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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
March 23, 2014
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 34237
West Ham United
W. Rooney 8', 33'
That's all we have time for from the Boleyn Ground, as Man United comprehensively beat a lacklustre West Ham side with a liberal helping of Rooney brilliance. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Rooney grabbed both of the goals, one brilliant, one opportunistic. Man United looked polished, sharp, confident on the ball and able to break dangerously. West Ham, on the other hand, were flat and one dimensional leaving big question marks over their Premier League fortunes.
FULL TIME! Man United end their week in brilliant style, with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over West Ham and it couldn't have been much easier. A fantastic thunderbolt from the half-way line from Wayne Rooney set them on their way, but the Hammers didn't threaten too much all evening.
90' + 3'
Adrian hoofs a clearance aimlessly upfield, before Hernandez is nearly presented with a chance at the death. He doesn't fancy a clash with Adrian, however, and a covering West Ham defender is able to clear the danger.
90' + 1'
There are four minutes of stoppage time at the end of this evening Premier League clash.
FELLAINI! The former Standard Liege man bursts into the penalty area after a smooth Man United break, but a combination of Collins and Nocerino does just enough to put the midfielder off. A penalty shout, perhaps, but this game is already settled.
Man United sit in their shape, with Welbeck and Hernandez as willing runners, but the Hammers have only had one plan all game. Lumping the ball up to Carroll and Cole might have had potential to work, given the Red Devils' inexperienced central defensive duo, but Allardyce has no alternative.
West Ham are controlling possession in the late stages, but Man United are happy to concede the ground and contain the hosts as the clock runs down. Demel whips in a cross, but De Gea claims at the near post.
Five minutes to go and it's tough to look beyond Man United to take home the victory. This will make it three consecutive defeats for the home side, who are slipping ever so gradually towards the wrong end of the table. The relegation battle is very close this year, with the Hammers potentially getting involved in the scrap to avoid the drop at an inopportune time.
Tomkins has hurt himself in the process of sliding in on Fellaini and Collins believes that the Belgium international has deliberately left a foot in on his defensive partner. The West Ham man is down holding his face and it looked like a painful knock, with Fellaini treading on his adversary's ankle.
What a great chance for the Red Devils to wrap up a great win! Young releases Hernandez with a clever backheel on the half-way line, before the Mexican forward races down the wing to the byeline. The ball is cut back to Kagawa, who is unmarked at the back post, but the cross is narrowly too high for the former Dortmund man to convert.
West Ham are being made to look extremely average this evening, as Man United enjoy two minutes of possession with only Carroll managing to touch the ball momentarily. The atmosphere is flat, but is briefly brightened up as Jarvis forces Carrick into deflecting a back post cross behind for a corner.
Finally, David Moyes opts to make a change. It's a big decision, taking off both Mata and Rooney, replacing his star players with Welbeck and Hernandez. Both forwards have a point to prove and should therefore have the hunger and desire required to force the Red Devils over the line.
A quarter of an hour remains and West Ham still look no closer to finding a way through this resolute Man United defence. The away side continue to break smartly, using possession wisely and Kagawa is nearly found at the back post but for an important interception from Demel.
COLE! He almost has an immediate impact, directing a back post header back across goal from six yards out! Fellaini is the only player on hand to meet the unselfish pass, and Man United survive once again.
The home crowd are restless, possibly down to the fact that the Hammers have only had one shot on target throughout the entire game. Allardyce opts to roll the dice, bringing on Carlton Cole in place of Kevin Nolan, sending two physical options up top for the trailing hosts.
Twenty minutes remaining, and still only one substitution has been made by either side. Man United will be pleased with their current performance, but having Rafael on a yellow card at full-back is a real concern. West Ham, on the other hand, might need to make another change to carve out some chances.
Half a chance for United! The visitors shift the ball nicely from left to right, releasing Young on the far side, before he fires a low cross in the direction of the six yard box. McCartney is forced to intervene, deflecting the ball behind for a corner. Buttner then optimistically fires an audacious long-range effort miles over the crossbar, leave those to Rooney!
Man United are continuing to move the ball brilliantly when they rob possession from the hosts, with Rooney, Kagawa and Mata enjoying plenty of the ball. The former Dortmund man might have spent a lot of time on the fringes for the Red Devils, but he's right in the thick of it this evening.
FELLAINI! Young whips a dangerous cross to the back post, but Fellaini nods over the crossbar under intense pressure from Collins. This has been a game of many a cross, and this theme doesn't look like relenting any time soon.
