Captain Wayne Rooney settled any Red Devils nerves with a fifth-minute opener, taking his tally to three top-flight goals this season.
I don’t think Wayne wanted to do it that way but he did it and you can give a red card
Louis van Gaal
Van Gaal’s side appeared to be easing towards three points when Robin van Persie doubled the home side’s advantage in the 22nd minute.
However, Diafra Sakho halved the deficit seven minutes before half-time, and Rooney ensured a nervy finish after receiving a straight red card for kicking out at Stewart Downing.
Van Gaal said: “The win is very important, you can imagine that. We played a very good first half with attractive football.
“We conceded again a goal from in set-plays. Maybe you can watch that their number 15 makes a foul on goalkeeper David De Gea.
“But OK, I am very happy that we hold the result until the end because it is very difficult to play against a team who have one more player but who also play a lot of high balls. I am very pleased with the attitude of my players.”
Van Gaal defended his United captain Rooney, insisting the striker was attempting to stop a Hammers counter-attack but mistimed his challenge.
“It was a break-out of a set-play of ours and he makes a professional foul I think you can call it like that. I don’t think Wayne wanted to do it that way but he did it and you can give a red card,” Van Gaal added.
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