Man United secure second, but little else, with 0-0 draw at West Ham
LONDON, England -- Three points as Manchester United draw 0-0 with West Ham at the London Stadium.
1. Man United get over the line
Jose Mourinho wanted the point that guaranteed Manchester United will finish second in the Premier League this season, and he got it -- but not much else.
His team drew a league game for the first time in 2018 to make sure they are runners-up to Manchester City. It is deserved, but games like this show just how difficult it will be to bridge the gap to Pep Guardiola's champions.
Man United were not at full strength on Thursday night, with Nemanja Matic rested and Romelu Lukaku nursing an ankle injury that might yet keep him out of the FA Cup final. They probably still should have won -- Luke Shaw hit the post in the first half -- but really it was an instantly forgettable 90 minutes.
With West Ham already safe from relegation, it often played at preseason-friendly pace, something not helped by the sunny evening and the half-full stadium. The United fans behind the goal did their best to create something resembling an atmosphere with songs in support of Sir Alex Ferguson, who is currently recovering from brain surgery, while West fans occasionally roared with approval usually when Marko Arnautovic, their best player, went close. He might have scored twice in the opening stages as United struggled to shake off the disappointment of their dismal defeat to Brighton last Friday.
Before Shaw -- recalled as one of eight changes Mourinho made to the team that was so limp at the Amex Stadium -- came closest, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez both saw efforts saved by Adrian. It was noteworthy that Lingard and Sanchez started up front in Mourinho's 3-5-2 formation, leaving Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to squirm on the bench. The move left them in no uncertain terms that they had blown their chance to impress against Brighton.
As the game dragged toward its conclusion, there was a brief flair-up between Paul Pogba and Mark Noble. The melee that ensured brought the biggest reaction of the night, which tells you everything you need to know.
2. Places up for grabs at the back ahead of FA Cup final
Jose Mourinho said before the FA Cup semifinal with Tottenham last month that there were very few guaranteed starters at Wembley. A week away from a final against Chelsea, his defenders, in particular, are in a similar situation.
Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian, starters at Brighton on Friday, didn't even make the bench against West Ham. Eric Bailly's exile continued, with the Ivory Coast international named only among the substitutes. Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones started in a back three with Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw at wing-back. It appears likely Valencia and Ashley Young, Mourinho's first-choice full-backs, will start the cup final a week on Saturday.
Smalling -- the club's fourth-highest appearance-maker this season -- will fancy his chances, too, although he struggled to cope with Arnautovic at the London Stadium. The Austria international might have scored twice in the opening 15 minutes, both times failing to capitalise on Smalling mistakes.
Most United fans would like to see Bailly's name on the team sheet against Chelsea, but now without a start in more than a month, he is likely to be rusty. It leaves Jones and Lindelof: one quick and strong, the other better on the ball. Jones is most likely to get the nod, but as Mourinho showed with his team here, he is not afraid to spring a surprise.
3. Moyes has earned new West Ham contract
On a sunny evening at a stadium that was only half full, it was a game that at times resembled a preseason friendly. David Moyes, however, will not have cared. The atmosphere at the London Stadium was relaxed in part because West Ham supporters know they will be watching Premier League football next season. And that means Moyes has done his job.
The Scot took over from Slaven Bilic in November with West Ham in the relegation places. It wasn't an appointment that filled everyone at the club with enthusiasm, a lot like the reaction when he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in 2013. But unlike his short-lived spell at United, he has been a success at West Ham.
The question now is what happens from here. Moyes is out of contract at the end of the season and said he has had an offer from another Premier League club. West Ham will want to establish themselves as a top-half club, one that is challenging for Europe rather than battling relegation. Moyes has earned the opportunity to prove he can be the manager to deliver it.
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.