Sunday 8 February 2015

Match report: West Ham 1-1 United

Daley Blind's equaliser deep into stoppage time earned United a deserved point at West Ham after Cheikhou Kouyate's superb volley had put the Hammers ahead.

A win would have taken us to within three points of stuttering City but in the end a point each was a fair result as United stay fourth, one point behind third placed Southampton.

Kouyate juggled the ball twice, swivelled, and volleyed in after Mark Noble's free-kick deflected into his path.

United had looked to be heading for defeat only for Blind to lash home a volley from 16 yards from an Angel Di Maria cross.

The visitors finished with 10 men, left-back Luke Shaw having been sent off for a second bookable offence.

West Ham were fast out of the traps and United were indebted to man of the match David De Gea who twice kept out Enner Valencia- one a 25-yard drive and the other an acrobatic flick from close range- before the Spaniard denied James Tomkins with an outstretched boot.

Robin van Persie went close after a mistake from Tomkins but United struggled to carve out chances with the creative talents of Juan Mata and Ander Herrera on the bench.

West Ham got the breakthrough their play deserved four minutes after half-time, Kouyate showing great skill to volley in the loose ball from a Noble free-kick.

Noble was denied a potentially match-sealing second by another smart save from De Gea, but United came on strong as the clock ticked down.

Radamel Falcao looked certain to equalise 13 minutes from time after combining with Robin van Persie, but the Colombian striker stabbed wide under pressure from Tomkins.

Van Persie was then denied by Adrian's right leg before the hosts' keeper scrambled across his line to keep out substitute Marouane Fellaini in a frantic finish.

That seemed to be the last chance for United- but Blind had other ideas as he volleyed in from 18 yards following good work down the right from Di Maria.
United sensed a winner but a dramatic finish had another late twist as Shaw was, somewhat harshly, dismissed for his second yellow card.

A point apiece was ultimately a fair result and it will be Louis van Gaal's side that will be the happier with a draw that has to be seen as a point gained following the late drama.

United Faithful man of the match: David de Gea
Overall Team Performance: 7/10 

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