Rashford’s strike is decisive as Hammers slip to defeat at Old Trafford

Manchester United v West Ham United – Premier League – Old Trafford – Report

Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United

Manchester United survived a second-half siege from West Ham to claim the Premier League points in what was otherwise a tight encounter at Old Trafford.

So often criticised for displaying something of an inferiority complex in contests against the top six. On this occasion, West Ham can count themselves unlucky after witnessing a masterclass from United goalkeeper, David de Gea.

Hammers boss, David Moyes, insisted his side are closing the gap: “Manchester United have improved and look as if they are going in a good direction,” the Scotsman said.

“Going away to Old Trafford, for anybody, is always a tough game. They have got some excellent players and we will have to play well there.

“But we’ve got good players as well. And I think we are finding a little bit of form. We could do with finishing a little bit better – but overall I am really pleased with how we are doing.”

West Ham hadn’t won any of their previous fourteen league visits to Old Trafford. Rashford scuffed an early opportunity horribly wide, while Anthony Elanga was off target as the home side looked to extend that sequence.

Initially, the visitors found themselves very much on the back foot. Ronaldo, recalled to the starting line-up, fired into Lukasz Fabianski’s midriff, while another Rashord attempt was deflected behind. Hammers’ keeper, Fabianski, also needed to be on his metal, clinging on after Rashford headed another chance goalwards.

But United always looked the more likely during the opening period. Rashford met Christan Eriksen’s delightful centre with a thumping header which simply flew past Fabianski, much to the delight of the home crowd. His one-hundredth goal in a Manchester United shirt.

West Ham were forced to a change in goal ahead of the restart. Alphonse Areola replaced the injured Fabianski. Meanwhile, Rashford curled narrowly wide as United seemed to pick up where they had left off before the break.

David Moyes threw Michail Antonio into the fray, replacing Gianluca Scamacca, bidding to solve the East Londoners’ chronic lack of potency. But it was the home side who continued to ask questions. Ronaldo twice sent efforts wide. Meanwhile, Benrahma drove directly at David de Gea as West Ham finally provided a threat of their own.

And that was the spark. Antonio’s fierce strike was turned over by de Gea as West Ham sprung into life during the latter sages. Soon after, the United stopper somehow clawed out Kurt Zouma’s goalbound header as the visitors looked to salvage the contest.

United substitute, Fred, headed a late chance against the foot of a post. Meanwhile, Jarrod Bowen, fluffed his lines after Pablo Fornals presented him with a golden opportunity and then de Gea brilliantly saved a piledriver from Declan Rice. But the Hammers rally proved to be a case of too little, too late.

West Ham United now turn their attention to the UEFA Europa Conference League, where they face FCSB at the Arena Naţională on Thursday, November 3 (8pm).

Manchester United: David de Gea, Dalot, Maguire (Capt), Martínez, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen (Fred 79′), Elanga (McTominay 61′), Rashford, Fernandes, Ronaldo Subs not used: Bishop (GK), Dúbravka (GK), Malacia, Sancho, Pellistri, van de Beek, Garnacho

Booked: Fernandes (foul)

Goals: Rashford 38′

West Ham United: Fabiański (Areola 46′), Kehrer, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice (Capt), Souček, Bowen, Downes (Fornals 77′), Benrahma, Scamacca (Antonio 54′) Subs not used: Coufal, Johnson, Ogbonna, Emerson, Coventry, Lanzini

Booked: Scamacca (foul), Souček (foul), Kehrer (foul)

Goals: None

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Assistants: Lee Betts and Ian Hussin

Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

VAR: Paul Tierney

Assistant VAR: Steve Meredith

Attendance: 73,682 

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk