3 tackles, 13 clearances: West Ham ace Kouyate superb vs Manchester United

Ramires Kick - Chelsea v West Ham

West Ham United’s Cheikhou Kouyate was excellent during his side’s draw with Manchester United.

West Ham United’s Cheikhou Kouyate had arguably his finest match since joining the club as the Hammers’ drew 1-1 at home to Manchester United.

The 25-year-old moved to Upton Park in the summer from Belgian side Anderlecht, signing a four-year contract tying him to the East Londoners until 2018.

Naturally a central midfielder who has been compared to Patrick Vieira, Kouyate has filled in at centre-back this season and was tasked with the job of marking Radamel Falcao on Sunday.

The Colombian international striker saw very little of the ball, showing little signs of having an impact on the game and being restricted heavily by the commanding figure of Kouyate.

  TacklesInterceptionsEffective ClearancesBall RecoveriesTouchesAccurate PassesMins Played
Cheikhou Kouyaté 3 1 13 2 44 18 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the Senegalese international was a rock for Sam Allardyce’s men and was desperately unlucky not to finish the game as the host’s match winner.

From a defensive perspective, Kouyate was excellent as he contributed with three tackles, one interception and a whopping 13 effective clearances – the most by any player on the pitch.

The athletic enforcer isn’t renowned for getting in among the goals, but after scoring his first goal in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal he once again got on the scoresheet against the Red Devils.

His goal came courtesy of individual brilliance, picking up a Mark Noble free-kick, juggling the ball before firing in a wonderful volley past a hapless David de Gea.

In possession, Kouyate was incredibly reliable, taking 40 touches and making 18 accurate passes with an overall completion rate of 90% - also the most by any player on the pitch.

However, his near-perfect display was cruelly overshadowed at the end as United equalised deep in to injury time, midfielder Daley Blind preventing the Hammers and Kouyate a deserved three points.

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