Dec 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
Manchester United put in divine display of attacking dynamism to comfortably beat West Ham 3-1 at Old Trafford, as they dominated from start to finish.
First half strikes from Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj, plus a screamer from Ashely Young late on, sealed a fourth-straight win for David Moyes‘ men as the Red Devils looked rejuvenated and recharged going forward.
With the win, United move up to seventh and are now just three points off the top five. As for West Ham, they are now just one place and one point above the drop zone.
Early on United dominated possession and forced West Ham’s league debutant ‘keeper Adrian into a fine stop.
The Red Devils looked confident and stroked the ball around expansively as the Old Trafford crowd got behind their side.
West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison, a former Manchester United academy star, was lucky to be on the pitch after he left his foot in on ex-teammate Tom Cleverley and was handed a yellow card but really could have seen red.
That challenge livened up United’s attack as Antonia Valencia smashed a powerful effort in at the near post which Adrian beat away for a corner in the 19th minute.
United took the lead in the 26th minute as a quick free kick found Wayne Rooney who surged through and set up Welbeck to hammer home across Adrian and into the bottom corner to put United 1-0 up.
The home side pushed hard and were 2-0 up after 36 minutes when youngster Januzaj played a sublime one-two with Patrice Evra before cutting in from the left, dragging the ball past two West Ham defenders and finishing calmly.
Moments later a pacey counter-attack saw Valencia wide-open on the penalty spot but the Ecuadorian winger somehow blazed his effort over the bar as United looked for a third goal before half time.
After the break United continued in the same domineering fashion as Rooney, Welbeck, Valencia and Januzaj were causing the Hammers all kinds of problems with their pacey interplay.
In the 65th minute an in-swinging cross was cleared by West Ham at the back post as the London side were clinging on to some hope of getting back into the game at Old Trafford.
However, United were soon 3-0 up as substitute Young rifled in an absolute beauty after Valencia raced cleared, found Rooney and the England international teed up Young to smash him his second goal in two games.
West Ham grabbed a consolation as Carlton Cole was played through in the 81st minute, beat the offside trap and then slotted past David De Gea to deny United a clean sheet.
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra (Büttner, 80), Valencia, Jones, Cleverley, Januzaj (Young, 69), Welbeck (Hernandez, 54), Rooney
Goals: Welback (26), Januzaj (36), Young (71)
West Ham: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Collins (Rat, 75), McCartney, Noble, Morrison, Taylor (Collison, 65), Jarvis (C.Cole, 71), Maiga, Diame
Goal: C. Cole (81)
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