West Ham vs. Manchester United: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Closing in on the EPL crown, Manchester United went into Upton Park and earned a 2-2 draw against West Ham.
The Red Devils got the Hammers' best effort on this day, and this was a very entertaining, back-and-forth match.
West Ham appeared headed to the win until Robin van Persie earned a late equalizer, and a controversial one at that. He appeared to be offside on the play.
West Ham looked like the dominant side early. In the 16th minute, Andy Carroll headed a nice cross to Ricardo Vaz Te, who then made a nice lunging header into goal for a 1-0 lead.
This was a well-deserved goal after a strong opening by West Ham.
However, Manchester United was not going to go down without a fight. The Red Devils began to wrestle away momentum in this physical affair.
In the 31st minute, Manchester United found the equalizer. Shinji Kagawa hit a wonderful pass through traffic that found a wide-open Antonio Valencia just in front of the goal. He nailed the easy one-touch for the score.
The first half played out without another score, but with plenty of contact. That included Carroll going up in the air and head-butting keeper David De Gea. Things were getting chippy as the first half came to a close.
With tensions running high, the second half passed without serious incident. It was an entertaining half of soccer, though.
In the 55th minute, West Ham used some beautiful play to set up Mohamed Diame, who unleashed a beautiful low curler to blast into goal and a 2-1 lead.
The lead didn't last for long. In the 77th minute, Robin van Persie streaked into the box on a deflection to deliver home an easy equalizer. He looked to be offside in replays, but the goal was allowed.
Robin van Persie: B+
After a long scoreless drought, Robin van Persie has now netted a goal in two straight games. Sure, he was likely offside on his goal in this one, but it counted all the same, and he did a nice job of streaking into position for the score.
In all, it was a solid match for the star.
Wayne Rooney: C-
Wayne Rooney got the start in midfield today, and he could never make much happen.
In fact, Sir Alex Ferguson opted to pull Rooney in the second half in favor of Ryan Giggs.
Meanwhile, Rooney was hearing it from the fans. Premier League tweeted along this:
West Ham fans singing "You're getting sold in the summer" to Wayne Rooney.— Premier League (@EPLStuff) April 17, 2013
Jussi Jaaskelainen: B
Jussi Jaaskelainen had a nice day. He's credited with just three saves, but he made a nice save on a header from van Persie that could have easily been the deciding goal.
Andy Carroll: A
Andy Carroll was everywhere in this match. He even made a nice defensive play in the final minutes just in front of West Ham's goal.
He had the big assist, but his performance was about much more than stats. He was the heart and soul of his team's effort, and his physical play helped set the tone.
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