The West Ham manager may have been left ruing his decision not to bring in back up for lone forward Michail Antonio in the January window when the frontman failed a late fitness test before kick-off but in the end, his talent wasn’t needed as goals from Issa Diop, Ryan Fredericks and West Ham’s first penalty of the season, scored by Declan Rice, proved plenty to bag all three points.
In truth, the score line flattered the home side who at times let Sheffield United have too much of the ball and for whom better finishing could have led to a very different story.
West Ham thought they had their first penalty of the term after just five minutes when Craig Dawson, following up a Rice free-kick was push over in the area by Enda Stephens but VAR ruled that Dawson was in an offside position meaning that the home team would have to wait until five minutes from half time to get their spot-kick.
Lingard was lively all evening as West Ham counter-attacking outlet and it as he who dispossess Oliver Norwood, exchange passes quickly with Jared Bowen and was through on goal before being taken down dramatically by the challenge of Chris Basham.
The former England player clearly wanted to take the resulting penalty but captain Declan Rice pulled rank and swept the first penalty kick of his senior career hard and low to Aaron Ramsdale’s right.
Sheffield United had their chances and David McGoldrick should have pulled them level with a close-range header early in the second half but the ball deflected off the head Ben Johnson and Lukasz Fabianski was able to reach up to make the save.
The Blades were made to pay for that miss as Issa Diop doubled his teams lead soon after. Once again West Ham scoring from a set-piece as the French centre-back rose unmarked to head home Aaron Cresswell’s excellent corner kick.
The game from here was marked by mistakes from both teams who looked tired and leggy as the game reached the final stages which saw United defender John Egan leave the field on a stretcher with 10mins to go.
The game was finally wrapped up in stoppage time when the Blades defenders stood off substitute Ryan Fredericks who was left to pick his spot in the bottom corner of the away teams net for the 40th goal conceded by Chris Wilder’s men this season.
Final score at the London Stadium West Ham United 3 – Sheffield United 0.