WEST HAM 2, MANCHESTER UNITED 2
The Hammers put United’s title celebrations on hold for a further week after they forced the Reds to secure a battling and controversial point from behind at Upton Park, ending a run of eight straight defeats against United.
Robin van Persie’s late equaliser seemed to be offside but was given after West Ham gave them a real scare at Upton Park.
West Ham were on the cusp of Barclays Premier League safety going into this match and were certainly keen to keep United at bay but an early chance for Andy Carroll only served to cause their visitors to step up a gear.
James Collins had to time an early tackle just right to deprive Robin van Persie of a scoring opportunity after Rio Ferdinand had put the Dutchman through but the Hammers struck the first blow after the England defender was outstripped for pace by Matt Jarvis
West Ham bombarded the United area until they got some joy with Matt Jarvis rounding Rio Ferdinand to find Andy Carroll in the box. The big striker’s knockdown teed up Ricardo Vaz Te for an easy header from four yards – his first goal since October in the 18th minute.
Antonio Valencia levelled the scores after 31 minutes with a tap in of his own after Shinji Kagawa skipped through the Hammers defence and threaded a pass to the United winger.
West Ham were not about to lie down, though, and their physical approach saw them testing David De Gea in the United goal several more times before he was flattened by Carroll early in the second half.
The Hammers were on course for an upset after Guy Demel’s lay-off found Mohamed Diame in an advanced position in the 55th minute. The Senegal midfielder came inside and curled a sweet goal in off the far post and beyond De Gea.
Going behind lit the blue touch paper for United as Ferguson urged his men forward and they laid siege to the Hammers’ goal.
Phil Jones scuffed his shot when presented with a chance by van Persie while the Dutchman produced a fine save from 37-year old Jussi Jaskelainen.
A shot by Rooney was spilled by Jaaskelainen but Gary O’Neil saved his blushes with a goal line clearance as United pushed for an equaliser.
Van Persie also forced the Finn into a save from close range as United dominated possession and finally ground the home side into submission. The Dutchman finally got his reward in the 77th minute after Kagawa’s shot took a deflection and came off the post. Van Persie reacted first and poached the equaliser despite a hint of offside about their second equaliser.
Substitute Javier Hernandez could have sealed an unlikely victory with under 10 minutes to go but his flicked header was saved by Jaaskelainen.