Marcus Rashford hit a century of goals as Manchester United clung on for a hard-fought 1-0 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday.

On the day Manchester United’s record of featuring a homegrown player in every matchday squad extended to 85 years, academy product Rashford rose above the West Ham defence to dispatch a towering 38th-minute header as he became the 22nd player to reach 100 goals for the club.

West Ham were a threat throughout but crucially lacked that killer final pass or finish, with inspired back-post defending from Diogo Dalot, wonderful saves from David de Gea to deny Kurt Zouma and Declan Rice, and a last-gasp miss from Jarrod Bowen ensuring the Hammers’ late rally ended fruitless.

It was another Old Trafford defeat for West Ham boss David Moyes, who remains winless from 16 visits as a Premier League manager, as the Hammers missed the chance to move above Liverpool into the top half of the table.

For Manchester United, this gritty victory extended their unbeaten run under Erik ten Hag to eight games in all competitions and lifted them up to fifth in the Premier League, a point outside of the top four.

Player ratings

Man Utd: De Gea (8), Dalot (8), Maguire (7), Martinez (7), Shaw (6), Casemiro (6), Eriksen (8), Fernandes (6), Elanga (6), Rashford (8), Ronaldo (6).

Subs: Fred (6), McTominay (6).

West Ham: Fabianski (6), Kehrer (6), Zouma (6), Dawson (6), Cresswell (6), Rice (7), Soucek (6), Downes (6), Benrahma (6), Bowen (6), Scamacca (5).

Subs: Areola (5), Fornals (5), Antonio (6).

Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford.

Man Utd hold on for West Ham win after Rashford century

Manchester United had seen off Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham at Old Trafford this season but struggled to immediately scale those heights against the Hammers, who grew into the game as the hosts failed to seize control of the contest.

Team news

  • Harry Maguire made his first Premier League start since August 13, Cristiano Ronaldo was handed his third league start of the season and Anthony Elanga returned as Man Utd made three changes following the 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
  • Craig Dawson replaced Ben Johnson in West Ham’s only change from the 2-0 victory over Bournemouth.

Said Benrahma and Bowen exploited space vacated by Manchester United’s disjointed defence without truly calling De Gea into action before the game’s first moment of genuine quality yielded the breakthrough.

Christian Eriksen’s intelligent exchange with Bruno Fernandes ended with the Dane whipping a sumptuous cross into the area which Rashford, after leaping above Hammers defender Thilo Kehrer, planted emphatically past Lukasz Fabianski.

Marcus Rashford heads Man Utd into a 1-0 first-half lead

Image: Marcus Rashford heads Man Utd into a 1-0 first-half lead

Rashford looked to add to what was only his seventh header for Manchester United early in the second half, whistling a shot past the post after cutting in off the left, but the hosts failed to push on and instead invited more pressure from West Ham, with only the defensive awareness of Diogo Dalot keeping the visitors at bay.

Cristiano Ronaldo spurned three chances in three second-half minutes, heading Luke Shaw’s cross over, blazing wide at the near post after latching onto Rashford’s through pass, before seeing a shot deflect over the bar after Casemiro and Scott McTominay combined on the edge of the area.

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Rashford scores his 100th United goal with towering header

The introduction of Michail Antonio gave West Ham added presence. Craig Dawson shot over from distance before Benrahma’s low, bobbling shot forced a spill and recovery from De Gea with what was the Hammers’ first attempt on target in the second period.

Six minutes from time, Zouma’s deft flick forced a stunning save from De Gea before Fred missed the chance to put the game to bed when his header hit the frame of the West Ham goal.

It was a reprieve the Hammers nearly took full advantage of, with Harry Maguire brilliantly blocking Bowen’s sweeping stoppage-time shot before De Gea’s flying save to deny Rice got Manchester United over the line.

Man Utd making progress – Opta stats

  • Since losing four consecutive games between May and August, Manchester United have won 11 of their last 15 games in all competitions (D2 L2).
  • David Moyes has never won an away Premier League game at Manchester United in 16 attempts (D4 L12), failing with Everton (11 games), Sunderland (one game) and current side West Ham (four games).
  • For the first time in the Premier League this season, Manchester United will end a day in the table with a positive goal difference (+1).
  • West Ham have lost 11 away Premier League games in 2022, with no side losing more. It’s their most away Premier League defeats in a year since 2013 (12).
  • Diogo Dalot created four chances for Manchester United in this game, the most he’s ever created in a top-flight league game in his career across the Premier League, Serie A (with AC Milan) and Portuguese Primeira Liga (with FC Porto).

Man of the Match – Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford became the 22nd player to score 100 goals for Manchester United in all competitions and the first to reach that total since Wayne Rooney in 2009.

Marcus Rashford scored his fourth Premier League goal for Manchester United against West Ham, scoring in both games against them in 2022. He only has more league goals against Leicester (6) and Liverpool (5).

What’s next?

Manchester United travel to Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday at 5.45pm before heading to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday at 2pm.

West Ham travel to FCSB in the Europa Conference League on Thursday at 8pm before hosting Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday at 2pm.