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21 December 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 75350
D. Welbeck 26'
A. Januzaj 36'
A. Young 72'
West Ham United
C. Cole 81'
That result lifts Manchester United up to seventh place and they are now eight points off new league leaders Liverpool. The Red Devils return to Premier League action on Boxing Day when they travel to Hull whilst West Ham face another stern test at home to Arsenal. Thanks for tuning in to this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye!
With Fulham and Crystal Palace both losing, West Ham United remain one point above the relegation zone but Sam Allardyce will have serious concerns over his side's lack of attacking penetration. The Hammers looked out of ideas when going forward and David De Gea will be particularly frustrated not to keep a clean sheet as he was not forced into a meaningful save all game.
FT: Manchester United 3-1 West Ham. Goals from Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young help Manchester United to get back to winning ways in the league at Old Trafford. It was a confident display from David Moyes' side who simply had too much for a West Ham side who scored a late consolation courtesy of Carlton Cole.
90' + 3'
Manchester United are just teasing West Ham in the closing stages but Jones decides not to go for the Scholes-eque spectacular when the ball is played to hit on the edge of the box from Young's corner. David Moyes' side have not been magnificent but they have had more than enough to see off this disappointing West Ham side.
90' + 1'
CHANCES GALORE FOR MANCHESTER UNITED! First, Hernandez competely misses the ball from Young's low cross before Evans' shot from a narrow angle is parried away by Adrian. Young then clips the ball back into the box but Smalling's header flashes over the crossbar.
DEMEL TO THE RESCUE! Hernandez produces a superb piece of control to bring down a long ball and he lays a pass off to Buttner once more who shifts the ball away from Tomkins before his low shot is blocked brilliantly by Demel.
BUTTNER GOES CLOSE! The left-back has already scored a few in his short Manchester United career and he collects Hernandez's pass on the left corner of the box before drilling a shot narrowly wide of the target.
It has not all gone Valencia's way this afternoon and he picks up the ball on the right corner of the box before blazing an effort over the crossbar.
West Ham are unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty as Morrison's shot appears to strike the raised arm of Cleverley on the edge of the box. Surely Manchester United can't throw this one away?
Assist Modibo Maiga
Goal C. Cole
WEST HAM PULL ONE BACK! The visiting supporters finally have something to celebrate! Buttner has only just come on but he fails to hold the defensive line as Maiga threads a ball through for Carlton Cole who coolly slots the ball under the advancing De Gea. Who saw that coming?
David Moyes opts to make his final change as Alexander Buttner comes on to replace Patrice Evra. Despite that injury scare before the game, it seems Wayne Rooney will complete the 90 minutes.
Hernandez finally returns to his feet after a lengthy spell of treatment and from the resulting free kick Rooney fails to pick out a red shirt as Adrian gathers.
Yellow Card George McCartney
McCartney becomes the next West Ham player to have his name taken after a late studs-up challenge on Hernandez. He is extremely fortunate to still be on the field.
It's a third and final change for West Ham as Razvan Rat replaces James Collins.
I think West Ham could play all day and they still wouldn't score. They have looked completely bereft of ideas up front and De Gea is still yet to make a meaningful save. Major problems for Sam Allardyce.
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Ashley Young
BRILLIANT GOAL FROM YOUNG! He's only been on the pitch a few minutes but it has not taken long for Ashley Young to make his mark. Valencia's low cross from the right is deflected into Rooney's path on the edge of the box and he lays the ball into Young's path for the winger to send a rasping effort into the top corner. Game over.
Sam Allardyce has seen enough and he decides to make his second substitution, introducing Carlton Cole in place of Matt Jarvis.
West Ham continue to lob balls into the Manchester United penalty area but they cannot find a way past De Gea as Maiga's header bounces harmlessly wide.
Both goalscorers have been substituted for Manchester United now as Ashley Young comes on to replace Adnan Januzaj. Another impressive performance from the youngster.
DISALLOWED GOAL FOR MANCHESTER UNITED! Antonio Valencia pokes a neat pass beyond the West Ham defence for Hernandez who lashes the ball into the bottom corner. However, the linesman's flag is raised as the Mexican had strayed marginally offside.
Yellow Card James Tomkins
James Tomkins joins Jarvis in the referee's notebook after a needless challenge through the back of Hernandez.
Yellow Card Matt Jarvis
Matt Jarvis picks up West Ham's second booking of the game after a mistimed tackle on Rafael.
Manchester United seem to have taken their foot off the gas in this second half and they have not posed as much of a threat to Adrian's goal. It appears that both sides are almost happy to accept the 2-0 scoreline.
