United 1 West Ham 0
Manchester United eased into round four with a narrow win over West Ham United.
With a hectic schedule ahead of us, Sir Alex Ferguson made ten changes to the side that had beaten Liverpool on Sunday, the only common denominator being Rafael.
However, with West Ham being renowned as poor travelers, it was hoped that the selected eleven, with Anderson and Nani returning after lengthy absences through injury, would be too strong for a Hammers side that had elected to rest such prominent players as Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison and Matt Jarvis.
In a match that wasn`t in the same class as the original tie, United were grateful to take an early lead, through the returning Rooney. In fact only nine minutes were on the clock when Rooney, after a move involving Anderson and Hernandez, saw Rooney finish smartly.
From then on in, it seemed to be only a matter of how many United would score against a West Ham side that were playing three across the back and packing the midfield, leaving United plenty of space to run into.
But it didn`t work out like that courtesy of some poor finishing, some resolute defending and some marvelous saves from the Hammers keeper, Jaaskelainen.
However, any anxiety in the home crowd should have been eased late in the second half when a cross from Ryan Giggs, captain for the night, was handled. Rooney stepped up to increase his goal tally but hit his spot kick over the bar.
Instead we were left to whether a late surge from West Ham before the final whistle saw us safely into round four and a home tie against another London side, Fulham.
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