FA Cup replay: Manchester United 1 West Ham 0




Wayne Rooney made a goal scoring return to dump West Ham United out of the FA Cup in the third round. Manchester United will now face Fulham at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney swats West Ham in bittersweet return

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney swats West Ham in bittersweet return

Rooney also missed a penalty in the second half which was the fifth time United have missed from the spot this season. It was always a tensed affair at 1-0 but United survived a spirited second half performance from West Ham United.

The knee injury which Wayne Rooney suffered in training on Christmas Day was put into sharp focus on January 5, when the worst imaginable news about his wife’s sister Rosie was confirmed. It was impossible not to think Rooney would offer some kind of tribute should the chance arise.

When Wayne Rooney scored from Javier Hernandez’s squared ball on 9 minutes, the England international kissed his hands, looked to the skies and raised his arms as he walked back towards the halfway line.

It was Rooney’s ninth goal of the season. Manchester United’s line up was out to prove the wisdom of Sir Alex Ferguson’s programme notes in which, whilst highlighting Robin van Persie’s immense contribution this season, he stated firmly his side are not a one-man team. Another of the men returning from injury, Anderson, provided a wonderful through pass for Hernandez to set up Rooney.

He also set up Nani, whose volley was curling in at the far post before it was brilliantly cleared off the line by the 18-year old Daniel Potts. Ryan Giggs enjoyed the game, who exploited the vast gaps that made him look far younger than 39. Chris Smalling had his header saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen and Alexander Buttners’s low cross struck the post as the pressure intensified.

Jaaskelainen was again called upon to make the save when Rooney took a shot from outside the box which was heading to the right hand bottom corner. West Ham had chances to equalize in the second half. Hernandez shot over the bar when he was gifted with an awesome opportunity to seal the victory.

United were fortunate that Rafael was at the right place to prevent Matt Taylor’s squared ball reaching Vaz Te. Taylor then curled an excellent chance over before Smalling managed to nick the ball away from Kevin Nolan when he was about to shoot from close range. United were awarded a penalty for a handball by Spence, but Rooney’s penalty missed the target and sailed over the bar. United managed to keep the score line at 1-0 and got a much needed clean sheet.

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