In pictures: Man Utd v West Ham
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Manchester United boosted their hopes of securing Champions League football for next season with a 1-0 win over West Ham on Saturday. Marcus Rashford was the hero for the home side, with the England international converting from close range in the dying stages after some excellent work from Edinson Cavani. Express Sport will now take a look at four things we observed from the showdown at Old Trafford.
Dalot can save Glazers millions
United have seen Aaron Wan-Bissaka struggle for form this season.
But while the club were open to signing a right-back in the summer, the Glazers may now be able to save their cash for other areas of the squad instead.
And that’s because Diogo Dalot, right now, is fulfilling his potential.
Jose Mourinho insisted the club had their next Gary Neville when United signed the player from Porto back in the summer transfer window of 2018.
Dalot has been outstanding in recent weeks and the right-back slot in Ralf Rangnick’s team is now very much his to lose.
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He’s a class act too
After the game, Dalot showed he was a class act even after the game had stopped playing.
The Portugal international raced away from the tunnel towards the Stretford End and threw his shirt into the crowd, making a supporter’s day in the process.
United players were certainly in good spirits following the victory.
They stood as one to soak up the atmosphere at Old Trafford, which was rocking after Rashford’s late winner.
Now, the onus is on them to prove they’re capable of making the Theatre of Dreams a fortress again.
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Martial shines in cameo
One player who wants to leave United this month is Anthony Martial, who is tracked by Sevilla, Newcastle and Barcelona.
But the Frenchman didn’t let that get in the way of matters on the pitch.
Martial was impressive off the bench, playing a key role in the build-up to Rashford’s late winner.
Rangnick hailed the 26-year-old after the game, saying: “I know that he is a top player, one of the best strikers in the Premier League, but we have other players in this position and it is his wish to leave and as I said to him, ‘listen, it always takes different parts to make an agreement’ and the way that he trained and the way he played when he came on today showed that the professionalism that I expect from everybody.
“I am happy that he was playing today and that he could come on and that he played a vital role in preparing that goal.”
United are becoming harder to beat
United weren’t at their swashbuckling best against West Ham.
Yet they put in a controlled performance and they’re clearly becoming harder to beat under Rangnick, who has lost just one game since taking over.
Their defence, in particular, is now formidable again.
United have kept clean sheets against Aston Villa (in the FA Cup), Norwich, Crystal Palace and now West Ham since Rangnick took charge.
That certainly bodes well for the future as the sleeping giant aims to wake up once more.
Rangnick hails Rashford
Rangnick was delighted for Rashford after his late heroics at Old Trafford.
“He’s one of the top strikers in England,” said the 63-year-old. “He’s an English international, who regularly played in the Euros and we all know what quality he has.
“He has almost everything a modern striker needs. He’s got the pace, skills, he’s got the size and physicality of a striker and in the end it’s all about confidence for strikers.
“I’m pretty sure that those two goals have raised the level of confidence within Marcus but now it’s about taking steps, to show that on a regular basis.
“It’s about continuity now and I think he can play a very important role for the rest of the season for us.”
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