Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw the funny side of his side’s laboured attempts to defeat a stubborn West Ham outfit at Old Trafford.
Man Utd picked up a vital victory over West Ham that stretched the gap to fifth place to nine points.
The contest failed to live up to expectation for two sides battling it out for Champions League qualification.
Man Utd had the better of the game’s limited chances, however, with Mason Greenwood twice striking the woodwork.
Craig Dawson’s own goal ultimately proved decisive as the Red Devils jumped back ahead of Leicester after their 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield Utd earlier in the day.
FULL MATCH REPORT: Fortune favours Man Utd as own goal settles cagey West Ham contest
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Solskjaer said: “As expected, they are always going to make it hard for you. We could have been more comfortable towards the end as we had a few decent chances to finish it off. We like to make it hard for ourselves!”
Man Utd appeared well off the pace in the early stages, and the Norwegian revealed what basic fundamental led to their improved display from then on.
“It’s about not giving them turnovers all the time,” he added. “In the first 15 minutes we gave the ball away every time we attacked. It was a good set-play and we scored. You have to not open up stupidly as you know they are a threat on the counter-attack so we kept composed and organised.
“We created massive opportunities but the final pass or shot wasn’t good enough. Could have been two or three easily. But then it could have ended up in our net at the end as they are a threat.
“We know West Ham are challenging to get in the top four so it was a big result and we kept a clean sheet again. The experience and confidence will come. Big week – Europa League and FA Cup – so we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully get a few players back and put a good performance in.”
McTominay insists no shame in Man Utd struggle
Man Utd midfielder Scott McTominay also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “Really important to win a third tough game in a week.
“They set up well and they have good players. The message at half time was to keep playing at the tempo we can play at. It’s about not getting frustrated.
“When you play teams that sit in you have to play at the tempo you can play at. We tried our best to keep pushing.”
Regarding Man Utd’s goal that McTominay appeared to get a near-post flick to, the Scot replied: “It wasn’t my goal, I know that. Sometimes you get a fortunate one like that.”
On the race for the top-four, he concluded: “We’ve had too many [late goals conceded] this season.
“There’s no shame in a tough game against West Ham. It’s sometimes the way to win, you can’t always win four or five nil. A third game in a week is one you just have to win. Manchester City have had a terrific run and we’re doing our best to try and keep on them.”