MANCHESTER: Marcus RashfordManchester United’s 100th goal sealed a 1-0 victory against West Ham as the England striker pushed for a World Cup spot on Sunday.
Rashford has been one of United’s most improved players this season after several years in the doldrums.
But the 24-year-old is still not guaranteed a place on England’s flight to Qatar for the World Cup in November.
Rashford, who was left out of England’s last Nations League squad, took the opportunity to remind Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate of his qualities with a fine display capped by the first-half winner at Old Trafford.
As Southgate watched from the stands, Rashford’s seventh goal in all competitions this season was perfectly timed before the England manager named his squad for the World Cup.
After scoring against Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday, Rashford said Erik ten Hag was a “joy” to play as he hailed the United manager’s role in their revival.
Thanks to Rashford, the 22nd player to score a century of goals for United, and a series of superb saves from David De Gea, Ten Hag’s side are fifth in the table. premier league.
Unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions, United are a point behind fourth-placed Newcastle in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
West Ham manager David Moyes is yet to win against United in the Premier League, losing 12 of his 16 visits to his former club.
United have had to ride their luck at times, their defense cracking as the much-maligned Harry Maguire made his first league start since August 13 in place of injured Raphael Varane.
Rashford carried the main threat for United and he sliced ​​through the West Ham defense for a powerful drive that hit Craig Dawson and looped just over the bar.
Rashford went close again with a header from Diogo Dalot’s cross that forced West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski into action.
Cristiano Ronaldo was making his first league start since the goalless draw with Newcastle on October 16, having secured a return to the team following his brief exile after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
A wasted pass from Ronaldo ended a promising attack and sparked groans of frustration from United fans, whose angst grew when Anthony Elanga volleyed in from a good position.
But Rashford calmed United’s anxiety in the 38th minute with a perfectly timed run to the far post, where he leapt over Thilo Kehrer to meet Christian Eriksen’s superb cross with a six-yard header.
Rashford stayed bright red in the second half, jumping past his marker for a curler who narrowly whistled from the edge of the area.
Ronaldo was left shaking his head in disbelief after squandering two good chances in quick succession as he headed in and then fired wide.
If those misses were indicative of Ronaldo’s decline, the 37-year-old kept trying and his deflected shot nearly slipped past Fabianski.
Said Benrahma was West Ham’s dangerman and his long-range effort was held well by De Gea as the visitors enjoyed a period of sustained pressure.
In a tense finish, it was De Gea who finished as United’s savior as the Spaniard denied Michail Antonio a good save and then made an even better save to deny Kurt Zouma’s header.
Dea Gea saved his best for last when he dove deep left to make a brilliant save on Declan Rice’s shot.

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