Match report and free highlights as Marcus Rashford's stoppage-time goal secured Man Utd a dramatic 1-0 victory against West Ham; game looked to be heading for a draw until Rashford struck with almost the last kick of the game; win sees Ralf Rangnick's side go above West Ham into fourth
Sunday 23 January 2022 07:24, UK
Marcus Rashford was the late hero for Manchester United as his stoppage-time goal saw them beat West Ham 1-0 and leap above the Hammers into fourth.
In a game that looked certain to be heading for a draw, all three of Rangnick's substitutes combined as Anthony Martial played in Edinson Cavani, who crossed for Rashford to provide the finishing touch which broke West Ham's resistance at Old Trafford.
"They are the best games to be involved in and when you're on the winning side of it, it's a great feeling," Rashford told Sky Sports as he savoured his match-winning moment after the game. "Nothing really beats it in football."
Rangnick, who has now picked up 17 points from a possible 24 as United's interim boss, echoed Rashford's sentiment, saying that United deserved victory. He told Sky Sports: "If you score in the last second of the game that is the best type of wins, a clean sheet, I think in the end we deserved to win."
Earlier in the game, it was a first half that promised much with West Ham making a bright start before United took control.
Cristiano Ronaldo was inches away from getting on the end of Bruno Fernandes' cross and the Portugal international had appeals for a penalty turned down by referee Jon Moss after a coming together with Kurt Zouma, but the opening 45 minutes petered out with neither side having a shot on target.
The first shot on target in the game came early in the second half as Alphonse Areola, who was making his Premier League debut for the Hammers, flung himself into action to keep out Fred's powerful drive.
Jarrod Bowen's strike from the edge of the area then hit the side netting before Raphael Varane had a free header, but he failed to test Areola.
United threw on Rashford, Cavani and Martial as they looked for a winner which would take them above West Ham and into fourth, but initially it was the Hammers who went closest in the closing stages as Tomas Soucek headed agonisingly wide and David de Gea pushed a deflected cross past the post.
It looked like Manchester United were going to miss out on the opportunity to go fourth as West Ham held firm, but there was to be one final sting in the tail as Rashford struck from close range for the second consecutive game.
The VAR checked a potential offside against Cavani in the build-up to the goal but there was to be no last-gasp reprieve for David Moyes' men as United boosted their side's hopes of finishing in the top four.
Sky Sports' Nick Wright:
"That win is all the sweeter for Ralf Rangnick given the decisive goal involved all three of his substitutes. Martial fed Cavani, who produced the cross for Rashford to finish."
Marcus Rashford was delighted with his match-winning moment in front of the Stretford end.
"Very happy today and a very big game against an opponent who are very tight with us at the moment, so it was very important that we got the win," he said.
"You might not see it now but, come the end of the season, three points can be the difference between being in or out of the top four.
"I'm pleased we managed to get them today and we have to use that as motivation."
Rashford has now scored twice in two games having failed to find the net in his previous 11 appearances in all competitions.
"I think, for any forward, when you go through a patch of not scoring for a few games, it's a great feeling when the goals do start coming back," he added.
"We just have to keep moving forward now and keep going in the right direction."
Man Utd: De Gea (7), Dalot (6), Varane (7), Maguire (6), Telles (6), McTominay (7), Fred (7), Greenwood (7), Fernandes (7), Elanga (7), Ronaldo (6).
Subs: Rashford (8), Cavani (7), Martial (7).
West Ham: Areola (6), Coufal (6), Dawson (7), Zouma (7), Cresswell (6), Rice (8), Soucek (6), Bowen (7), Fornals (6), Lanzini (6), Antonio (6)
Subs: Fredericks (6).
Man of the match: Marcus Rashford.
Sky Sports' Nick Wright:
After a run of 11 games without scoring, and with his form under intense scrutiny, Marcus Rashford followed up his late strike against Brentford on Wednesday night with a crucial winner in the final minute of stoppage time against West Ham.
Ralf Rangnick's side were seemingly heading for a goalless draw having failed to break West Ham down but, with only seconds remaining at Old Trafford, Rashford rushed in at the far post to convert Edinson Cavani's low cross.
The goal propelled Manchester United above West Ham and into the top four, and it may prove just as significant for Rashford.
How he needed this. Rashford scored three times in his first four appearances of the campaign after returning from injury in October but the subsequent months brought nothing but frustration, his poor form eventually prompting Ralf Rangnick to use teenager Anthony Elanga instead.
Rashford is not the only one to have struggled to hold down a place in United's attack, of course. The same is true of Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho. But with two goals in four days, he may just have reignited his own season as well as United's top-four bid.
Ralf Rangnick hailed Manchester United's defensive display in the stoppage-time win against West Ham.
"If I look at the shots on goal and the chances during the game, I think we deserved a 1-0 win," Rangnick said.
"For me, it was clear from the very beginning it would take some patience against a well-organised team like West Ham. It was not always easy for us to find the best possible solutions in the final third.
"Defensively I think it was probably the best performance in the last eight weeks, the way that we were always trying to win balls back, our counter-pressing. The physicality of the game was really outstanding and we know we still have to improve with possession of the ball."
Asked if Fergie time is now Ralfie time, he smiled and said: "I don't know how long Fergie time was. Was that the last five minutes? How long? I wouldn't mind if that happened! But, again, of course we would also like to have more games like Brentford at the end when we were 3-0 up. But if you score with the last seconds of the game, the big advantage is there is no time for the team to reply and that was a good one about the goal."
As for West Ham counterpart Moyes, his frustration came across clearly in a short response to the first question of the press conference.
"P***** off with that result, that's for sure," he said.
It was a missed opportunity for the Hammers, who only made one substitution and came close to snatching a winner before the hosts did.
"You have to know how to see games out," Moyes said.
"Let's be fair, people who watch West Ham regularly will see that we've had games where it has been a problem.
"We've been winning games 3-0 and it's ended up 3-2, or had games like that, so it's something that we need to do much better."
A number of West Ham fans clashed with police in riot gear at Old Trafford after their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.
Two supporters were seen spitting towards the officers as tempers flared in the away end following the game.
Sky Sports News has contacted Greater Manchester Police and West Ham for comment.
West Ham are investigating the reports of trouble after the game.
Sky Sports' Paul Merson on Soccer Saturday:
"As soon as West Ham kicked off after the Rashford goal the full-time whistle went. It wasn't a great game, but it would have been job done for West Ham. They would have got a point and done what they needed to do, making sure they didn't get beat.
"But, in the end, the three Manchester United subs worked well and fair play to Rangnick. All three were involved in the goal.
"It wasn't the performance of a Champions League side, but you have to take everything into consideration. They are playing West Ham who have been in and around the top four for the whole season.
"It was a difficult game, and, in the end, they got over the line and won it.
"They've just got to get in the top four now and if they play like that and do it, they'll be more than happy next season."
Manchester United host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday February 4 at 8pm while West Ham visit non-League Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday February 5 at 12.30pm.
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