Manchester United produced another stunning second-half comeback to condemn West Ham to a 3-1 defeat on the day they welcomed fans back to the London Stadium.
The Hammers opened their gates to 2,000 supporters for the first time since February 29, and looked on course for a memorable victory when Tomas Soucek's first-half strike gave them the lead against an insipid Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rung the changes at the break and his substitutes transformed the game, with Bruno Fernandes setting up Paul Pogba's superb equaliser before the Portuguese had a hand in Mason Greenwood's clinical strike.
Having turned the game on its head in three second-half minutes, Marcus Rashford then sealed the victory, lifting the ball over Lukasz Fabianski after fellow substitute Juan Mata played him through on goal.
The victory extends Manchester United's club-record away winning run to nine games and moves them into the top four, while West Ham drop to seventh having missed the chance to go third.
West Ham: Fabianski (6), Coufal (5), Balbuena (5), Ogbonna (5), Cresswell (5), Masuaku (5), Rice (7), Soucek (7), Bowen (7), Fornals (6), Haller (5).
Subs: Johnson (n/a), Lanzini (5), Benrahma (5).
Man Utd: Henderson (7), Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (6), Maguire (7), Telles (7), McTominay (6), Pogba (8), Greenwood (8), Van de Beek (5), Martial (6), Cavani (5).
Subs: Mata (7), Fernandes (8), Rashford (8).
Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford.
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How Man Utd crashed West Ham homecoming...
Two thousand West Ham supporters gave a stirring rendition of 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' on their much-anticipated return to the London Stadium, and they nearly had an early goal to celebrate.
The lively Jarrod Bowen raced in behind the Manchester United defence and drilled a shot past the outstretched leg of Dean Henderson on his full Premier League debut for the visitors, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
- Sebastien Haller replaced the injured Michail Antonio in West Ham’s only change from Monday’s victory over Aston Villa.
- Dean Henderson and Edinson Cavani made their first Premier League starts for Man Utd as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes from the victory at Southampton.
West Ham were sharper in every department as they stifled the threat of Manchester United and peppered the visiting goal in search of the breakthrough, which nearly came after the half-hour mark.
Pablo Fornals headed a glorious chance into the side-netting and, three minutes later, was then denied by the frame of the goal as his toe poke came off the woodwork and into the hands of Henderson.
The West Ham pressure finally told on 38 minutes when Declan Rice's near-post flick from a corner set up Soucek to bundle the opener home from close range, as the Hammers punished non-existent Manchester United defending.
West Ham should have added a quickfire second, but, having rounded the on-rushing Henderson, Sebastien Haller lost his footing at the crucial moment, allowing the Manchester United goalkeeper to smother the ball.
Anthony Martial drew Fabianski into a fine fingertip save with Manchester United's first meaningful attempt on the West Ham goal, but the Hammers were well worth their half-time lead, which could have been greater had Haller converted a chance in stoppage time.
Solskjaer brought on Fernandes and Rashford at the break and Manchester United's improvement was both instant and drastic, but they could have been two down had Bowen stretched far enough to convert Vladimir Coufal's teasing cross.
Scott McTominay thrashed a shot into the side-netting and the building momentum told on 65 minutes. Henderson's long punted clearance was adjudged to have stayed in play down the right touchline and Fernandes rolled the ball into the path of Pogba, who wrapped an exquisite shot into the top corner to level the scores.
One quickly became two, with Greenwood plucking down Alex Telles' cross from the left before rifling Manchester United into the lead with a clinical shot through Fabianski.
The woodwork prevented Rashford from putting the game to bed on 72 minutes, as Manchester United continued to exploit huge gaps in the West Ham defence, but he made no mistake six minutes later, floating the ball over Fabianski after latching onto Mata's perfectly-weighted through ball as Solskjaer's side drew an emphatic line under a shambolic first half.
Opta stats - Subs inspire Man Utd
- All three of Manchester United's substitutes were directly involved in a goal against West Ham (Rashford, Fernandes and Mata), which is just the second time this has happened for the Red Devils in a Premier League game - previously in August 2017 v Leicester (Rashford, Lingard and Fellaini).
- Manchester United have won their first five away games in a league campaign for the first time since 1985-86.
- This was the fourth time West Ham have faced Manchester United in a Premier League game while being above them in the table, however they've failed to win any of these meetings (D1 L3).
- Following their win tonight, Manchester United have now won more points from losing positions than any other team in Premier League history (385).
- Manchester United are only the second side in Premier League history to score 2+ goals in nine consecutive away games, after Leeds United back in April 2001.
- Since his debut in February, Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in 36 goals in 38 games in all competitions for Manchester United (22 goals, 14 assists) - five more than any other Premier League player in this period.
What the managers said…
West Ham boss David Moyes: "I thought we played very well tonight. The only reason we got stretched was a poor decision. The ball went over my head on the touchline, there was no-one in a better position to see it that me.
"The linesman is claiming he didn't see it. It was a poor decision. The ball was out of play, the players' reaction gives the best way to look at it and all our players knew it was out of play as well. [After that] we turned off. It really gave us a bad feeling from that disappointment.
"I am pleased the fans saw a performance that was very good, certainly for 60 minutes. Just disappointed we couldn't give them a result. I think we were really shook by the disappointment of the decision the linesman made."
Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "In the first half we struggled to keep up with their counter attacks and set-pieces. We had too slow a tempo, so we gave the ball away too often.
"It was a poor first half. We played against a good team who make it difficult for you. They are very compact and good at pressing. Of course, the first goal changed the mood, and it was an amazing goal. All three goals were absolutely exceptional.
I am really pleased with the performance. I am very happy with our away form. We are coping better with games like this. Belief is a big thing - they have got that through the results and performances they are having."
Man of the Match - Marcus Rashford
🍾 Half-time sub @MarcusRashford is Man of the Match 🍾— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 5, 2020
He scored his 1⃣4⃣th goal as a sub for @ManUtd tonight - only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Javier Hernandez have scored more for the club
He has 4⃣ goals & 5⃣ assists in his last 7 @premierleague away appearances 🔥 pic.twitter.com/aK3EFT0o3s
West Ham travel to Leeds on Friday Night Football at 8pm - live on Sky Sports Premier League.
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