West Ham 2 Manchester U 4
West Ham United 2 Manchester United 4, Boleyn Ground, English Premier League, April 2, 2011. Wayne Rooney single-handedly won the game against West Ham United with an amazing hat-trick in a high-scoring affair to give Manchester United three vital points. In a highly dramatic match, the visitors came from being 2-0 down to eventually win 4-2.
Table topping Manchester United had defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at Old Trafford in their previous Premier League fixture, whereas relegation candidates West Ham United had managed a goalless draw against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. United had soundly beaten The Irons 3-0 in the reverse meeting of the 2010-11 season and The Reds were expected to get at least a draw on their visit to East London. At Upton Park, Manchester United were arguably the better team on the day, but after 25 minutes of play the visiting side were already 2-0 down courtesy of two penalty goals by Mark Noble. Following eleven minutes of constant action, a handball inside the box from Patrice Evra gave West Ham a penalty-kick which Noble subsequently converted to hand The Hammers an early 1-0 lead. And fourteen minutes later in the game the same player scored from the penalty spot again after Nemanja Vidic had tripped Carlton Cole just inside the area. Shortly afterwards, Ji-Sung Park had a great opportunity to pull one back for Manchester United a minute before the half-hour mark, but the over-eager midfielder hit the ball straight at Robert Green.
Whatever Sir Alex Ferguson told his players at the break did the trick as they came back a lot stronger following the restart. Twenty minutes into the second half Wayne Rooney stepped up and sent a free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and Green into the net to reduce the deficit for Manchester United. And, in the 73rd minute, a clever ball from Antonio Valencia found Rooney who blasted a ferocious shot across Green and into the bottom left corner of the net. Then, with not more than twelve minutes left of the fixture, referee Lee Mason correctly awarded United a spot-kick of their own for handball by Matthew Upson. And with the psyche of a Brahmin, Wazza placed his penalty to the right with Green going left for 3-2. The last goal of the clash came a mere seven minutes from full time when Ryan Giggs produced a good cross which found Javier Hernandez who calmly tapped the ball into the net from a few yards out to seal a 4-2 away victory over The Irons. West Ham United Team: Robert Green, Manuel Da Costa, Lars Jacobsen, Matthew Upson, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Wayne Bridge, Mark Noble, Gary O’Neil, Scott Parker, Demba Ba, Carlton Cole. Substitutes: Jonathan Spector, James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Victor Obinna, Robbie Keane, Frederic Piquionne, Ruud Boffin. Manchester United Team: Tomasz Kuszczak, Fabio da Silva, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia, Darron Gibson, Michael Carrick, Ji-Sung Park, Wayne Rooney. Substitutes: Oliver Gill, Oliveira Anderson, Luis Nani, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez, Michael Owen, Ben Amos.