Manchester United moved above Chelsea and into fifth in the Premier League table after they secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford today.
Erik Ten Hag’s side started in a confident fashion and their high-pressing approach would create decent opportunities for both Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford within the opening 15 minutes.
West Ham gradually began to get a foothold in the game as the first-half went on, with the Hammers wide men Said Benrahma and Jarred Bowen keeping a backline – that included the much-maligned Harry Maguire – honest.
Man United’s pressure would eventually be rewarded in the 38th minute when Rashford netted his 100th goal for the Old Trafford club. Cristian Eriksen played a neat one-two with fellow playmaker Bruno Fernandes down the right before the Denmark international curled in a beautiful cross that Rashford met powerfully to send a bullet header past a hapless Łukasz Fabianski.
100 Manchester United goals for Marcus Rashford 💯 pic.twitter.com/awrqFZz80J
— GOAL (@goal) October 30, 2022
On the hour mark, Ronaldo would have two chances in quick succession but the Portuguese striker blazed both a header and a left-footed effort well wide.
In the 68th minute, David Moyes Hammers would finally test David De Gea, but Benrahma’s speculative effort from distance was easily dealt with by the Spanish ‘keeper.
Ten Hag decided to withdraw Anthony Elanga and Eriksen for Fred and Scott McTominay and it seemed to invite West Ham onto the Dutchman’s side. On 81 minutes De Gea was forced into a decent stop from Michail Antonio before the United goalkeeper had to pull off a world-class save to prevent a Kurt Zouma header from levelling the scores.
Substitute Fred almost sealed the win for the home side soon after but the Brazilian’s header cannoned back off the post. Then in stoppage time, Maguire blocked a close-range Bowen effort that seemed destined for the corner only for Declan Rice to then force De Gea into a full stretch from distance.
Speaking afterwards De Gea was delighted his side held on for such an important win and also revealed he feels the team is progressing well under Ten Hag.
“It’s a great win for us. If we want to achieve and be in the top places we have to win games like this today,” De Gea told Sky Sports.
+1 – Manchester United will tonight finish a day with a positive goal difference for the first time this season in the Premier League. Positives. pic.twitter.com/V9MCdTeEBJ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 30, 2022
“Of the two saves, probably the header from Zouma was the best because it was almost certainly going in but I am happy for all of them. Happy to make the saves and it’s a massive win.
“We are pressing well and recovering the ball well high up the pitch. We conceded some chances at the end but West Ham are a great team. I’m really happy to be honest.
“We had a difficult start to the season, Man United is a massive club and we are getting better. We can keep more clean sheets, play well and keep going until the end.
“I don’t like to think too far into the future, we will just take it day by day. Big game on Thursday and we want to finish top of the group. We will go for another game, more energy and keep going again.”
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