Manchester United have once again come back from behind, this time to earn their second 2-2 draw against West Ham United so far this season in a heated Premier League match at Upton Park. Surprisingly, West Ham started the match dominantly, and they almost opened the scoring in the first minute when Ricardo Vaz Te hurtled down the right before hitting a low cross into the box, and after the ball pinged around the United box, it fell to Andy Carrol at the edge of the box, who curled a shot just wide of the post. Despite United perking up, sending Antonio Valencia on blistering runs down the right, West Ham amazingly took the lead in the fifteenth minute through Vaz Te. An excellent counter-attack from The Hammers saw Matt Jarvis pick the ball up on the left, and after beating Rio Ferdinand with ease, sent in a cross to the far post. Carrol latched on to the cross, nodding it down to Vaz Te, who from two yards out excellently hit a diving header past the helpless David De Gea.
Of course, United responded brightly to the goal, keeping possession for long periods at a time. Although being wasteful in the final third, the Red Devils found an equalizer in the thirtieth minute when Robin van Persie romped down the right, before slipping a ball though the legs of James Collins to Shinji Kagawa. Kagawa beat Winston Read with a wonderful shimmy, and than played the ball across the face of goal to Valencia, who had the simple task of tapping it into the back of the open net. United looked like they could score again before the break, but after De Gea easily saved Carrol’s weak header following a corner, the first half ended 1-1.
West Ham looked the brighter side after he break, with Carrol volleying a fierce shot just wide of the post. After a breathless start to the second half, West Ham deservedly doubled their lead, when Mohamed Diame received the ball from Guy Demel on the right hand corner of the box. Diame turned with the ball, before curling a beautiful shot around Nemanja Vidic into the bottom left corner of the goal. Again, United responded brightly to the goal, with Gary O’Neil having to boot Wayne Rooney’s excellent shot from a Van Persie corner off the line. United kept up their pressure, and forced a top save out of West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen when Van Persie met Valencia’s cross from the right with a fine header, forcing Jaaskelainen to brilliantly tip it over the bar.
Unsurprisingly United found an equalizer in the seventy-sixth minute, when Michael Carrick slipped a pass to Kagawa on the edge of the box. Kagawa found space for the shot on the edge of the box, and the shot took a huge deflection before hitting the inside of the post, bouncing across goal, hitting the other post, and falling to Van Persie, who clinically volleyed the ball into the back of the net after coming back from an offside position. Although Van Persie forced a good save out of Jaaskelainen through a header, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side could not grab a late winner, and after four minutes of added time, the match ended 2-2, with The Hammers climbing above Southampton with the point.
Man of the Match: Andy Carrol