Marcus Rashford scored Manchester United’s 100th goal, but David de Gea’s heroics were needed to secure a 1-0 victory over West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday.
After the visitors pushed Erik ten Hag’s team to the limit, the win takes United up to sixth in the league.
With his header in the 38th minute, Rashford reached a significant milestone, becoming the first United player since all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney to achieve 100 goals.
However, it turned out that on this particular day, the team was more dependent on De Gea, who made three excellent stops in the second half to fend off West Ham’s comeback.
Ten Hag may consider the chances his own players missed, as both Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo were responsible for missed opportunities in both half. De Gea’s performance in a week when Spanish sources suggested he was about to be dropped from his nation’s World Cup squad, though, is unaffected by this.
With practically the last kick of the game, the goalkeeper stopped shots from Michail Antonio, Kurt Zouma, and Declan Rice to preserve the three points.
Earlier, it had been Lukasz Fabiankski who had kept United at bay. He had stopped Ronaldo’s piercing long-range drive and then stopped Marcus Rashford’s powerful header during a promising start for the home team.
Rashford’s successful exploitation of a very identical opportunity gave United a breakthrough. Rashford sprang higher than anybody else to shoot past Fabianski as Christian Eriksen sent a cross from the right into the six-yard box on this occasion.
Early in the second half, United had opportunities to extend its lead, but Ronaldo missed with a header from within the box and missed two additional shots when in front of goal.
That inspired West Ham, and Said Benrahma saw De Gea stop a low shot while Lisandro Martinez took the ball away from Craig Dawson just as the defender appeared to be on the verge of scoring.
Late in the game’s last 10 minutes, De Gea was called upon to tip over Antonio’s 30-yard attempt and make an even better stop to deflect Zouma’s header.
When Fred headed against the post in the 86th minute, the game might have had a lot more comfortable ending.
Before West Ham made one more drive, Jarrod Bowen’s close-range attempt in stoppage time was stopped, and De Gea then made one final save to parry Rice’s long shot.