Assured Manchester United dispose of hapless Hammers
Manchester United effortlessly overcame West Ham in Saturday’s evening kick-off courtesy of a Wayne Rooney penalty, a Nani solo goal and a strike from Dimitar Berbatov.
The English striker ended a 15-game goalless streak with a confident spot-kick to set the home side on their way in a dominant win. Paul Scholes dictated proceedings from the start, spreading the play into all areas of the pitch – a trademark of the veteran’s performance and current renaissance in form.
Up-front, Rooney still failed to mirror the image of the irrepressible forward who tormented Premier League teams last season. The 24-year-old may require fine-tuning but his industrious attitude pointed towards an inevitable improvement in form.
In a week when penalty misses have become alarmingly frequent, Rooney unerringly slotted his effort to Rob Green’s left-hand side. West Ham rarely threatened United afterwards.
Kieron Dyer seemed to be the only candidate capable of unearthing a route through the solid pairing of Nemanja Vidic and Johnny Evans. Yet the injury-ravaged winger was halted at the crucial moment on numerous occasions throughout the 90 minutes.
Hammers target man Carlton Cole struck a frustrated figure throughout – provided with little service, he was brutally marshalled by United’s Serbian and Northern Irish defensive partnership.
Nani doubled United’s lead within five minutes of the match resuming after the break. The Portugal international darted past several defenders as he slalomed from the right wing towards the penalty area and produced an accomplished finished with Cristiano Ronaldo-like authority.
Exciting throughout and named Man of the Match afterwards, Nani rounded off a eye-catching display with an assist for Berbatov’s goal. The Bulgarian spectacularly volleyed an accurate cross past Green.
“It was a good game and a good performance from the team,” said Nani. “We had a draw last week and we were focused on winning this game because Chelsea and other teams are doing well.
“I’m working hard every day. I want to score goals and help my team win games. Today was one of these days and I want to do every game like that. I have been looking forward to this season, to help my team win the league and be important for the team.”
West Ham manager Avram Grant looked suitably preoccupied leaving the Old Trafford turf. The first goal ended any resemblance of resistance by the visiting Hammers, who struggled to match the purring United machine.