United’s goals, ultimately, were the most incisive, but late in the first period a break-neck counter-attack deserved a better finish than it received. Smalling's towering header released Valencia, who motored forward and swapped passes with Rafael before steering his finish over the bar.
In the stands Festive for periods, particularly midway through the second period. Credit to West Ham's vocal visiting fans, who sang: "You're not special, we lose every week.” We prefer to think United got the game-plan right – good tempo, attacking intent, and clinical in front of goal. So everyone in Red goes home happy ahead of Christmas.