Once again moving within a single point of breaking into the top-four, Manchester United picked up a 1-0 victory against West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
While the former Premier League champions might have had to overcome a late flurry from the Hammers, Erik ten Hag’s side dominated large spells of the game and will feel that they were deserving off maximum points here.
With the game eventually decided by Marcus Rashford’s first-half header, the Red Devils also extended their unbeaten run to eight matches across all competitions.
However, while United might still be firmly battling it out in the Champions League chase, the Hammers find themselves desperately seeking some stability as they continue looking over their shoulder at the drop zone.
In what was often a cagey affair at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, we have taken a look at the main talking points.
Manchester United can claim a Champions League return
While Manchester United might have marked their return from September’s international break earlier in the month with a 6-3 drumming away at the Etihad, ten Hag’s side have certainly come roaring back over recent weeks.
Once again sat just a single point adrift of breaking into the top-four, the former Ajax boss finds his side in the midst of an eight-match unbeaten run and the mood in their camp should be at a real high.
Cruising their way to the knockout stage of this year’s Europa League, Sunday’s hosts have also impressed with their new-found resolve at the back.
With David de Gea producing a pair of vital saves here, ten Hag’s men have now recorded three clean sheets on the spin and they have a real platform to build off.
With their eye-catching purple patch highlighted by a 2-0 victory against Tottenham on October 19th, United are also turning Old Trafford into somewhat of a fortress.
Rashford finding his best at a crucial time
While it might have been a certain Cristiano Ronaldo who stole most of the headlines ahead of Sunday’s showdown, it was United’s homegrown superstar who proved to be the match-winner in Manchester.
Although Rashford might have endured a public struggle over the past 12 months, the England international certainly appears to be enjoying life under ten Hag.
Making his own piece of history after bagging his 100th professional strike, Rashford has underlined his value to the Champions League hopefuls and has received a string of praise from his new boss.
Putting in a Man of the Match display at Old Trafford and causing the Hammers a string of issues, there is no doubt that the 25-year-old will have his sights set on punching a ticket in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.
Racking up seven goals across all competitions so far this season, could Rashford be the man to fire United to a top-four return this season?
West Ham can’t just have a go for the final few minutes
While West Ham might have finally decided to have a go in the final stages of Sunday’s contest at Old Trafford, the Hammers will once again be ruing another toothless display in the final third.
However, although the east London outfit might have missed a string of late chances, they didn’t record a single shot on target until midway through the second-half.
Recording just 11 Premier League strikes from their opening 13 appearances, the guests have struggled to find any kind of clinical edge in the final third since opening the 2022/23 campaign.
Although West Ham might have really broken the bank during the summer transfer window, Moyes’ inconsistent squad now find themselves holding just a three-point buffer from slipping into the relegation zone.
While the former Manchester United boss might have guided the Hammers to a Europa League semi-final last season, Moyes will find real pressure on his shoulders due to his negative approach.
Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen, Elanga, Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo
Subs: Fred, McTominay
West Ham: Fabianski, Kehrer, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Benrahma, Downes, Bowen, Scamacca
Subs: Areola, Antonio, Fornals
Goals: Rashford (38′)
Yellow Cards: Manchester United: Fernandes – West HamL Kehrer, Soucek, Scamacca
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
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