Manchester United vs. West Ham: Red Devils Prove They Won't Be Beat in FA Cup

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16:  West Ham United Manager Sam Allardyce looks on prior to the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round Replay match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on January 16, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester United has moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup on the strength of a 1-0 victory over West Ham in Old Trafford on Wednesday. From here, they will roll to their 12th FA Cup title, which will be their first in nine years. 

The Red Devils didn't waste any time taking control of their match with West Ham. In just nine minutes in, Wayne Rooney tapped in an easy score off a pass from Javier Hernández. 

While the Red Devils were not able to drum up another score, they played solidly as they stymied West Ham, and did so with the likes of Robin van Persie and David de Gea on the bench. 

Manchester United had Rafael da Silva, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Alexander Buttner manning the back four, and this group gave fans plenty of reasons to get excited. They overwhelmed the few attacks West Ham was able to muster. 

The biggest thing for Man U to take away here is the play of Rooney. This was his first game in three weeks due to a knee injury, and he was moving well and displaying good power.

Although, the rust may have shown up in the 79th minute when he sailed a penalty. I say "may" because Rooney has been faltering on penalties even before the injury. One has to wonder if Sir Slex Ferguson is going to look to van Persie to handle this duty going forward. 

Rooney was not the only Red Devil to make his return to the pitch on this day. Nani was playing in his first action since November. He showed flashes of brilliance, but he also spent stretches looking indifferent despite West Ham giving him plenty of space to work with. 

In other words, Nani looked just like he did before getting hurt.  

Up next for Man U is Fullham in the fourth round, and the Red Devils will roll once again.

This is a deep and talented squad that is finally getting healthy. They can take down every team in the FA Cup with a handful of reserves on the pitch, just like they did on Wednesday.