West Ham closed the season in front of their home fans by delivering a spectacular win against the Red devils yesterday.
The loss severely damages Man United’s chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League, as they will need Manchester City to lose on Sunday versus Swansea and win their final match against Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
The kick-off for the match at Upton Park was delayed 45 minutes as fans blocked the streets and attacked the visitors’ bus as it approached the stadium.
Once the game started, West Ham wasted no time and were the aggressors from the outset and broke through in the 10th minute on a nice move after a poor clearance from the United defence.
Aaron Cresswell picked up the ball just past midfield and played Manuel Lanzini in behind the United defence. The Argentine cut the ball back from the end line to Diafra Sakho at the penalty spot where the striker’s first-time strike eluded David De Gea thanks in part to a deflection off of Daley Blind.
West Ham were firmly on the front foot and had two other wasted chances wasted before 20 minutes.
The teams went into half-time with West Ham leading 1-0, a score that didnt truly reveal the display of West Ham.
Louis van Gaal made one change to his team at the break, substituting an ineffective Morgan Schneiderlin for Michael Carrick in midfield, and six minutes into the second half his team levelled the score.
Marcus Rashford picked up a long pass in West Ham’s third and played an overlapping Juan Mata into the penalty area, for the Spaniard to cut the ball across the goalmouth to a wide open Anthony Martial for an easy tap in.
Payet was at it again in the 54th minute when another poor clearance from United found its way to the Frenchman. However, his curled, line-drive attempt went just wide of the goal.
Sakho almost had his second in the 56th minute but made a mess of a wide-open opportunity in front of the United goal after a lovely cross in from Payet found him alone with De Gea. The Senegalese got his headed attempt all wrong and the ball sailed well over the goal.
Martial, unarguably United’s player of the season then put United ahead in the 72nd minute, after Wayne Rooney caused a turnover in midfield and passed forward to Rashford who found the France international streaking down the left wing. Martial took it from there, blowing past the West Ham defence and beating Darren Randolph at the near post.
It was then time for West Ham’s own player of the season, whose lovesly cross found Antonio who slotted the ball in the net.
The hosts weren’t done yet. Just five minutes later, Payet’s cross from a set piece was headed past De Gea by Winston Reid, giving the New Zealand-born defender his first goal in nearly 18 months and sending Upton Park into rapturous applause as the lead was restored.
The result assures Arsenal will finish top four and qualify for the Champions League next season and puts West Ham in a good position to finish high enough in the table to play in the Europa League.