Manchester United won consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since November as Alejandro Garnacho bagged a brace and Rasmus Hojlund scored on his 21st birthday in a 3-0 win over West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The win comes on the heels of an invigorating, relentless 4-3 win over Wolves at midweek, and Man United begin an appealing run of February fixtures with three points. Erik ten Hag's Red Devils leapfrog their Sunday visitors and sit sixth on the Premier League table, eight points off the top four. Lisandro Martinez limped off late with an injury.
West Ham's 36 points are two behind Manchester United and David Moyes' Irons are winless in four-straight Premier League matches after draws with Brighton, Sheffield United, and Bournemouth. If West Ham fail to reach Europe, this stretch may well be why. There's always the Europa League last 16.
Finally the end of false dawns for Ten Hag at Man Utd?
West Ham had some joy in this game, but Manchester United answering the back-and-forth win over Wolves with a decisive win is very encouraging.
Erik ten Hag's Red Devils haven't stacked Premier League wins since November and haven't beaten many decent teams this season. West Ham aren't a powerhouse, nor are they in great form, but David Moyes' men beat Man United last month and the Red Devils' last three wins are good — Villa, Wolves, and now West Ham.
Throw in Rasmus Hojlund scoring again — a fine goal at that — and Alejandro Garnacho finally delivering consistency to reward Erik ten Hag. Sprinkle in a Bruno Fernandes assist and Casemiro performing well again. Now underline the whole performance by crediting the back line of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, and Diogo Dalot for each delivering at least one key intervention on the day.
Few are saying Man United are back, but perhaps — just perhaps — they've at least started the journey.
Manchester United vs West Ham final score: 3-0
Goal: Hojlund (23'), Garnacho (49', 84')
Alejandro Garnacho goals
It's been a quiet season for Bruno Fernandes, relatively speaking, but he's got an assist after spying Alejandro Garnacho on the right edge of the box.
Garnacho's hard shot takes a turn off a stationary Edson Alvarez — nothing he could do — and it's past Areola for 2-0.
Garnacho leaps atop the advertising boards to pose for a celebration.
Manchester United vs West Ham halftime analysis: 1-0
The goal was special but the game is West Ham's if it can sort out the final ball.
The Irons have better xG (1.12-0.16) and shot attempts (12-4), and the 46% possession number isn't bad given their usual plans.
Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire have come up big a couple of times and Andre Onana's having a good day between the Man Utd sticks, with three saves.
Changes at the break for the hosts with the lead? Kobbie Mainoo's been quiet.
Rasmus Hojlund goal (video)
This is a good goal.
Casemiro darts in front of James Ward-Prowse to pick up a clearance and immediately finds Rasmus Hojlund.
His fourth of the Premier League season and 10th in all competitions for Manchester United.
How to watch Manchester United vs West Ham live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday (February 4)
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Manchester United lineup
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 4, 2024
West Ham lineup
Your team to take on Manchester United ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/dqEEyuOiBW
— West Ham United (@WestHam) February 4, 2024
Manchester United focus, team news
There’s been plenty of focus on Marcus Rashford in recent days after an internal issue was dealt with over discipline. Erik ten Hag considers the matter closed but concerns remain about Rashford’s future at United. On the pitch, injuries have eased with Shaw, Casemiro, Maguire and Martinez all back fit and raring to kick on. Kobbie Mainoo, 18, is a real talent and scored the winner at Wolves in midweek.
West Ham focus, team news
The Hammers have had very few injury issues to deal with this season with Jarrod Bowen their star in attack as he’s played in multiple positions and is always causing problems. West Ham are usually good for an upset against one of the big boys and their recent win at Arsenal proves that.
OUT: Lucas Paqueta (calf), Michail Antonio (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Nayef Aguerd (international duty)