Sir Alex Ferguson deployed his side in a midfield diamond shape and they looked lively for the opening 15 minutes. There was some crisp and short passing, good movement from the midfielders and attackers, and the full-backs -- Rafael in particular -- were doing well to get forward in order to provide width. It was pleasant to watch early but Manchester United were never really threatening much inside the Hammer's box. The away side did well to keep their shape compact and narrow just outside the edge of the box and United never really created the 2 v 1 overloads just wide of the box that they usually create in their 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 shape.
Sam Allardyce's side eventually grew into the match and they were very energetic -- particularly Mohamed Diame in central-midfield. They did well at times to create transitions down the flanks and if it wasn't for good defending from the United back four, the opposition could have been more threatening. The Red Devils did well to deal with Andy Carroll as the big target man was mostly a non-factor. West Ham did beat United to a number of second balls though and that created some nervy moments for the home side. All in all though, not much occurred in this match.
As for individuals, United may have deserved a second goal but Jaaskilainen was excellent in goal. Anders Lindegaard had little to do but he did come up with a tremendous and important save late in the match. Anderson was arguably the best player on the pitch as he provided vitality, forward drive, and some lovely long balls out wide to the flanks for the full-backs or RvP to receive. He also got stuck in for three tackles while intercepting two passes as well. As mentioned, the back four played well and it might have been Rafael that stood out most amongst them. Wayne Rooney was energetic and had a few good moments, however, he was mostly disappointing and he sputtered a number of build-ups and scoring chances. All in all, it's three points for United and they still top the table with a one point advantage after Manchester City's own 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic. Next up for Sir Alex's side is a visit to Reading at the weekend and then the following weekend is the Manchester derby at the Etihad.