Sam Allardyce makes his first substitution of the game as Jack Collison replaces Matt Taylor. Can he give West Ham a much-needed lift in attack?
Cleverley sloppily gives away possession on the halfway line and West Ham break with Maiga. He feeds Diame outside the box but Jones tracks back brilliantly to muscle him off the ball.
The statistics show that West Ham have enjoyed 58% of the possession in this second half. In truth however, they have done very little with it.
CHANCE FOR WEST HAM! The Hammers enjoy a sustained spell of possession and Demel skips down the right excellently before his low cross is turned behind by Jones. From the resulting set piece, Collins flicks a header towards goal which is hacked off the line by Rooney.
This is a good chance for Hernandez to showcase his talents and stake his claim for a starting spot. I wonder whether the Mexican striker will push for a move away from Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
David Moyes opts to make the first substitution of the game as Javier Hernandez replaces Danny Welbeck who seems to have picked up a slight injury.
It just is not working for West Ham in attack and Jarvis surges past Rafael before sending a cross straight out of play.
Manchester United are looking for their fourth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions and they are certainly on course for it as Evans easily heads Morrison's cross away from goal. Sam Allardyce must be contemplating a substitution soon.
OFF THE LINE! Moments after Welbeck comes within inches of poking Januzaj's dangerous cross into the net, Evans sees his header flicked off the line excellently by Noble.
West Ham seem incapable of stringing five passes together and they again opt for the long ball as Diame overhits his pass for Taylor. I wonder whether De Gea will make a save in the second half.
The two sides have emerged from the changing rooms for the second half and West Ham get the game back underway. There have been no substitutions at the break.
HT: Manchester United 2-0 West Ham. Goals from Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj give David Moyes' side a deserved lead at the break. The Red Devils have been in control since the first whistle and seem destined to end their recent miserable league form at Old Trafford. West Ham have looked out of ideas up front and that is demonstrated by the fact that David De Gea is yet to make a meaningful save. There seems no way back for the Hammers in this one.
45' + 3'
Adrian has looked good on his Premier League debut and he prevents his side from going further behind as he produces a smart stop to deny Rooney's shot.
45' + 1'
Rooney has already claimed one assist and he goes close to providing another as he floats a ball over the West Ham defence for Cleverley to chase. However, Adrian anticipates the danger and rushes off his line brilliantly to claim the ball.
West Ham have battled well in midfield but their lack of attacking quality is obvious for all to see. If they do not address their problems in the transfer window, they could be set for a relegation scrap.
There is an injury concern for Manchester United here as Evans collides with De Gea's knee when the goalkeeper went up to claim the ball. That's the second knock he has sustained in this half.
Yellow Card Adnan Januzaj
JANUZAJ BOOKED FOR SIMULATION! It's never a good thing to see a player diving and the referee is wise to Januzaj's decision to throw himself over Collins' leg and brandishes the yellow card.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR 3-0! Manchester United launch a counter attack from a West Ham set piece and Valencia exchanges passes with Rafael before continuing his run into the box and firing over the bar. The Ecuador winger should be hitting the target from there.
West Ham use their long ball tactics in the hope of reducing the deficit but De Gea plucks the ball out of the air confidently to deny Collins from heading in from close range. Sam Allardyce's team look devoid of ideas in attack.
Assist Danny Welbeck
Goal Adnan Januzaj
JANUZAJ MAKES IT 2-0! It's a beautifully crafted goal from the champions as the 18-year-old plays a neat one-two with Welbeck before twisting inside Collins and firing into the bottom corner. Sir Alex Ferguson applauds that move from the stands. It's a long way back for West Ham now.
The Old Trafford faithful scream for a penalty as Januzaj goes down in the box under a challenge from Noble. There certainly seemed to be contact but he did go down easily.
Valencia has seen a lot of the ball in the opening 33 minutes but time and time again he fails to pick out a red shirt with his cross. Manchester United fans will be hoping that he can return to the form of two seasons ago.
Januzaj has been busy this afternoon and he collects the ball outside the box before firing a shot straight at Adrian. West Ham can't get out of their half at the moment.
Sam Allardyce will be hoping that his side can keep it tight as they continue to come under pressure. That goal has certainly woken the Manchester United fans up.
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Danny Welbeck
MANCHESTER UNITED TAKE THE LEAD! There is a huge sense of relief around Old Trafford as Rooney and Welbeck combine to give the champions the lead. Welbeck plays a pass to Rooney outside the box and he repays the compliment, slipping the ball into Welbeck's path on the left side of the box and he fires across Adrian and into the bottom corner. That's his third goal in two league games.
