Welbeck, Januzaj and Young all register as United dominate possession in comfortable win
An outstanding first-half performance saw United race into a comfortable 2-0 lead, with Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj netting with great composed finishes. The second half was a little more of a contest, and if Carlton Cole would have scored before Ashley Young's third, the game might have come alive. As it was, the last few minutes played out fairly tamely as both sides settled for the 3-1 result.
United looked most dangerous with Welbeck and Januzaj on the pitch, while Rooney pulled the strings throughout and Phil Jones impressed with his relentless defensive play, as well as his willingness to do the dirty work.
Manchester United ratings:
David de Gea 6/10 - The United keeper was barely threatened in the match, but commanded his area well when dealing with crosses and set-pieces. Had no chance with West Ham's goal.
Rafael 7/10 - Linked up well with Valencia down the right-hand side, and seems to be getting back to his best following his spell in and out of the team earlier in the season.
Patrice Evra 6/10 - The right-hand side was West Ham's main channel of attack, and though Evra wasn't particularly troubled, he didn't look as comfortable as Rafael on the other flank. Moyes was able to rest him for the last few minutes.
Chris Smalling 6/10 - Enjoyed a relatively solid game alongside Evans, though wasn't quite as dominant as his defensive partner. Central defence is undoubtedly his most natural position.
Jonny Evans 7/10 - Comfortably United's most consistent defender, both in his performances and his appearances. Had a header cleared off the line, and was strong in the air in the second half as United dealt with aerial balls.
Phil Jones 7/10 MOTM - Found himself back in central midfield, where his engine can be put to good use, and was full of determined running. Was excellent at breaking play up, and eager to join up with the attack whenever he could. Would be somewhat of a shame if such an energetic player winds up stuck in central defence.
Tom Cleverley 6/10 - Was the quietest of United's midfielders though was able to link up well enough when United broke. West Ham wanted a penalty when the ball struck his hand late on, though it would have been a harsh decision.
Adnan Januzaj 7/10 - Scored a terrific goal and always looked a threat from the dangerous positions he received the ball. Booked for a dive in the first half, and was unlucky not to have earned a penalty after clash with Mark Noble just before he scored. Continues to look like the future of the club.
Antonio Valencia 6/10 - Valencia was a real menace down the right, with several crosses and moments of incisive play in the first half. His game dropped after the break, as he made a few poor decisions and his crossing level dipped.
Wayne Rooney 7/10 - Didn't have to break sweat for much of the game, which was a little unlike Rooney. Showed great awareness to lay it off to Young for United's third, and adopted much more of a withdrawn role for much of the match. Passing was excellent throughout.
Danny Welbeck 7/10 - Had a great first half, scoring the opening goal with a calm finish, setting up Januzaj for the second, and looking dangerous whenever he received the ball. Unlucky to be taken off so early but couldn't shake off an injury early in the second period.
Javier Hernandez '54 7/10 - Came on in the 54th minute after Welbeck's injury and did well. Had a goal marginally disallowed and drew several fouls from West Ham players, several of which earned bookings.
Ashley Young '69 7/10 - Replaced Januzaj after his goalscoring exploits midweek, and quickly scored an emphatic right-foot strike with one of his first touches.
Alexander Buttner '78 5/10 - Made a late appearance to give Patrice Evra a rest, and was at fault with some sloppy positioning playing Carlton Cole onside for West Ham's consolation. Looked off the pace defensively but much more capable going forward.
image: © nasmac