Dimitar Berbatov produced a moment of magic and a smiling Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace as United beat West Ham 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo scored his and United’s first after 15 minutes when he converted an inch perfect cross from fellow Portuguese international Luis Nani. He then added a second from 2 yards after a mesmerizing piece of skill by Berbatov on the goal line allowing him to cross for Ronaldo to slide into an empty net.
United were dominant from the first whistle with Berbatov having the first opening of the game in the second minute, but he could only blast over from a Nani pull-back. Three minutes later Nani sent a powerful shot flashing just wide of Robert Green’s far post.
United were continuing to cause problems down the left hand side and it wasn’t long before they were rewarded. Ronaldo found the net after 14 minutes when he was picked out by a pin-point cross from Nani. The world player of the year even managed a smile to the delight the United fans.
United looked hungry and continued to press down the left hand side. Two minutes later Nani dummied past Behrami but again his shot went inches wide of the far post. On the half hour mark Berbatov produced an amazing piece of skill with an exquisite flick and cross for Ronaldo to slide in from 2 yards.
West Ham brought on Luis Boa Morte for Behrami just before half time. A minute later Tevez got in between the West Ham defence only to header straight at Green. West Ham made their second change before the start of the second half when Etherington was replaced by Welsh teenager Jack Collison.
United’s dominance continued into the second half with Ronaldo shooting straight at Green from distance seven minutes after the restart. He then producing a cheeky flick past a West Ham defender to cross for Tevez. Tevez matched Ronaldo’s skill with a fantastic turn in the box only for his shot to be blocked and go out for a corner.
West Ham managed a rare attempt on goal on the hour mark when Bellamy sent a free kick over Kuszczak’s crossbar from outside the area. They then had a penalty claim waved away two minutes later as Collison was brought down in the area. He was booked for fouling Patrice Evra to add to the annoyance of the travelling fans.
After 67 minutes West Ham replaced Lee Bowyer with teenager Freddie Sears as United made a double change. Darren Fletcher came off for Michael Carrick whilst Nani was replaced by Wayne Rooney who didn’t waste any time getting into the game. His delicate chip was tipped over by Green two minutes later.
West Ham then fashioned their best chance of the game when Boa Morte had a shot saved by Kuszczak in the United area. Rooney then tried his luck from outside the area only to be denied once more by Green with 15 minutes to go. United then made their last change with veteran Gary Neville replacing youngster Rafael for the final ten minutes.
Ronaldo was denied his hat-trick in the last two minutes when Evra cut a cross back but he could only shoot straight at Green. In the end it was a comfortable win for United as they moved up to sixth in the table.