Manchester United staged another Premier League fightback to beat us and climb to fourth in the table with 2,000 Hammers fans watching on at the London Stadium.
Goals from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and substitute Marcus Rashford turned things around for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who have fallen behind in all five away games this term but have won every match as part of a club-record nine successive away league victories.
With London placed in Tier 2 following the end of the national lockdown on 2 December, we became the first side to welcome back fans in the Premier League after a nine-month absence.
And our fans had plenty to cheer about as we made by far the better start and we were rewarded for our first-half superiority when the unmarked Tomas Soucek headed in from a corner after 38 minutes.
We should have added more before the interval but Pablo Fornals hit the post and Sebastien Haller slipped at the crucial moment after rounding goalkeeper Dean Henderson – who was making his first Premier League start for the visitors.
The introduction of Bruno Fernandes and Rashford coincided with a much-improved second-half display from Solskjaer’s side.
Pogba’s excellent finish from outside the box eventually stood following a VAR review to check whether Henderson’s long clearance to Fernandes had curled out of play and then back in.
Rashford’s cool finish after Greenwood had slotted in from Alex Telles’ cross made it three goals in 13 minutes as United moved two points behind leaders Tottenham.
Moyes was furious that Pogba’s equaliser was allowed to stand: “The decision went against us and it seemed to floor us. The ball was over my head. I had the best view because I was right on the touchline. It was definitely over the line – you only need to look at the reaction of the players – they knew it went out as well. It changed the game.”
Moyes – a former Manchester United manager – also surely lamented the fact we could have established a much greater advantage as we dominated the first half.
With three shots each, both Fornals and Bowen registered more attempts than Manchester United’s players combined in that period, but only Soucek’s goal from Declan Rice’s glanced header separated the sides.
Bowen was our standout performer as he frequently beat his marker and the former Hull winger had a goal disallowed for offside then narrowly missed from Vladimir Coufal’s low cross shortly after the restart.
Fornals hit the post while Haller lost his footing with the goal gaping after rounding Henderson as we failed to take the chances that could have made the game safe before the break.
That would have been well received by the returning home fans, who were back for the first time since 29 February, when a first league win in two months – preceded by protests against the club’s board – hauled us out of the relegation places.
We are undoubtedly in better shape now despite this defeat, with us sitting seventh in the table after an opening schedule that has included games against all but Chelsea of last season’s top eight.
On the return of supporters, Moyes added: “I was pleased we had 2,000 fans in but I would like it to have been many more. I hope the West Ham supporters enjoyed it. We played very well but the bit we just missed out on was maybe not managing the game well enough and getting the second goal.”