Paul Pogba strikes twice from penalty spot to haul Manchester United over line against gritty West Ham

A Paul Pogba brace helped Manchester United overcome an average performance to defeat West Ham 2-1.

Paul Pogba gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men the first-half lead when he converted a penalty.

Felipe Anderson tapped home shortly after the interval, but Pogba’s second penalty late on ensured the hosts stole the spoils.

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And the result ensured United picked up their second win in their last six games in all competitions.

Anderson thought he had volleyed West Ham in front early on after Hernandez’s header picked out the Brazilian, only to be denied by the flag.

It proved controversial after replays showed Diogo Dalot was playing the Brazilian onside when he latched onto former United striker Javier Hernandez’s header.

But it was the hosts who took the lead when Robert Snodgrass made a reckless tackle on Juan Mata inside the box.

Pogba duly converted, drilling the penalty beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

The visitors upped their game in response and were perhaps unfortunate not to level when Anderson’s near post flick left Manuel Lanzini with an open goal, but the Argentine could not make contact.

AS IT HAPPENED: Manchester United edge West Ham thanks to Paul Pogba

Jesse Lingard might have won the hosts a second spot-kick a few minutes before the interval after going down under Angelo Ogbonna’s challenge, but was denied by referee Graham Scott.

But West Ham levelled shortly after the break with Anderson, who tapped home from close range after a cross from former United favourite Chicharito.

England forward Marcus Rashford almost made an immediate impact from the bench, latching onto Chris Smalling’s through ball and firing at goal from an acute angle, with Fabianski getting down well to parry away.

He then spurned a gilt-edged opportunity when he headed over the bar from just a few yards out after West Ham had failed to sufficiently clear their lines from a ball into the box.

But David de Gea had to be in imperious form to deny Michail Antonio’s ferocious header after the Hammers forward hit the crossbar moments earlier.

Ruthless as ever, Anthony Martial immediately made the visitors pay for the missed chances when the Frenchman was brought down by defender Fabian Balbuena in the box.

Pogba did the business once again from the spot and ensured Manuel Pellegrini’s men were left ruing their fortune as United moved back above Arsenal into fifth place.

Additional from PA.

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