Writer: Red Boy
Date:Saturday April 2 2011
United pulled back a two goal half time deficit to take all three points off West Ham and keep their title charge firmly on track.
Sir Alex, for the trip to Upton Park, was able to recall Vidic and Park, however Van der Sar was omitted for the trip with Kuszczak taking the keeper`s role. Up front Rooney was asked to plough a lone furrow with Berbatov, Owen and Hernandez all named on the bench.
United - Kuszczak, Fabio, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Gibson, Carrick, Park, Giggs, Rooney
Subs - Amos, Owen, Anderson, Berbatov, Hernandez, Nani, Gill
West Ham got the match underway but it was United who looked to have settled the better. Park forced an early corner that Giggs hit deep where Smalling saw his header tipped over the bar by Green. The second corner saw the same player, Smalling head wide.
Our hosts responded with a free kick from Hitzlsperger that Kuszczak comfortably claimed before West Ham dealt well with another corner, this time earned by Evra.
With eleven minutes completed West Ham were awarded a penalty when a long ball out if defence saw Cole through on goal. The centre forward tried to loft the ball over Evra but his arm clearly stopped the ball and Lee Mason had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Mark Noble stepped forward and sent Kuszczak the wrong way to put the home side 1-0 up.
West Ham 1 United 0 (Noble pen - 11 minutes)
United tried to respond through Valencia with the winger providing several dangerous balls into the box but West Ham, and in particular Da Costa stood firm. Kuszczak saved a low shot from Ba before United conceded a second penalty.
This time with Ba and Cle interchanging balls, Cole got Vidic square on and the forward tumbled over just inside the area. Once again Lee Mason had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
This time, Noble stepped up and hit a hard shot into the opposite side to put West Ham 2-0 up leaving United with a mountain to climb.
West Ham 1 United 0 (Noble pen - 24 minutes)
Valencia tried his best to get United back into it but the gods appeared ot be on West Ham`s side especially when Green produced a fantastic save to deny Park.
Hitzlsperger then saw a volley fly wide as West Ham launched a counter-attack. United won an eleventh corner of the half but once again the final product was lacking with Valencia firing over.
As half time approached Vidic was shown a yellow card after hauling back Ba with the home support screaming for a red card to be shown. Were our fortunes starting to change?
Half Time - West Ham 2 United 0
Sir Alex Ferguson changed things around at half time with Hernandez coming on for Evra and his side started the half as they`d started the first half, on top. Giggs, early on, put a ball into the danger area and Hernandez saw his stabbed shot go just over.
Parker volleyed high and wide from some distance before blocking a Rooney shot down the other end. With sixty-four minutes gone, Sir Alex introduced Berbatov just as Rooney prepared to take a free kick after Carrick had been fouled by Noble.
Rooney stepped up to curl a delightful free kick around the wall and beating Green all ends up.
West Ham 2 United 1 (Rooney - 65 minutes)
United were now back in it and pushing West Ham back. Gibson fired an effort over the bar before Berbatov saw Green deny him at the near post. With seventy-three minutes played United were level. Rooney controlled the ball just outside the box and a piece of skill saw him create enough space to flash a shot across Green and into the far corner for his 100th Premier League goal.
West Ham 2 United 2 (Rooney - 73 minutes)
There only looked to be one winner now as United continued to push forward with West Ham looking tired and in the seventy-eighth minute United were ahead. Lee Mason, possibly harshly, awarded a penalty against Upson when he couldn`t really get his hand out of the way of a Fabio flick. Rooney stepped forward to send Green the wrong way from the spot.
West Ham 2 United 3 (Rooney pen - 78 minutes)
The three points were clearly ours now and when West Ham threw on two forwards to try and force an equaliser Giggs skipped away and Hernandez turned in a low cross to give us all three points.
West Ham 2 United 4 (Hernandez - 84 minutes)
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Date:Saturday April 2 2011
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