Downing streaks down the right hand side, cutting inside Buttner, but opts to stay on his feet rather than dive over the leg of the Dutch full-back. The former Aston Villa man then whips in a back post cross, but Fellaini is on hand to aid his besieged side.
West Ham still can't find their elusive first goal of the game as we edge into the final half an hour here at the Boleyn Ground. The crosses and corners keep hailing in, but the makeshift defensive partnership of Jones and Carrick is standing firm. De Gea remains untested.
Jarvis replaces Diame, who has had an awful afternoon, the Senegal international hasn't been on the same wavelength as his teammates all game, earning him some jeers from the home faithful. Man United are moving the ball very well, and look a totally different machine going forward compared to what we've become accustomed to.
MATA! Great move from the away side! They work down the right with Rafael and Young combining well, before the Brazilian full-back pulls the ball back to his teammate on the edge of the penalty box. He sets himself before firing a low drive towards goal, but it's blocked. Man United attack again moments later, but Tomkins makes a great intervention to clear the danger.
Great defensive header from Jones! The England international rises fantastically to outjump Carroll to a cross, which is no mean feat given the former Newcastle forward's height and strength! The Hammers still only have one real plan, give it to Carroll and see what he can produce for himself or Nolan.
ROONEY! The Man United striker manages to meet a Young corner delivery, but can only float his header wide of the target, despite being smaller than his marker. West Ham aren't quite able to sustain their pressure constantly, but they definitely have more of a sense of urgency.
Man United are pegged back in their own half, before Rooney robs Collins of the ball and starts a United break. The visitors have looked confident in possession and are moving the ball nicely in triangles with Rooney integral to their play. What a difference a comprehensive win makes!
Two corners in quick succession, and both test the United defence. The first is hurriedly cleared, before Diame sees a shot blocked from the second. Moyes is urging his side to push out and not fall into the trap of getting pegged back in their own half by a resurgent Hammers line-up.
NOLAN! The West Ham captain links up well with Carroll once again, with the physically imposing striker able to win his aerial battles with Jones. Nolan tries his luck from the tight angle, forcing Carrick to concede another corner for the hosts.
DOWNING! The former Liverpool winger cuts in from the left hand side, being forced onto his weaker right foot by Rafael, before ballooning a short high and wide with the aid of a deflection. The resulting set piece is cleared hurriedly despite Collins winning the first header.
YOUNG! The former Watford man has the first chance of the second half, curling an effort into Adrian's grasp after an inventive short corner routine. Man United have looked much more polished while going forward this evening.
We're back underway for the second half's action, and there is still plenty of football to be played before Moyes can call time on what is looking like a successful week as Man United management. West Ham haven't been playing brilliantly, and a fiery team talk from a disappointed Allardyce is sure to ruffle a few Hammers' feathers.
Be sure to stick with us for the second half's action in ten minutes time, as David Moyes looks to make it a joyous week for his supporters. Allardyce is anything but happy, believing that the referee has missed a couple of key decisions in the opening 45 minutes, but there's still plenty of time for the Hammers to turn things around.
The Red Devils have managed to break regularly and effectively, with the likes of Mata, Kagawa and Rooney having plenty of first half opportunities. West Ham have threatened on a couple of occasions, finding Carroll in space at the back post, but the Englishman just couldn't convert.
HALF TIME! The away side head into the dressing room with a comfortable two goal lead, courtesy of two goals from Wayne Rooney. The first was a sublime strike from the half-way line, with the second being a predatory side-footed finish. West Ham haven't looked dangerous and are fortunate to only be 2-0 down.
45' + 2'
ROONEY! The England international is picked out on the edge of the penalty area by Mata, but snatches at an attempted volley, skewing the ball wide of the far post. Man United continue to break well.
There are two minutes of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
Only a few minutes until the break and Man United can be pleasing with their first half outing. De Gea has been mainly a spectator, with the scoreline having the potential to be far worse for the Hammers. Rooney's goal is certainly the highlight, the audacity of that finish still resounds around the Boleyn Ground.
This is a much better outing from Man United, they're moving the ball well and genuinely pose a threat when pressing forward. It might have taken the injury of their Dutch striker to allow this to happen, but it appears that David Moyes has found a side who are capable of pushing the Red Devils back towards the upper echelons of the Premier League table.
