Controversial decisions help Manchester United extend win streak vs. West Ham
LONDON (AP) — Manchester United benefited from a controversial red card and an equally debatable goal to beat 10-man West Ham 2-0 in the English Premier League on Monday, earning a sixth successive victory.
Substitute Juan Mata gave United the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured victory from what clearly appeared to be an offside position, after referee Mike Dean had controversially dismissed Sofiane Feghouli in the opening stages.
Despite its man-advantage, United struggle to break down the home side for long spells and required a number of strong saves from goalkeeper David de Gea to keep West Ham out.
Feghouli, making his first Premier League start for West Ham, was sent off after just 15 minutes for a lunging challenge on Phil Jones, which replays showed to have been a harsh decision.
Manuel Lanzini brought two strong saves from the United keeper before the break, while Michail Antonio was denied by the Spaniard when through one-on-one on the hour mark.
But West Ham was made to pay just three minutes later with Mourinho's alterations proving crucial as Marcus Rashford beat two defenders before setting up fellow substitute, Mata, to finish from close range.
United wrapped up the victory when Ibrahimovic reacted first as the ball bounced off Ander Herrera to fire low and hard past Randolph from just inside the box, with replays showing the striker had been marginally offside.
United had failed to make inroads until the 35th, when West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph produced one of the saves of the season, before Jesse Lingard produced an equally spectacular miss.
Antonio Valencia was set up at the back post after good work from Ibrahmovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but was foiled by the sprawling Randolph, who prevented the ball from crossing his line by the narrowest of margins.
The rebound fell to Lingard with the goal at his mercy, but he could only direct his effort onto the post from two yards out, with West Ham somehow escaping as the ball bounced into Randolph's hands.
United remains sixth in the table, but has now moved within five points of second-place Liverpool, which was held to a 2-2 draw at Sunderland earlier on Monday.