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Manchester United scrape West Ham win after Rooney red

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Manchester United were 2-0 up and cruising against West Ham, but Wayne Rooney was then sent off for a daft foul, and a nervy finale followed.

Laurence Griffiths

That wasn't very good for the nerves, but it is for our position in the table. Manchester United are above Liverpool! The glory days are back, friends.

Paddy McNair was selected to play alongside Marcos Rojo in defence, and surprisingly, we probably put in our least inept defensive performance of the season in a nervy game that became weirdly foul-tempered late on.

Wayne Rooney got the ball rolling after good work from Rafael led to him clipping an excellent first-time finish beyond Adrian, and save for Enner Valencia spurning a chance immediately afterwards, United were looking comfortable. It wasn't too long before Van Persie had doubled the lead, and despite the Leicester disaster, most people were feeling pretty confident about the whole thing.

Yet then, in the second half, Rooney booted Stewart Downing up the arse. Why, it's hard to say. Perhaps he was equally distraught at being in the team ahead of Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj and thought he should sit out three games.

Either way, there was plenty of drama to follow. Diafra Sakho equalised, then should have been sent off twice and wasn't. Kevin Nolan came mighty close, Paddy McNair saved an otherwise fairly nervy performance with an excellent headed clearance, Luke Shaw was solid enough, and Marcos Rojo put in a good display.

In the end, United were able to hang on. Not a great performance, but there's one obvious reason for that. Now, let's see how we get on with him out of the team.