Van Persie sinks Hammers in 32 seconds to keep United top

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 vs WEST HAM UNITED 0

STRIKER Robin Van Persie scored the fastest goal in the Premier League this season to beat West Ham and maintain Manchester United’s one-point lead at the top of the table.

Van Persie struck after just 32 seconds, his effort fortunately looping in off James Collins, for the Dutchman’s 12th goal in all competitions this campaign.

However the league leaders struggled for width and pace without any orthodox wingers, playing well below their best.

West Ham were robust but rarely threatened to level except when Andy Carroll lashed a volley over from close range.

Javier Hernandez scuffed a decent opening for the hosts and Jussi Jaaskelainen managed to tip wide his effort from 18 yards.

Carlton Cole came off the bench late on and went agonisingly close to stealing a point for the Hammers but Anders Lindegaard denied the striker from five yards as the hosts held on to stay top.