Not even eight minutes had ticked off the clock when Rooney, a la David Beckham, unleashed a thunderbolt from 50 yards that beat West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, who was well off his line, and bounced into the roof of the net for the game’s first goal.
And then, shortly after the hour-mark, Mark Noble gifted Rooney a second when he allowed Ashley Young’s cross to bounce off him and into the path of the England forward.
Following are ratings and analysis for all the Red Devils.
Half-Time analysis for Manchester United
De Gea: Claimed one cross and didn’t have a single save to make in the first half.
Rafael: Already on a booking and at risk of another due to his petulance alone.
Carrick: Hasn’t looked at all out of place in the centre of defense.
Jones: Has so far completed 93% of his passes.
Buttner: West Ham are targeting him as the weak link in the United backline, but he’s so far held his own.
Fletcher: Made a pair of impressive tackles to turn defense into attack midway through the opening frame.
Fellaini: Outmuscled Carroll late in the first half.
Young: His crosses have been dangerous, and one of them produced a goal.
Mata: Vision and distribution have been superb—his best match in a United shirt so far.
Kagawa: Has completed 92% of his passes, but he needs to place his shots better.
Rooney: A memorable brace has made him the club’s third-highest goalscorer of all time.
Full-Time analysis for Manchester United
De Gea: Had only a single save to make over the 90 minutes.
Rafael: Managed to calm down after picking up a yellow card in the 11th minute.
Carrick: Looked solid in defense and often appeared to operate as an old-fashioned sweeper.
Jones: Passed well and exhibited strength in a solid outing.
Buttner: He’ll be playing against Bayern Munich, and Saturday’s performance will have done his confidence a world of good.
Fletcher: His exceptional, all-around performance demonstrated just how much United have missed him in recent seasons.
Fellaini: Timed his runs well and was excellent when called to defend set-pieces.
Young: He was somewhat less involved after the restart, but he still managed to create the odd chance from wide on the right.
Mata: Upon his exit in the 78th minute he had touched the ball 66 times and completed an impressive 94% of his passes.
Kagawa: Didn’t at all disappoint in a rare, 90-minute showing.
Rooney: Started to give the ball away cheaply in the second half, but overall he was the catalyst in an important victory.
Hernandez: Had 10 touches but failed to take a single shot on goal.
Welbeck: Like Hernandez, he played only the final 12 minutes.