A first-half header from Marcus Rashford, his 100th goal for Manchester United in all competitions, was enough to earn his side a 1-0 victory over West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.
After making a slow start to the match, United burst into life in the 38th minute when Rashford powered a bullet header into the net on the end of Christian Eriksen’s sublime cross to give the home side the lead.
Veteran forward Cristiano Ronaldo, making just his third league start of the season, wasted a golden chance to double United’s lead early in the second half, firing wide from a good position, before West Ham upped the ante.
The visitors piled on the pressure as the match wore on, but found United goalkeeper David De Gea in inspired form, twice called into action to deny West Ham substitute Michail Antonio, producing superb stops on both occasions.
Another sensational save from the Spaniard to keep out Declan Rice’s strike right at the death preserved United’s win which takes them above Chelsea into fifth in the standings, one point behind fourth-placed Newcastle United.West Ham stay 13th.
David Moyes had never won at Old Trafford as an opposition manager in the Premier League, a run of 15 winless matches, prior to Sunday’s encounter, but his West Ham side more than held their own in the first half in the Manchester rain.
Other than a couple of scuffed efforts from Rashford and Anthony Elanga, the away goal was rarely troubled.
The game needed a quality delivery to help break the deadlock and that is what it got as Eriksen curled a perfect cross onto Rashford’s head, with the England striker showing great determination to get on the end of it.
Other than the Ronaldo chance early in the second half, after the break it was mostly one-way traffic in United’s direction, with De Gea taking a starring role in keeping the visitors at bay.His stop to keep Antonio’s first attempt from range was acrobatic, while the second, from a flicked header, a contender for save of the season.
Arsenal thrashed Nottingham Forest 5-0 at the Emirates on Sunday to return to the top of the Premier League, but the win may have come at a cost after Bukayo Saka limped off midway through the first half.
Saka’s replacement Reiss Nelson scored a brace to go with goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard.But the injury to the winger will be a major concern for manager Mikel Arteta and his England counterpart Gareth Southgate three weeks ahead of the start of the World Cup in Qatar.
Arsenal move to 31 points from their 12 games, two ahead of Manchester City, while an outclassed Forest remain rooted to the bottom of the table with nine points having played a game more.
Saka was excellent in the opening minutes and it was his cross that was headed into the net by Martinelli for the opener, but he went down injured shortly afterwards after a challenge from Renan Lodi.Saka came off after 27 minutes.
Arteta was optimistic when asked if the injury was serious.“Hopefully not.It was a bad kick,” he said.“He was limping but I don’t see it further than that.Both the foot and ankle, he got kicked a few times.”