Match report: United 3 West Ham 0

Sunday 04 February 2024 16:15

The game marked Erik ten Hag's 50th game in the job at Old Trafford and Manchester United duly delivered for the occasion, beating West Ham United 3-0, through goals from Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho (2).

Beforehand, there a commemoration of the tragic Munich Air Disaster's 66th anniversary, this being the closest home fixture to the date. 

Once under way, Hojlund opened the scoring midway through the first half, extending his Premier League run to four in his last four outings, and giving the Reds a crucial lead in the game. 

Ten Hag's side created multiple opportunities throughout the half, but it was only after the break when the lead was doubled, this time through a neat cut inside by Garnacho and kind deflection from his strike. Garnacho added a third, following a driving run by substitute Scott McTominay, with six minutes left of regulation time.

A positive afternoon inside the Theatre of Dreams was interrupted only by a worrying injury picked up by Lisandro Martinez, following a defensive tussle with Vladimir Coufal. Having gone down holding his knee, the Argentine was determined to continue, but had to be withdrawn when collapsing in pain once again, moments later.

The Dane continued his fine form with a clinical strike.


Following the laying of wreaths by the respective managers to commemorate the Munich anniversary, our captain Bruno Fernandes got the game started.

The early minutes saw both sides easing their way into the encounter, building out slowly from the back with a couple of well-executed switches to the left side by Harry Maguire from the backline.

The visitors had the first chance in the match, with Emerson Palmieri collecting the ball from his goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on the left-wing before driving into the central channel and offloading to Jarrod Bowen, but the Hammers' no.20 could only muster a tame effort held easily by Andre Onana.

Our man between the sticks was called upon not long after, following a corner, which found the head of Tomas Soucek just outside the six-yard box. Onana adjusted his body well at the last second to dive and tip the effort wide and keep the Reds level.

Fernandes came close to providing us the lead with 15 minutes played, receiving the ball unmarked on the edge of the penalty area following a short corner routine. He almost curled an effort over the head of Areola but the keeper got his hands to it, turning it over the bar. 

Team-mate Hojlund made the all-important breakthrough, seizing a ball won well high in the centre of the park by Casemiro, before the Dane twisted and created an angle to drill home a shot beyond the grasp of Areola, further illustrating his recent potency in front of goal.

Patiently building out from the back appeared to be grating slightly on the Old Trafford crowd as the Reds struggled to advance to ball forward, but a well-timed crunching tackle from Maguire on the halfway line, dispossessing Mohammed Kudus, who was rushing forward with purpose, was enough to amend for a quiet spell towards the interval.

Many thought Hojlund had doubled the lead seconds before the half-time whistle, following his overlapping run with Garnacho of the left side, but he powered his effort just wide of the post.

Andre Onana was solid in the Reds' goal throughout.


Having gone down midway through the first half under contact from his own centre-back Kurt Zouma, Areola was unable to see the game out and was replaced at half-time with Lukasz Fabianski.

It was a harsh introduction for the West Ham no.1, when less than five minutes into the second period, Garnacho collected a cross-field ball from Fernandes, before expertly cutting inside on his left and letting off a shot. A deflection from opposition defender Nayef Aguerd changed the course of the Argentina international's effort, but it was a goal well deserved for the young winger.

Ten Hag's side looked hungry for more towards the hour mark, with every venture forward seeming as though it could result in a goal. Fernandes sent a purposeful attempt following a deft cutback on the right-wing, with the following West Ham block prompting calls of handball that went unanswered by referee Andrew Madley. The rebound fell to Rashford but he sent his chance skyward.

Scott McTominay played a crucial role in our third goal of the afternoon.

There were fears for Martinez in the 66th minute, as a tussle on the byline with Coufal ended with the Argentine clutching his knee. 

Moments later, Bowen broke through one-on-one when a ball was sent over the head of Maguire. The crowd were expecting a clear-cut opportunities for the Hammers' talisman before Diogo Dalot heroically sprinted back to throw himself in front of the shot.

From the resulting clearance, the Reds' concern for Martinez was well founded, with the defender going down once again, in pain, and being replaced by Raphael Varane.

Nonetheless, Garnacho stepped in once again to top things off in the final 10 minutes. Hojlund and McTominay combined to seize possession in the middle of the field, before the Scotland international marched forward, looking for a third. 

On the edge of the box, he found our no.17 advancing in the right channel and played him in. With the 19-year-old in the best form of his young career, he confidently collected the ball before effortlessly sliding it beyond Fabianski.

McTominay drilled wide late on but this was a job well done by the Reds. The result lifts United above West Ham into sixth spot in the table.

Diogo Dalot was a key component in the Old Trafford clean sheet.


United: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Martinez (Varane 70), Shaw (Lindelof 87); Casemiro, Mainoo (McTominay 63); Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund (Antony 87).

Unused substitutes: Bayindir, Amrabat, Eriksen, Amad, Forson.

Goals: Hojlund 23, Garnacho 49, 83.

West Ham: Areola (Fabianski 46); Coufal (Phillips 72), Johnson, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson, Johnson; Alvarez, Soucek (Cornet 72), Ward-Prowse; Bowen, Kudus.

Unused substitutes: Cresswell, Mavroponos, Ogbonna, Scarles, Ings, Mubama.

Booked: Soucek.