ROONEY! Well, he has his shooting boots on this evening! The former Everton youngster dips a free-kick effort over the wall and onto the roof of Adrian's net from 25 yards. The Red Devils certainly aren't missing Robin van Persie at the moment!
Yellow Card Matthew Taylor
Well, all of that for nothing! The referee ensures that the wall is the right distance from the ball on two occasions, before Carroll unceremoniously slams his effort into the wall. West Ham loft two optimistic crosses into the box moments after, but neither find a claret and blue shirt.
Sarcastic jeers meet any of the referee's decisions which are given in favour of the home side, and West Ham are given a good chance to test De Gea from a free-kick following a push on Carroll by Fellaini. Three players stand over the dead ball.
Another long diagonal ball is floated into the penalty area for Carroll to attack, but the former Newcastle man just isn't getting any play out of Jones. Allardyce is cutting a very frustrated figure in the West Ham technical area, he clearly thinks that his men are due a refereeing decision in their favour.
Yellow Card James Collins
Goal Wayne Rooney
GOOOOOOOOOAL! ROONEY MAKES IT TWO WITH SOME GOOD FORTUNE! More shouts for a penalty for the away side, but Lee Mason is once again uninterested. Man United break upfield with Young down the right flank, before Noble clears Young's eventual delivery away from the back post but into Rooney - who cushions the ball home to make it 2-0.
Less than a quarter of an hour until the break, and Man United continue to look good value for their lead. Adrian has been much the busier of the two goalkeepers, with Downing being the only player who has managed to test the visitors' back line. Collins brings down a corner delivery on his chest, but his volley is easily blocked.
MATA! Another big chance for the Spanish midfielder, but he can only turn the ball towards Adrian once again. He's picked out well by Rooney, before luckily sidestepping Diame, but once again the former Valencia man's finishing lets him down.
Brief claims for handball in the visitors' penalty area, but they're shortlived. The ball seemed to strike Rafael on the shoulder however, and that's a good decision from Lee Mason. After their game against Liverpool, plenty of the travelling defence will have had nightmares about penalty decisions for the past week.
Diame does well to drive into the opposition penalty area, going past two players, before a ball roll from the Senegalese midfielder allows for the ball to escape his control. The home supporters groan, they've not been too inspired by the Hammers offensive potency but for Downing.
KAGAWA! The Red Devils capitalise on yet another poor pass from West Ham, with the loose ball being fired into the left channel for Kagawa to chase. The Japan international latches onto the pass, but fires his effort straight at Adrian at the near post.
Carrick's deployment at centre-half is yet to be tested by the home side, despite the prediction that Allardyce's side would be keen to look long for Carroll to see what sticks. It's not been a great opening for the Hammers, they've had a couple of good chances but have been error-prone in possession.
Good clearance from James Collins! Young pops up on the right hand side, before whipping a delivery into the back post area, but the Wales international hooks the ball clear of danger. Moyes will be pleased with what his men have shown thus far, with the exception of possibly Rafael.
Man United continue to look good while pressing forward, with the likes of Kagawa and Mata contributing some testing movement and runs for the Hammers' defence to cope with. In Van Persie's absence, the away side have really been permitted to field a much more inventive offensive trio.
Another shaky moment for Adrian! Fletcher is the man to test him, as the Scottish midfielder whips in a dangerous near post cross, but places it too close to Adrian. The goalkeeper claims, but drops the ball at the first attempt. He certainly isn't instilling confidence into his defence.
After a bright start from Man United, it's been all West Ham in the past five minutes, with the home side piling on the pressure. Rafael already looks to be a weak point for the Red Devils, having already picked up a yellow card, with the Brazilian being beaten well by Downing too.
Half chance for Carroll! Taylor hangs a ball up into the penalty area, with Carroll able to flick on the free-kick delivery despite Fletcher having handfuls of his shirt. Tomkins stretches at the back post to try and turn the loose ball home, but the defender can't get there. Moments later, Downing works down the left flank brilliantly, before Carroll can only nod a back post cross into De Gea's grasp.
Good ball from Mata! The Spain international almost finds Kagawa with a brilliant pass, splitting the West Ham defence open with one swing of his boot. It's slightly too heavy for the former Dortmund man however, and Adrian is happy to claim.
The home crowd are still rather stunned from Rooney's ridiculous opener, and so they should be. Moyes look to be benefitting from his star players creating brilliance out of nothing, something which a big club like the Red Devils can afford to do given their ability to dish out large transfer fees.
