de Beek dragged a shot harmlessly wide from the edge of the area, whilst a quick exchange between Sancho and Martial couldn’t culminate in an equaliser, before the half-time whistle blew.
The second half began and Solskjaer’s men picked up from where they left off. Juan Mata lifted a ball over the top of the West Ham defence to Sancho, who clipped an effort just over the bar.
Solskjaer starting to ring the changes on the hour mark. Shortly after Dalot flashed an effort narrowly wide, Mason Greenwood was introduced the action, replacing Mata as the hosts looked to make a breakthrough.
Greenwood very nearly made an immediate impact, too. The forward raced onto a ball lifted over the top of the defence by van de Beek, but couldn’t fire beyond Areola who denied him with his legs.
Greenwood’s introduction seemed to move the Red Devils’ play up a gear, though, with the attacker driving inside and switching to Lingard, who fired an effort straight at Areola from 20 yards.
Further changes were made for the home side soon after. Bruno Fernandes coming on to try and galvanise a turnaround, with youngster Anthony Elanga also making a cameo. Fernandes came close to finding equaliser moments after his introduction, but his curling effort bent just wide.
A frenetic final 10 minutes followed. Fernandes’ corner was headed away only as far as Sancho, whose effort was fired through a wall of players and ricocheted into Martial’s path, but Areola was down low to frustrate his fellow countryman.
West Ham broke down the other end, but Fernandes’ willingness to track back, run the length of the pitch and deny Bowen raised the decibel levels inside Old Trafford.
But as the hosts pushed for an equaliser, the visitors could hit them on the counter attack. A swift break saw Yarmolenko receive the ball inside the area, rounding Dean Henderson before firing an effort off the woodwork.
The same was to happen moments later – Bowen was the orchestrator, driving forward before squaring for an unmarked Mark Noble. The man who missed a stoppage-time penalty to equalise on Sunday couldn’t fire beyond Henderson, though, with the goalkeeper diving down low to his right to keep hold of the midfielder’s shot.
West Ham did have their chances to kill the game off, though. Bowen’s effort was kept out at the near post, whilst Fornals fired wildly over off target from a decent shooting position outside the area.
But despite four minutes being added on at the end of the contest, the hosts couldn’t find an equaliser, falling to a defeat in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Solskjaer said this week that he must leave behind a legacy of silverware whilst in charge at Old Trafford – the League Cup is one trophy his side will not be getting their hands on this season.