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United Edge Past Hammers

Manchester United will face Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup after edging West Ham 1-0 on Wednesday night.

Returning hitman Wayne Rooney missed a late penalty but his ninth minute strike proved decisive at Old Trafford.

In a gritty tie, Rooney, who was previously sidelined with a knee injury, turned home strike partner Javier Hernandez's square ball early on for his ninth goal of the season.

United piled on the pressure, as Nani had a volley brilliantly cleared off the line by Daniel Potts, while Alexander Buttner's low cross struck a post.

Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen also did well to foil a header by Chris Smalling, and thwart a low shot from Rooney before the break.  

The visitors improved after the interval, with the Red Devils lucky to survive a hand-ball appeal against Rafael.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men, though, had a great chance to make the game safe when Jordan Spence handled a cross by the impressive Ryan Giggs in the 78th minute.

Rooney, however, ballooned his spot-kick over the cross bar, although it would not prove costly as West Ham were unable to exploit the reprieve.


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