Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Midweek Premier League Madness: Upton Park closes as Manchester United's Champions League hopes dwindle

West Ham 3-2 Manchester United
West Ham were playing at Upton Park for the final time before they move into the Olympic Stadium for next season. Despite the pageantry, they had far less at stake compared to Manchester United, who could move into the top four with a victory. A defeat would mean that the blue half of Manchester would control their own Champions League destiny. The match got off to a late start due to both teams failing to arrive to the stadium on time do to traffic and crazy fans outside the stadium. The match ended up getting going a whole 45 minutes late.

Once the match started, West Ham wasted little time getting the party started. After being in control for the first ten minutes, Diafra Sakho slipped a shot past a diving David de Gea to open the scoring in the tenth minute. The shot took the slightest of deflections off Daley Blind, causing it to confuse the United keeper just enough. That wasn't even West Ham's best scoring chance. Andy Carroll should have scored on a clear breakaway, but his shot was poor ave straight into De Gea. They also had south go in, but was called back on offside.

West Ham's lack of finishing combined with Manchester United's general lifeless attack led to a 1-0 half time score.

United showed a little spark early inn the second half. Anthony Martial put their first shot on target into the back of the net in the 51st minute after a nice pass from Juan Mata. Despite moderate pressure from the Hammers, Martial found a second goal from a tight angle in the 71st minute.

West Ham wouldn't go quietly. Four minutes after Marital's go ahead strike, a post free kick scramble led to a header for Michail Antonio which was expertly converted for the tying goal. In the 80th minute, they went in front a provided a severe dent you Manchester Untied's European ambitions. Dmitri Payet looted a free kick that accidentally found the head of Winston Reid for the winner and the final goal at Upton Park.

West Ham keeps their hopes of the Europa League alive while forcing Manchester United to depend on their crosstown rivals failing in order to qualify for the Champions League.

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