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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Manchester United Vs. West Ham United Match Report Result

Three sublimely-crafted goals - two from Wayne Rooney, one from Michael Owen - got United back to winning ways and moved the champions to within a point of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

West Ham were clinically put to the sword as two devastating team moves yielded Rooney headers either side of the interval, before arch-poacher Owen plundered a fine third goal within three minutes of his introduction as a late substitute.

After last Saturday's surprisingly meek surrender at Goodison Park, and with this Sunday's Carling Cup final against Aston Villa on the horizon, Sir Alex Ferguson sprang several selection surprises to face a Hammers side catapulted - for now - out of their relegation worries by back-to-back victories.

In came Ben Foster, Darron Gibson and Anderson, while Nemanja Vidic made a welcome return to the defence for his first start of 2010. Rio Ferdinand, available after his four-match suspension, was conspicuous by his absence, leaving Wes Brown to partner the Serbian in the centre of defence.

A curious first half served up a cocktail of mistakes and brilliance. While the early sparring couldn't deliver a telling blow for either side, it did claim Anderson, who succumbed to a knee injury inside the first 15 minutes. Around the 20 minute mark, however, came a flurry of chances at either end.

Only a superb challenge from James Tomkins halted a marauding run from Rooney, and prompted a West Ham attack which ended with Valon Behrami dragging a shot past Foster's far post. Moments later, the United stopper survived a jittery moment as Alessandro Diamanti's deflected effort looped high before dipping just under the crossbar. Foster was comfortably in control of the situation, but nevertheless would have held his breath as he padded the ball down on his own goal-line before collecting it.

At the other end, Dimitar Berbatov was denied a clear shot by a saving challenge from Matthew Upson, and then a sprawling save from Green, who managed to contort almost in slow-motion to save the Bulgarian's improvised diversion of an errant Darron Gibson shot.

United's pressure steadily grew as Gibson thrice tested Green in the space of four minutes. The Irishman's first and third long-range efforts were comfortably fielded, but his second drew a superb low save from the Hammers' goalkeeper, who just managed to brush the ball past the post.

Parity was creaking, however, and gave in on 38 minutes as United's forward four combined in devastating fashion. Park, on for Anderson, threaded a neat ball through to Berbatov, who cantered infield before chipping a measured pass to Valencia on the right-hand side of the penalty area. The Ecuadorian thudded in a stunning first-time cross with his instep which begged Rooney to convert. In the form of his life, the Reds' top scorer emphatically obliged with a thumping header.

It was a quite stunning team goal which ripped the Hammers to shreds through its simplicity. Two minutes later, another similarly direct effort almost doubled the lead. Berbatov touched on for Rooney, who just managed to stay level before touching the ball past Upson and lashing a fabulous volley onto the roof of Green's net.

Half-time provided timely respite for the visitors, but United sought to end the contest within seconds of the restart. Straight from the centre the ball was ferried to Valencia, who swapped passes with Rooney before crossing low and deep into the box. Park took a first time swing at it, only for his effort to thud off the underside of the crossbar. As it rebounded to Park he was felled by Behrami, by referee Alan Wiley waved away claims for a penalty.

A second goal soon arrived, however, and three of the quartet who had combined so well for the opener were at it again. Berbatov's sublime threaded pass released Valencia down the right, and he sped past marker Jonathan Spector before standing up a superb cross. Rooney, who had peeled away from Tomkins, thumped another header past Green, despite the goalkeeper's valiant attempt to save.

Two was almost three for United and Rooney as he beat Green in a race to a long, loose forward ball on the Stretford End byline. The United striker outmuscled his international colleague, turned, and curled a shot towards the unguarded goal, only for Faubert to comfortably clear the danger.

West Ham's beleaguered defenders would have been pleased to see the back of Rooney and Berbatov, who had one superb surging run halted by Faubert's crude block, when they were replaced by Owen and Diouf for the final 11 minutes, but there would be no respite.

Out on the left flank, Owen showed neat skill to slip the ball to Gibson before trotting infield. Once there, he accepted a superb ball from the flawless Scholes and, having been played onside by Upson, steered in an unerring finish via Green's left-hand post.

Scholes could have capped a superb display with a fittingly sublime goal four minutes from time but, after skipping past two challenges, the veteran midfielder shot high into the Stretford End, provoking much mirth from a home contingent who had been cooing over his display all night long.and a timely reminder to those who most covet the Premier League title that the champions' grip on the trophy is not slipping yet constitutes a satisfactory evening. The quest for four in a row can continue at Molineux next month. For now, attentions switch to Wembley, and the defence of another title: the Carling Cup.

Manchester United Vs. West Ham United Highlights Video Clips

Manchester United [3 - 0] West Ham United
38' [1 - 0] W. Rooney
55' [2 - 0] W. Rooney
80' [3 - 0] M. Owen