Manchester United defeated West Ham United with an impressive 3-0 win at Old Trafford, allowing them to move ahead of the Hammers in the Premier League standings.
Rasmus Hojlund, celebrating his 21st birthday, scored a fantastic goal in the first half, while Alejandro Garnacho netted twice in the second half to secure the Red Devils’ largest home win of the season.
Although West Ham had opportunities, particularly in the first half, they lacked the necessary cutting edge in the final third, resulting in the end of their six-game unbeaten run in the league.
Before the match, Brighton & Hove Albion’s victory over Crystal Palace had dropped Erik ten Hag’s team to eighth place. However, their win over West Ham propelled them to sixth place, albeit still eight points behind the top four teams.
In contrast, David Moyes’s side slipped to seventh place after their defeat at Old Trafford, trailing the Red Devils by two points.
Prior to kickoff, the return of Harry Maguire in central defense was the headline team news for Manchester United. Maguire, who hadn’t played since mid-December, replaced Raphael Varane and partnered with Lisandro Martinez, who passed a late fitness test to retain his starting position.
For West Ham, Moyes made two changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Bournemouth. Vladimir Coufal returned from suspension, replacing Manchester City loanee Kalvin Phillips, and Nayef Aguerd made his comeback after representing Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations, taking the place of Kostantinos Mavropanos.
After a moment of applause to commemorate the Munich Air Disaster, both teams had a scrappy start as they adjusted to the windy conditions at Old Trafford. West Ham pressed well while Manchester United controlled the game from midfield.
West Ham had the first chance of the match with a corner in the 11th minute, but Andre Onana made a save to deny Tomas Soucek’s header. Bruno Fernandes and Soucek had attempts on goal, but it was Hojlund who broke the deadlock with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.
West Ham continued to attack but failed to create any clear-cut chances in the first half. Hojlund came close to scoring again, but his strike went narrowly wide.
At the start of the second half, Lukasz Fabianski replaced Alphonse Areola in goal for West Ham. The Hammers had a golden opportunity to equalize when Maguire lost possession, but Emerson scuffed his shot over the crossbar.
Manchester United took advantage of that missed chance and doubled their lead through Garnacho, whose deflected strike beat Fabianski at his near post.
The Red Devils pushed for a third goal, with Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot having attempts on goal. West Ham struggled to create chances, and their best opportunity was blocked by Dalot’s recovery run.
Martinez suffered two injuries in quick succession, prompting Ten Hag to bring on Varane. Moyes also made two substitutions, but neither Phillips nor Maxwel Cornet could find the target.
In the final minutes of the game, Garnacho sealed the victory for Manchester United with a well-placed shot after receiving a pass from Scott McTominay.
Although McTominay came close to scoring a fourth goal, United settled for a convincing three-goal win, boosting their chances of qualifying for European competition.
In their next match, Manchester United will face Aston Villa, while West Ham will take on Arsenal at the London Stadium.