Yellow Card Rafael
DIAME! The West Ham midfielder has an effort blocked on the edge of the penalty area, as the visitors continue to have the better of the opening ten minutes. Despite ringing the changes, Moyes' men are breaking very fluidly at the moment, with Mata and Kagawa gliding along the playing surface.
Well, what a start to this game we've had! That was a truly stupendous goal from the United captain and Adrian won't be leaving his penalty area for the rest of the 90 minutes now! It says it all when Beckham is left with his hand covering his face, what a strike that was.
Assist Ashley Young
Goal Wayne Rooney
GOOOOOOOOAL! WHAT A GOAL FROM WAYNE ROONEY! Beckham is in the crowd, and he's just witnessed a goal that he would be proud of! Rooney spots Adrian off his line, before ballooning a ridiculous half volley over the Spanish goalkeeper and into the roof of the net from the halfway line!
Half chance for Demel! A cheeky flick from the Ivorian at the front post looks to tuck the ball inside De Gea's woodwork, but it takes the slightest of touches off Rooney before zipping behind for a corner. The resulting set piece comes to nothing for the Hammers.
MATA! The Spaniard capitalises on a poor pass from Tomkins, drifting into the West Ham penalty area before placing a weak strike into the awaiting hands of Adrian. His compatriot will be happy to face tame efforts like that all evening.
FELLAINI! West Ham let their guard down immediately, failing to pick up Fellaini from a corner delivery, with the Belgian meeting Young's cross and directing it towards the bottom right hand corner. Andy Carroll is on the line to deflect the early chance away from goal, fortunate for the hosts.
The home side look to enjoy some early possession, as the visitors will presumably come out of the traps quickly, buoyed by their recent triumph in Europe. What will be interesting this evening is to see how Carrick and Fellaini aid Phil Jones at centre-back for the away side, with the former Blackburn defender being the only recognised central defender in the eleven.
We're underway in the first half at the Boleyn Ground, as West Ham look to correct their recent stutter in form and push clear of the relegation zone. It won't be easy, however, as Man United are filled with newfound confidence after their midweek triumph over Greek champions Olympiakos.
Ten minutes until kick-off, so be sure to stick around as Man United look to kick on from a good midweek performance with an away win in London this evening. As always, the reigning Premier League champions won't have it all their own way, but David Moyes will be hoping that their European victory can act as a kick-start for their distinctly mediocre league campaign.
An interesting line-up from David Moyes, as Shinji Kagawa is deployed in attacking midfield for one of his very sparing appearances, with Juan Mata presumably out on the right hand side. Van Persie's absence allows for Rooney to head United's attack, while Ashley Young is preferred to Welbeck and Januzaj on the left hand side. Plenty of talking points in that list of eleven names!
Man United substitutes: Evra, Lindegaard, Hernandez, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Januzaj.
Man United starting line-up: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Carrick, Buttner; Fletcher, Fellaini; Mata, Kagawa, Young; Rooney.
West Ham substitutes: Reid, Jarvis, Armero, Jaaskelainen, C. Cole, J. Cole, Nocerino.
West Ham starting line-up: Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney; Diame, Noble; Taylor, Nolan, Downing; Carroll.
TEAM NEWS: Carrick and Fellaini are expected to take it in turns to slot in at centre-half for the away side, with Phil Jones slotting into defence as the only recognisable centre-half. Given Carroll's aerial presence, we could be seeing plenty of the Belgium international sat deep this evening. Buttner and Fletcher get rare starts, with Kagawa and Young coming into attack. Juan Mata returns to first team action after spending the Champions League period as a spectator.
TEAM NEWS: The hosts remain without Joey O'Brien and loan striker Marco Borriello, but otherwise have a fully fit side to choose from. The prolific partnership of Noland and Carroll continues in attack, with Allardyce's selection being somewhat predictable. Downing is preferred to Jarvis for the home side.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you fully up to date with all of the proceedings from Boleyn Ground, as the home side look to end their current run of two games without picking up any points. With a plethora of absentees for the visiting outfit, the Hammers might just fancy their chances to push themselves away from the relegation zone. Only six points seperate today's hosts from the drop.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Premier League action between West Ham and Manchester United, as the Hammers host David Moyes' possibly resurgent outfit. The Red Devils head into this clash off the back of a 3-0 trouncing of Olympiacos in the Champions League, but did so with a rather heavy cost. Robert van Persie is out for the visitors, which might give Sam Allardyce some newfound optimism.
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