Match ends, Manchester United 2, West Ham United 1.
Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United
- Rooney scores 176th Premier League goal
- Captain then dismissed for rash challenge
- Van Persie takes Man Utd goal tally to 50
- Diafra Sakho scores fourth Hammers goal in five games
Wayne Rooney was sent off for Manchester United as his side clung on to resolutely beat West Ham for their second league win of the season.
The home side were cruising after Rooney swept in a Rafael cross and Robin van Persie rifled in a low shot.
But Diafra Sakho nodded in for the Hammers before Rooney was sent off for a reckless tackle on Stewart Downing.
Enner Valencia shot wide and Kevin Nolan had an effort ruled out for offside as the home side held on.
The relief was palpable around Old Trafford at the final whistle, while there was also anger at referee Lee Mason for his decision to dismiss Rooney just before the hour mark.
However, the England striker kicked out at Downing as the Hammers threatened to launch a counter-attack and is now set to miss games against former club Everton, West Brom and Chelsea.
West Ham will be left to rue being on the wrong end of a close offside call when Nolan's last-gasp prod was disallowed but they have now lost 20 of their last 22 league games at Old Trafford.
|Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League games at Old Trafford.||Robin van Persie is the second non-British player (after Dwight Yorke) to score 40+ Premier League goals for two different clubs.|
|Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have scored in the same Premier League game for the first time since February against Crystal Palace.||West Ham had 13 attempts on goal during the match compared to Manchester United's eight.|
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal had been looking for a response from his side following their 5-3 humbling at Leicester last Sunday and, although his side won, it was almost a similar story.
Injuries in defence saw the Dutchman start with 19-year-old Paddy McNair in central defence, while £27m left-back Luke Shaw also made his debut.
But, for all of the home side's struggles at the back, they still had a vast array of attacking artillery and it did not take long for that to fire.
Rafael raced down the right flank and delivered a cross which Rooney converted with a first-time glanced shot to the far post.
Van Gaal has questioned his captain's ability to play as a striker but Rooney's finish was clinical and took his tally to 176 as he overtook Thierry Henry to move into the outright third position in the Premier League's record of all-time top scorers.
The home side almost ruined their eye-catching forward play when a poor back pass from midfield released Enner Valencia on the home goal only for the Ecuadorian to blaze his effort over.
United's second came when Ander Herrera dispossessed Alex Song before Radamel Falcao slid a pass through to Van Persie, who angled in a right-foot shot.
|BBC pundit Phil Neville on Match of the Day|
|"When Rooney made the foul I thought United must have been in trouble at the back but United were four against two and all the defenders were in good positions. It's just a reckless tackle. There's no need to make the foul because of the position the United defenders were in."|
But, Van Gaal's side had shown against Leicester that they have a propensity for hitting the self destruct button and they again made life difficult for themselves.
Referee Lee Mason denied the Hammers a penalty when Morgan Amalfitano's hooked cross appeared to strike the arm of Falcao before the visitors pulled a goal back.
Home keeper David De Gea missed punching away a corner and, after Valencia's header came back off the crossbar, Sakho was on hand to nod home for his fourth goal in five games.
Rooney's red card then gave the visiting side hope but, despite a Sakho header into the side-netting and Nolan's late effort, Van Gaal's side secured a much-needed victory.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal:
"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 a set play.
"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 not only have have one more player but who also play a lot of high balls. I am very pleased with the attitude of my players."
On Rooney red card:
"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."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce:
"I've looked on the laptop and Kevin Nolan made a good run from deep and put the ball in the net. Unfortunately for us, the assistant saw something we didn't.
"It's unfortunate when you've worked so hard to get back in the game.
"We gifted Manchester United two goals and at 11 v 11 we had the best chances. Diafra Sakho could easily have had a hat-trick."
- 1de Gea
- 2da Silva
- 21HerreraBooked at 48minsSubstituted forA Valenciaat 74'minutes
- 7Di MaríaSubstituted forThorpeat 90+4'minutes
- 10RooneyBooked at 59mins
- 9FalcaoSubstituted forFletcherat 65'minutes
- 20van Persie
- 25A Valencia
- 13AdriánBooked at 90mins
- 20DemelSubstituted forJenkinsonat 65'minutes
- 30SongBooked at 3mins
- 23PoyetSubstituted forNolanat 75'minutes
- 15SakhoBooked at 72mins
- 21AmalfitanoSubstituted forColeat 61'minutes
- 31E Valencia
- 12Vaz Te
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, West Ham United 1.
Attempt blocked. Carlton Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell.
Substitution, Manchester United. Tom Thorpe replaces Ángel Di María.
Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).
Enner Valencia (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.
Adrián (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Hand ball by Adrián (West Ham United).
Attempt saved. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.
Offside, West Ham United. Carl Jenkinson tries a through ball, but Kevin Nolan is caught offside.
Attempt missed. James Tomkins (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a corner.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Daley Blind.
Foul by Ángel Di María (Manchester United).
Diafra Sakho (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).
Winston Reid (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Rafael.
Rafael (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Diafra Sakho (West Ham United).