United assumed control of the match early on when Cristiano Ronaldo struck them into an early lead (14). Ronaldo scored again (30) to hand the Red Devils a two-goal advantage at half-time.
The second half quietened down significantly but the home side were always comfortable and held on for a 2-0 victory to condemn the Hammers to a fourth consecutive league defeat.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had made five changes to his starting eleven ahead of the game. Frustrated forward Carlos Tevez was handed a rare start in place Wayne Rooney in attack. Ryan Giggs, Wes Brown and Park-Ji Sung also dropped out of the United team, with starlets Rafael da Silva, Anderson and Nani coming into the team.
In another change, goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar was rested, meaning current number two Tomasz Kuszczak received the opportunity to make an appearance. The Red Devils lined-up in a 4-4-2 formation as they looked to recover after two dropped points against Everton on Saturday.
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola lined his side up in a defensively minded 4-5-1 formation, with Craig Bellamy the lone striker. Matthew Etherington and Valon Behrami came into the side, although Behrami lasted only 40 minutes before having to be taken off on a stretcher and Etherington was substituted early in the second half.
Dimitar Berbatov almost gave United a second minute lead, only to be denied by a last-ditch block by Hammers defender Matthew Upson. Nani then hit a shot at pace which fell just wide of the post as the home side came flying out of the traps.
The opening goal was simple enough as United’s Portuguese internationals combined. Nani found space out wide and crossed for Ronaldo at the far post, who provided an assured left-footed finish which comfortably beat Green.
United began to threaten to run riot and Nani again came close before Anderson somehow failed to score with the goal gaping. The second goal did come on the half hour mark, however.
Anderson fed Berbatov, who beat Hammers defender James Collins all ends up with a tremendous piece of skill before feeding Ronaldo, who easily slotted the ball into the back of the net, the winger beginning to show signs of his 42-goal form of last season.
The second half was a much quieter affair, with West Ham’s best efforts coming from a long-range Bellamy free-kick that almost managed to catch Kuszczak off guard and Boa Morte’s shot straight into the arms of the Pole.
United briefly threatened a third goal when Rooney came off the bench for twenty minutes towards the end. The England striker came so close to chipping Green before he had a powerful shot charged down by the visitors’ defenders.
Ferguson will be pleased after a strong recovery from his side following what has been an inconsistent start to the new season, while the Hammers drop into the bottom half after their fourth loss in a row.