Man United 1-0 West Ham
’s 100th goal for sealed a 1-0 home win against and kept them hot on the heels of the Premier League’s top four.
Rashford became the first United player to reach the goalscoring landmark since in 2009 and his thumping first-half header helped maintain their steady improvement under Erik ten Hag.
United launched the season with back-to-back league defeats and were thrashed 6-3 by Manchester City at the start of the month. But Ten Hag’s men are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions since and sit fifth in the table, one point behind Newcastle with a game in hand.
October has also been a productive month for former United boss David Moyes’ West Ham but they were made to pay for a passive first-half display and were thwarted by the hosts’ stubborn defence when chasing the game in the second period.
Harry Maguire, short of football with the World Cup fast approaching, made his first league start since August and Cristiano Ronaldo also started but Brazil winger Antony missed out through injury.
The Hammers were content to contain during the opening exchanges and it was not until the 15th minute that United troubled Lukasz Fabianski, who comfortably held Ronaldo’s 25-yard shot before Rashford tested him with two efforts in quick succession.
United gathered further momentum before the interval and the home side were worthy of their breakthrough.
Christian Eriksen combined with Bruno Fernandes and the Dane clipped in a superb curling cross which was met by Rashford’s far-post header – his fourth league goal of the season and seventh in all competitions.
The visitors showed more urgency after the break, with Said Benrahma posing problems and Gianluca Scamacca’s first-time effort blocked by the impressive Lisandro Martinez.
Scamacca, who escaped a second yellow card for a high foot on Martinez, was replaced by Michail Antonio but Ronaldo looked more likely to add to the scoring.
The Portugal superstar headed wide, pulled a dipping shot the wrong side of the opposite post and saw another effort deflected for a corner.
But West Ham continued to commit more men forward. Tomas Soucek fired off target and Benrahma fired straight at David De Gea from 25 yards. Maguire and Diogo Dalot held firm with a series of decisive clearing headers as the Hammers surged forward and Antonio’s stinging drive was brilliantly saved by De Gea, who also parried Kurt Zouma’s header.
United hit a post through substitute Fred’s header late on but they were also indebted to Maguire blocking Jarrod Bowen’s close-range effort and De Gea’s save from Declan Rice as they held on.
Erik ten Hag appears to aim dig at Manchester United outcast Aaron Wan-Bissaka