Rooney hammers United into FA Cup fourth round

LONDON (AFP) - Wayne Rooney marked his first Manchester United appearance since Dec 23 with the only goal of the game as they beat West Ham 1-0 in a FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Victory saw Premier League leaders United, the record 11-times FA Cup winners, into a fourth round tie at home to fellow top flight side Fulham.

Rooney opened the scoring in the ninth minute after the recalled Anderson produced a superb, defence-splitting pass and Javier Hernandez bore down on goal before unselfishly squaring the ball to the England striker, who was never going to miss from a few yards out.

The forward could have put the result in this all-Premier League clash beyond doubt in the second half but Rooney blasted over the top from the penalty spot after Jordan Spence handled a cross from Ryan Giggs.

Earlier, Arsenal left it late before seeing off Swansea 1-0 in a third round replay with England midfielder Jack Wilshere scoring four minutes before full-time with a powerful shot.

The Gunners, bidding for a first major trophy in eight years, will now be away to second-tier Brighton, the 1983 FA Cup finalists, in the fourth round.