Manchester United work the ball out to the right but with a number of red shirts waiting in the box, Valencia wastefully hits his cross out of play.
Sam Allardyce will be happy with his side's performance so far and it is certainly not all one-way traffic at Old Trafford. Manchester United need to get the ball out wide quicker because that is where they look the most threatening.
CHANCE FOR WEST HAM! The Hammers enjoy a sustained spell of possession around the opposition box and Taylor clips a clever ball towards the back post but there is no claret shirt gambling to meet it.
GOOD SAVE FROM ADRIAN! Manchester United are looking dangerous down the right and Valencia attempts to catch the Spanish goalkeeper out at his near post but sees his fierce effort palmed behind for a corner.
Yellow Card Ravel Morrison
Ravel Morrison clearly has some unfinished business at Old Trafford and he is the first player to be cautioned after a rash tackle on Cleverley. He will need to be careful now.
Noble wins the ball off Januzaj to set up a counter attack for West Ham and Maiga feeds Jarvis on the edge of the box who sees his shot well blocked by Evans. West Ham have posed a threat but De Gea is yet to make a save.
COLLINS TO THE RESCUE! West Ham are under pressure at the moment and they have their bald centre-back to thank that they are still level as he anticipates Welbeck's squared pass excellently to deny Rooney from converting from close range.
ROONEY GOES CLOSE! Rooney steps up to the set piece and curls the ball over the wall but it goes narrowly over the crossbar.
Manchester United win a free kick in a promising area outside the box as Rooney is tripped by his former teammate Morrison. The Manchester United No.10 will take this himself...
Phil Jones scored in the recent win over Shakhtar Donetsk and he is invited to burst forward from deep before firing a low left-footed shot straight at Adrian.
Rooney is showing few signs of his injury as he slips a neat reverse pass into Welbeck's path but the striker's run is well tracked by Demel who prevents him from getting his shot away.
After that positive Manchester United start, the visitors are slowly starting to settle into the game here and Diame is proving a particular threat with his strength. The return of Andy Carroll cannot come sooner for Sam Allardyce who has seen his shot-shy team struggle to find the net away from home this season.
There is an injury concern for Manchester United here as Jonny Evans finds himself on the end of Diame's attempted overhead kick. However, the Northern Ireland international should be okay to continue.
Adnan Januzaj has made quite a name for himself since bursting onto the scene and he collects Rooney's pass outside the box before seeing his shot deflected into the grateful gloves of Adrian. This is a good start from Manchester United.
ALMOST THE PERFECT START FOR MANCHESTER UNITED! Rooney wins the game's first corner and from his set-piece Adrian is called into action for the first time as he produces a fine stop to claw away Cleverley's effort.
Kevin Friend blows his whistle and Manchester United get the game underway. It is good to see that the referee has recovered after his accidental knock from Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko last week.
What an occasion this is for West Ham goalkeeper Adrian who is making his Premier League debut after impressing in the Capital One Cup win over Tottenham. Ravel Morrison will be hoping to make his impact on his return to Old Trafford.
Both teams are in desperate need of points going into this match. Manchester United can ill-afford any more slip-ups if they are to retain their Premier League title whereas West Ham can drop into the relegation zone if results do not go their way this afternoon.
Captains Patrice Evra and Mark Noble lead the teams out of the tunnel and onto the pristine Old Trafford playing surface. Manchester United are in their traditional red jerseys with West Ham in their alternative white strip.
West Ham have not won at Old Trafford since Carlos Tevez's strike in May 2007.
Manchester United are aiming to avoid three consecutive home league defeats for the first time since 1979. However, David Moyes' side have won their last three matches in all competitions, keeping three clean sheets in the process. Can they close the gap on leaders Liverpool to eight points with another win today?
Both sides enjoyed success in midweek by sealing their places in the Capital One Cup semi-finals. Manchester United defeated Stoke 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium whilst West Ham came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane. Could this be a dress rehearsal of the final?
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrian; Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Noble, Diame; Taylor, Morrison, Jarvis; Maiga.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Jones, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj; Welbeck.
Here are how the teams will be lining up this afternoon...
West Ham have not won away from home since the surprise 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur back in October. Old Trafford is typically a difficult place to travel, but David Moyes' men have only managed two wins in their last six home games.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE text commentary on the Premier League meeting between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford. Both sides will be eager for three points this afternoon, with the Red Devils chasing the top four from mid-table while the Hammers will want to move away from the relegation zone ahead of Christmas.
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