A breath taking game at Upton Park ended even with Robin Van Persie claiming an equaliser with a little over ten minutes of the game left. West Ham had twice taken the lead thanks to some awful defending, however credit must go to Andy Caroll, who was dominant in the air, despite taking out David de Gea in a challenge that was born in 2003. Full credit to our lad for carrying on. Im not sure he would 18 months ago....
The first ten minutes was all West Ham and they capitalized. It was Carroll pulling onto the far post, musciling out Patrice Evra and nodding it into the path of Ricardo Vaz Te to head home. A really well made goal.
West Ham typified the "Big Sam" approach, but still played some decent stuff. United struggled to get get control of the game, and perhaps the pairing of Phil Jones and Micheal Carrick in the engine room helped magnify this. They really didn't gel tonight and West Ham's pressing caused us no end of problems.
Shinji Kagawa then produced a moment of magic. He sold a dummy and even the most canny of investers would have brought. That brought him a little more time as he ran toward the box. He drilled it across and Antonio Valencia tapped in for a rare goal. All credit to the man from Japan though, who was our best player tonight.
A West Ham corner meant drama, as Andy Caroll flirted with Wayne Rooney, which brought a word from the dis-approved ref. Caroll then went and "competed" for the ball which was aimed at DdG who pucnhed clear.
Twenty two seconds later, the Geordie clattered into the Spaniard and at that point I thought his night was done. But up he bounced. Fair play to the lad, and he certainly will be much stronger for tonight.
WIthin ten minutes of the break West Ham had a second. Mohammed Diame bent it round two or three players and past an unsighted DdG. A really clever finish and we once again had to up it.
And we certainly did. Rooney was taken off for Giggs with Kagawa moving into the middle. And within a minute or two he again had played a significent role in pulling us level, all thought credit must go to the lino too. He wriggled and writhed and found a yard of space, shot with his left foot only to see his shot bounce off the far post. The ball trickled agonisingly and hit the other post into the waiting RVP who added the particulars. Who cares if he was half a yard offside.
Chica came on and went close with a header from a Carrick cross, but Jussi got behind it well and it finished 2-2. A fantastic game to watch. I am sure one or two players will have a nice shiner or two!
With City beating Wigan, we believe the magic number we need is now six!
We move on to next Sunday night where we host Aston Villa, but Spurs host City on Sunday afternoon.