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Manchester United vs. West Ham: Score, Analysis and Grades

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Manchester United vs. West Ham: Score, Analysis and Grades
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

So much for Manchester United's habit of starting slow. 

Robin van Persie scored for the Red Devils just 31 seconds into the game and made United the fastest team to get on the scoreboard in any match this season. This was the only score of the game, which United won 1-0.

The Dutchman's clever touch to receive Michael Carrick's pass gave him an excellent chance at goal, and his shot took a fortunate deflection into the back on the net. 

The second half offered little excitement as United clearly had the upper hand throughout the match but was unable to crack the well-organized West Ham defense. 

While there were a few nervous moments at Old Trafford in the final minutes of the match, West Ham were unable to find a late equalizer and United came away with all three points. 

 

Grades

Robin van Persie: A-

While van Persie's shot may have been helped by a bit of luck, his touch to get around Winston Reid was reminiscent of a famous goal scored by his compatriot Dennis Bergkamp several years ago.

This was a fantastic way to fire up United, and it ensured that the team controlled this match for the entire 90 minutes instead of having to pull together for another frantic comeback. 

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

 

Andy Carroll: C-

The Red Devils defense has had its problems this season, but the back line played well for the home side today and Carroll did little to trouble them. He was ineffective during his time on the pitch, and Sam Allardyce took him off after an hour. 

The Hammers will certainly be looking for better performances from the striker going forward.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

 

Wayne Rooney: B-

Starting the match with three strikers proved to be a wise move, but it did not allow Rooney to make a significant impact on the match.

He played mostly a secondary role in the attack and was unable to turn heads as a playmaker or a goal-scoring threat in this match. 

 

Jussi Jääskeläinen: B+

The veteran goalkeeper has been superb between the posts for West Ham this season, and this match continued that trend. He was once again reliable and disciplined. 

His shot-blocking ability kept the score close, and unfortunately for the Finn, his team never looked like a threat to score in this match. 

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

 

Jonny Evans: A-

While seeing Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling hold down the center of the United defense may make some supporters nervous, the pair played well today. 

Evans was especially effective, and he is brimming with confidence after getting on the scoresheet again this past weekend. He has become a reliable player, which he proved by helping United to a clean sheet today.

 

What's Next?

United have held on to their spot atop the Premier League, and they are unlikely to relinquish it this Saturday as they take on Reading.

The Hammers will keep fighting to stay in the top half of the table as they head into a derby with Chelsea this weekend. 

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