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Post Match Reaction: West Ham United 2 - 2 Manchester United

Robin Van Persie once again rescued Manchester United with a touch of genius tonight at Upton Park in an absorbing cup tie

Jamie McDonald

That last goal was magic. So fitting it happened in the third round of the FA Cup.

Robin Van Persie had hardly had a look in since he had come off the bench after United had gone behind in the second half. But the man is so clinical. He turned a great ball from fellow sub Ryan Giggs into a sensational one with his stunning first touch and cooly slotted home to earn Manchester United a replay at Old Trafford. Joe Cole had enjoyed a wonderful second debut for the London side. Two brilliant crosses placed on the hairless head of Danny Collins ensured that the central defender had got the most unlikely of braces. Tom Cleverley's early goal had put United ahead with a curling finish.

The first twenty was relatively even, with perhaps United showing a little more quality. Javier Hernandez was caught offside meaning his square ball to Danny Welbeck and Welbz's finish was brought back after fantastic link up play involving Shinji Kagawa.

Chicarito's pass to Cleverley did count however. And so did his finish, similar to the one he scored a couple of weeks back against Sunderland. Curled it into the right corner. Easy as you like and good to see he is sniffing out a goal more regulary.

It was not long however before West Ham were level. They had a series of corners and free kicks that looked dangerous. Vidic came to the rescue with a miraculous goal line clearance, taking it off the head of Carlton Cole. But his namesake Joe then provided a ball into the box for the unmarked Danny Collins who left David De Gea no chance to claw it away.

Neither side took the initiative and the game entered the second half very finely poised.

The pace slackened which was probably beneficial for Paul Scholes's legs, but neither side could create any clear cut chances. The closest was when Joe Cole scampered down the right to deliver a ball that may have creeped beyond the line. Carlton Cole headed it goal wards and De Gea managed to catch it whilst at full stretch. One for the picture book!

De Ja Vu then struck. A Joe Cole cross. An unmarked Danny Collins. Horrible defending. Unstoppable header. 2-0. At that point I would have taken the loss rather than a replay in between the Liverpool and Tottenham matches.

However I now would happily take the replay having had the joy to watch the equaliser. Giggs's ball was arrowed diagonally beyond the CB's. RVP peeled off and chased after it. It looked for all the money to be a tad too strong. But the first touch was from another world. It was perfection. He didn't have to break stride. and the finish was..... Well it was RVP. It was destined for nowhere but the back of the net.

And so on we go. A replay in the third round of the cup. Liverpool at home next week in the league. And a date with the lady that it Real Madrid next month. This is where the football season starts to get real serious.