It took a last-gasp winner from Marcus Rashford to make it happen, but Manchester United edged out West Ham 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon to climb to fourth place in the Premier League table.
As has been the norm of late, Ralf Rangnick’s men struggled to stamp their authority on the game and West Ham can consider themselves unlucky not to have taken at least a point back to east London.
Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek both failed to covert big chances for the Hammers, before a trio of United substitutes – Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and ultimately Rashford – combined to break the deadlock well into stoppage time.
There were several tense moments around the stadium in the immediate aftermath as VAR looked into whether Cavani was offside when he received a lay-off from Martial in the build-up to the goal.
To the delight of the home faithful, the strike was eventually given – allowing United to back-to-back wins for the first time under interim boss Rangnick.
One of the major reasons that the Red Devils had such a tough afternoon was the tireless work of West Ham captain Declan Rice in the middle of the park, driving his side forward at every opportunity.
Such is the quality of the dynamic England international that he is frequently linked with a move away from the London Stadium. Among the many top clubs that have been rumoured to be interested in the 23-year-old’s signature are United themselves.
An understandably disappointed Rice was asked during his post-match interview how much he enjoyed playing at Old Trafford – and United fans certainly liked the sound of his response.
“Yeah, I was loving it,” admitted Rice.
Stadiums quiz: Can you name these old British football grounds that are no longer in use?
“I think every time I come to Old Trafford, I’ve always said it’s one of my favourite places to play.
‘It’s an amazing stadium and you’re playing against top opposition. The history of this stadium, you always want to do well and you always want to play well when you come here.”
Watch: Declan Rice admits he ‘loves’ playing at Old Trafford
Supporters on Twitter would welcome Rice to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ with open arms judging by the response to his comments. You can check out a selection of those replies below.
Even if Rice does fancy a switch to Old Trafford, though, West Ham aren’t likely to let their prized asset go without a fight.
United would almost certainly need to come up with a fee that would rival the £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish last summer to have any chance of landing Rice.
That said, there’s no denying that the comments from the man himself are extremely intriguing.
Rashford sends Man Utd 4th! Manchester United 1-0 West Ham (Reaction via The Football Terrace)