Date: 28th November 2005 at 1:40pm
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The victory was a third Premiership win in succession for United, and moved them up to second place in the table. Can the Blues be caught? One bookie obviously thinks not because he has already paid out returns on all bets … but I’m sure United fans think different.

Ferguson: ‘In general it was a really good team performance.

‘We had a terrible start to the match, but we kept making chances and I said to them at half-time that the next goal would be the winner, and fortunately it came for us.’

West Ham manager Alan Pardew felt the match had been a ‘fitting’ tribute to Best.

Pardue: ‘Manchester United were at full tilt, and it was difficult for us – but that is not to say we are a long way from them. They are back in the hunt for the title, but we have shown enough this season to show we are capable members of the Premier League.

‘Perhaps it was fitting he [Rooney] put in that kind of performance on the [day of the] tribute to George Best. Maybe he deserved to wear the number seven shirt – he was that good.’