Young guns Hojlund, Garnacho fire Man Utd into top six

Young guns Hojlund, Garnacho fire Man Utd into top six

February 4, 2024 at 4:10 PM
Alejandro Garnacho scored twice in Manchester United's 3-0 win over West Ham
Alejandro Garnacho scored twice in Manchester United's 3-0 win over West Ham. Photo: Paul ELLIS / AFP
Source: AFP

Manchester United climbed into the Premier League's top six as Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho struck to show further signs of a bright future for the Red Devils in a 3-0 win over West Ham.

United's blushes were saved by 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo in a dramatic late 4-3 win over Wolves on Thursday and had two more young stars to thank for a more routine three points at Old Trafford.

Hojlund's long wait to break his Premier League duck is now long forgotten as the Dane scored marked his 21st birthday by scoring in a fourth consecutive league game.

Garnacho then took centre stage as his deflected effort early in the second half doubled United's lead before he rounded off the scoring six minutes from time.

Victory, though, came at a cost as Lisandro Martinez hobbled off with a potentially serious knee injury.

The Argentine World Cup winner has only recently returned from a long-term foot injury that has kept him out for most of the season.

Former United boss David Moyes' long wait for a win at Old Trafford as a visiting manager in the Premier League goes on as defeat sees the Hammers slip behind their opponents in the table, down to seventh.

West Ham enjoyed much the better of the first half with 13 attempts on goal, but lacked the creative presence of the injured Lucas Paqueta to turn their possession into clear-cut chances.

Andre Onana made a fine save to turn Edson Alvarez's header from a corner to safety and parry a long-range drive from Ben Johnson.

At the other end, Hojlund showed he is a striker brimming with confidence as he turned onto his weaker right foot and slammed a low shot past Alphonse Areola with his first sight of goal on 23 minutes.

If United's quality was on display for the opener, they had fortune on their side for the second as Garnacho's effort was headed down the throat of substitute goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski until it took a wicked deflection off Nayef Aguerd.

Diogo Dalot made a brilliant recovery challenge to block Jarrod Bowen's shot with West Ham's biggest chance of the match.

But Martinez's injury took the shine off a fine result for United when his knee appeared to buckle under the weight of Vladimir Coufal as the pair battled for possession on the by-line.

Kalvin Phillips had been left out by Moyes after gifting Bournemouth an early opener in West Ham's 1-1 draw on Thursday on his debut.

The Manchester City loanee had another moment to forget for United's third goal as he was robbed in possession by Scott McTominay and the Scot teed up Garnacho to fire home his seventh goal of the season.

AFP photo