Marcus Rashford’s 100th Manchester United goal was enough to beat West Ham and provide a fitting tribute to a special 85th anniversary for the Old Trafford club.
Across 4,163 consecutive games since 1937, United have had an unbroken run of having a player who came through their youth development programme either in their starting line-up or on the bench.
Rashford is the cream of the current crop and it was the England player who scored the winner against a determined West Ham side at Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old powered home a firm header seven minutes from the break after Christian Eriksen had curled over a superb far-post cross, making Rashford the 22nd United player to reach 100 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is also on that list but having been given a starting spot because of Antony’s injury, the Portuguese failed to capitalise, wasting one excellent second-half opportunity after he had been sent running into the penalty area by Rashford.
In a thrilling finish, David de Gea made fantastic saves to deny Michail Antonio and Kurt Zouma, before, with almost the final move of the game, the goalkeeper surplus to Spanish requirements turned away a thunderous Declan Rice effort.
The result was enough for United to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches and go fifth in the table, while West Ham’s inconsistency outside European competition leaves them 13th, just three points above the relegation zone.