Hojlund and Garnacho hint at bright future for Man United with goals in 3-0 win over West Ham

AP , Sunday 4 Feb 2024

Alejandro Garnacho scored Manchester United’s second goal, perched on an advertising hoarding and beckoned Rasmus Hojlund and Kobbie Mainoo to come and sit alongside him.

Manchester United s Alejandro Garnacho, centre, celebrates with Rasmus Hojlund, left, and Kobbie Mainoo after scoring their side s second goal of the game during the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Sunday Feb. 4, 2024. Photo: AP


It was quite the sight to hearten the home fans at Old Trafford: the 21-year-old Hojlund, the 19-year-old Garnacho and Mainoo, 18, sitting in a line and smiling.

The future might be bright for United after all.

Hojlund marked his 21st birthday by scoring for the fourth straight league game and Garnacho got two goals as United beat West Ham 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday for a second victory in three days.

United jumped above West Ham into sixth place in the standings but there's still a six-point gap to Tottenham in fifth, which could yet be enough for a Champions League qualification berth for next season.

United has to believe it can get there.

Especially with Hojlund finally hitting such strong scoring form.

The Denmark striker failed to find the net in his first 14 games in the Premier League after joining from Atalanta in the summer transfer window. Now he cannot stop scoring, his latest coming in the 23rd minute when he collected the ball after Casemiro's well-timed interception in midfield, created some space for himself on the edge of the area and rifled home a right-foot shot into the bottom corner.

Argentina international Garnacho doubled the lead in the 49th with a shot that deflected off Nayef Aguerd and wrong-footed replacement goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who came on for Alphonse Areola after he sustained a knock to the head. The winger's celebration alongside Hojlund and Mainoo, the teenage central midfielder who scored a late winner at Wolverhampton on Thursday, showed three players United might be relying on for years to come.

Garnacho wrapped up the victory by scoring on the counterattack in the 84th after substitute Scott McTominay dispossessed Kalvin Phillips, a loan signing from Manchester City who also came off the bench and didn't look up to speed after little game time this season.

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