In a thrilling contest for the fourth spot, the Hammers and the Devils duked out a slugfest which was eventually decided by some very late histrionics. It was Marcus Rashford who dealt the telling blow to David Moyes and his wards’ aspirations after being teed up by a scouring cross from Edinson Cavani that had a trail of controversy following in its wake up. The late finish from Rashford saw Manchester United climb up to the fourth position of the points table that will need some persuasive digging to be kept.
The game never really excelled beyond the standards of mediocrity with both the teams trading haymakers at each other, hardly able to produce something extraordinary that would have sent the concourse in the stands in a frenzy.
The first real chance of the game fell for a twirling Greenwood whose indecision to fire home or pen a pass cost United an opportunity to draw first blood. Bruno Fernandes was presented with another opportunity that seemed a bit more elusive than usual but the final outcome was too blunt to trouble the visitors.
West Ham came up with an opportunity of their own when Jarrod Bowen managed to find some shooting space but ended up bundling his effort haywire. Greenwood had another opportunity falling his way but his strike was well blocked by the West Ham rearguard.
Harry Maguire and Declan Rice had their own share of defensive triumphs when both the teams were abysmally sluggish to grab their opportunities by the scruff of their neck. Ronaldo saw a golden opportunity crafted for him by Bruno Fernandes’ marauding cross going down in flames after he failed to connect with it from point-blank range.
West Ham responded swiftly through Manuel Lanzini who engineered a decent pass to Pablo Fornals only for the latter to guide it outside the park.
The change of ends saw United summoning more vim and vigour as a resurgent Fred probed Areola for the first time with a stinging and transcending effort that demanded a herculean save. The Hammers debutant matched the rising strike with equal brilliance as the Brazilian was denied a shy at glory.
United kept on coming at visitors in waves as Ronaldo created a rare gem for a scampering Greenwood with an adept backheel only for the latter to send it skyward.
The visitors managed to prise out their handful share of chances as Bowen grazed the side-netting while Coufal managed to explode into the blender that had a scrimmage of Manchester United feet and ended up losing the ball from a promising position.
The Stretford End almost leaped in ecstasy when Raphael Varane’s thumping header went wide by inches. Similarly, West Ham had one of their corners flickered goalbound only to witness it roll out of contention with a huge sigh of reprieve for the United fans.
The drama started unfolding then as a long ball from Telles was mistakenly headed into the path of Ronaldo who then found Martial with a picture-perfect pass. The Frenchman delivered the exact weight on his pass to the advancing Edinson Cavani who enticed the goalkeeper out and squared off Rashford who bombed down at the far post with the ball being hammered into the back of the net.
The entire Old Trafford erupted into a furious bout of ecstasy while Rashford surrounded by a delirious entourage of players slid towards the stand to celebrate the victory that saw them leapfrog the Hammers. Twitter erupted as Manchester United managed to wring out a hard-fought win against David Moyes and his wards who were finally dethroned from the top four even though it may be momentarily after an absolute slugfest.
— 𝙐𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝘼𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙖 (@Utd__Agenda) January 22, 2022
🚨 Marcus Rashford scores to win the game for Manchester United in Fergie Time! pic.twitter.com/pum7TIakj5
— The United Devils (@TheUnitedDevils) January 22, 2022
MANCHESTER UNITED! pic.twitter.com/Nkl1TGWOM6
— United da Depressão 🔰 (@UniteddaDepre_) January 22, 2022
Goaaaaallllll @ManUtd 🔥🔥🔥
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) January 22, 2022
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 22, 2022
Bruno Fernandes is every Manchester United fan right now 🥰 pic.twitter.com/QlISNhHvxQ
— GOAL (@goal) January 22, 2022
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) January 22, 2022
Ralf Rangnick's first 10 games at #mufc:
• 6W 3D 1L
• 14 goals scored
• 7 goals conceded
His 2.13 points per game in the Premier League rank third & only Manchester City have won more points since his appointment. pic.twitter.com/Nco9QMYwrL
— ً (@utdrobbo) January 22, 2022Advertisement
No player has scored more 90th-minute winning goals in Premier League history than Marcus Rashford (4) #mulive [opta]
— utdreport (@utdreport) January 22, 2022Advertisement
MARCUS RASHFORD WINS IT AT THE DEATH FOR MANCHESTER UNITED pic.twitter.com/KH0A9gfgmA
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 22, 2022Advertisement