David De Gea hopes Manchester United’s “unbelievable” stoppage-time winner against top-four rivals West Ham will be the moment that kickstarts their campaign.
Long since out of the Premier League title race, the FA Cup and Champions League remain the Red Devils’ only route to silverware having been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Saturday’s opponents.
That win in September was West Ham’s first at Old Trafford since 2007 and David Moyes was unable to mastermind another memorable triumph at his former club on Saturday afternoon.
Ralf Rangnick’s side looked comfortable for the most part but it took a last-gasp strike from substitute Marcus Rashford to seal a 1-0 win and spark wild celebrations.
“It was a very good (late winner), especially because we play against a good team, a team that we were very close to in the table,” long-serving goalkeeper De Gea said.
“It was a massive goal, a massive win for us.
“The fans, they have been amazing the whole game. We keep trying, we control the game, I think, from the beginning.
“But we believe, we trust in ourselves, we fight until the end and we scored a beautiful goal.
“(The fans) keep pushing the team, they keep shouting and that gives us a bit more energy at the end of the game because when people were tired.
“But what can I say? It was an amazing feeling to celebrate the goal and the fans shouting. It was unbelievable.”
💯 @MarcusRashford’s mentality >
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 22, 2022
Rashford’s late strike – his second goal in as many games – saw Rangnick secure consecutive victories for the first time since succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the hot seat.
United usurped West Ham in fourth as a result of Saturday’s win and De Gea hopes it will prove a significant result in their season.
“I hope so, I hope so,” he told MUTV. “Hopefully this game gives us more confidence, more trust in ourselves. And from today, let’s see if we can win more games in a row and to be more controlling games and keeping more clean sheets.
“I think to keep a clean sheet was massive for us. We didn’t concede many chances today. We controlled the game very well but then they defend very well as well, so it was not easy to create chances.
“But we push, we push until the end and we score, like I said, an amazing goal.”
De Gea is looking forward to their break before they return to action in the FA Cup against Middlesbrough on February 4.
🗣 The boss shared his thoughts with us following today's defeat at Old Trafford…
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 22, 2022
The January transfer window will have closed by that point and West Ham will hope to have reinforced by the time they return, given Michail Antonio is their only striker as they fight on domestic and European fronts.
“I think in a perfect world that’s what we would try and do,” Hammers boss Moyes said. “We would try and get that.
“We have been trying probably for two years to add a striker to the group but we have not been able to.
“We have had quite a few offers for players at different times, which have not been accepted or we couldn’t get or too expensive.
“So, it is not for the want of trying and not like we are not seeing the same things that yourself and other people are seeing.
“It’s trying to get in players who we think can help us and make a difference. But we’ll continue trying. We’ve got a week or so to go, so we’ll keep looking.”