United suffer worst start in 29 years

Manchester United’s English defender Luke Shaw (L) and Manchester United’s English defender Chris Smalling (R) react at the final whistle of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on September 29, 2018. Ian KINGTON / AFP

Manchester United recorded their worst league start in 29 years as Jose Mourinho’s side were beaten by West Ham at London Stadium.

They have 10 points from seven games – the same as in 2013-14 under David Moyes – but inferior goal difference means this is their worst top-flight start since they picked up seven points in 1989-90.

The Hammers, with only one win in the preceding 19 top-flight meetings, were ahead after just five minutes through club-record signing Felipe Anderson’s clever back-heeled finish from Pablo Zabaleta’s cross – despite both players appearing to be offside.

And the hosts doubled their advantage on the brink of half-time in fortunate fashion, as Andriy Yarmolenko’s shot cannoned in off Victor Lindelof and beyond the wrong-footed David de Gea.

Marcus Rashford responded for the largely pedestrian visitors on 71 minutes, but Marko Arnautovic restored the Hammers’ two-goal lead less than three minutes later as Mark Noble’s pass sliced through the visitors’ unconvincing back-line.

In a week that saw them dumped out at the third-round stage of the Carabao Cup by lower-league Derby, the talk surrounding Manchester United has focused as much on off-field troubles as it has on actual results.

Mourinho’s relationship with £89m record signing Paul Pogba appeared strained once again on Wednesday, as a tense exchange between the two was captured by cameras at United’s training ground.

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