Wayne Veysey’s round-up on events at Upton Park tonight: Manchester United's League Cup crown has not just been snatched away - it has been ripped off their heads by an effervescent West Ham. The hosts were as driven, energetic and polished as United were insipid and utterly devoid of inspiration. At the back, Ferguson's team had more leaks than the US Embassy. It will be a learning curve for Fergie's fledglings but pity the poor dears who have to look the red-hatted-one in the face afterwards. It will not be pretty.
Full-time. West Ham 4-0 Manchester United. Amazing result for the Hammers! Avram Grant’s men have pulled off a real shock here, ending Man Utd’s 29-game unbeaten run, reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time in 21 years and recording their highest win over the Red Devils for over 80 years. Incredible stuff at Upton Park. Spector got the ball rolling by scoring his first goal in English football, before sensationally grabbing a second before the break. Cole then bagged a brace in the second half to send out the holders. Thanks for joining Goal.com tonight, and be sure to stick around for all the post-match reaction.
Rafael tries to launch a late attack as drifts down the right wing before driving the ball into the area. He can’t find a white shirt, though, and Faubert fires clear. Not long left now…
Yellow Card Winston Reid
Three minutes of added on time at Upton Park…
Substitution Carlton Cole Junior Stanislas
First yellow card of the night goes to Reid as he goes in a little bit late on Macheda down on the Man Utd left wing. The visitors fail to capitalise from the free-kick, though, as the ball flies over everyone and West Ham eventually regain possession.
OBINNA GOES CLOSE! The lively forward is still looking for more as his cross-shot from a narrow angle on the left squirms wide of Kuszczak’s left-hand post. Meanwhile, Cole makes way for the Hammers, with Stanislas on in his place.
Fletcher pings a cross over to O’Shea on the left wing, and the Ireland international looks to set up a late chance as he drills the ball across goal, but Spector is there to smash the ball away.
Boa Morte gets himself into a spot of bother with Fletcher. The winger goes to ground after a challenge with the Scot and is kicked by the Manchester United man as he gets back on his feet. It’s silly from Fletcher, who gets away with it, but equally as silly from Boa Morte, who has no need to get involved with his side cruising. Meanwhile, Hernandez uses his great leap again to win a header but he can only direct is wide of Green’s right-hand post.
PENALTY? NO SAYS MARK CLATTENBURG! Hines looks to make an impact straight from the off as he storms into the penalty area from the right. O’Shea barges the forward to ground with a push inside the box, but the referee sees nothing wrong with it and waves play on. Maybe would have been a little harsh, but you’ve seen them given.
OBINNA WITH A STRIKE! The Nigerian runs up to take his long range free-kick in a style not dissimilar to Fred Flintstone, and fires a fierce right-footed strike towards the Red Devils goal. Kuszczak seems to be beaten but the ball flies just over the bar. Great effort from the forward, that.
And there’s another change from West Ham, with Hines, whose last appearance in a Hammers shirt was a 4-0 defeat to Man Utd last season, comes on with his side 4-0 up against the Red Devils this time in the place of Barrera.
Substitution Pablo Edson Barrera Zavon Hines
Wayne Veysey brings us up to date with the latest from Upton Park: 'Fergie, what's the score?' and 'There's only one Carlos Tevez' crow the West Ham fans. The home side are almost toying with their gilded visitors and Sir Alex is looking the grumpiest Santa's helper ever to step off a sledge.
Substitution James Tomkins Winston Reid
There’s a change for West Ham as well, as Reid comes on in the place of Tomkins.
Substitution Jonny Evans Wes Brown
Finally, Sir Alex Ferguson brings Evans’ night to an end. The Northern Irishman really has had a shocker and has been replaced by Brown.
Giggs is involved again as he beats the offside trap to latch onto Fletcher’s superb pass from the halfway line, but the Welshman’s first touch is poor and Green comes out to collect inside his own area.
Giggs looks to pull a goal back for Man Utd as he pings a free-kick towards goal from the edge of the area. But his effort isn’t strong enough and is straight at the wall, as Kovac then clears for the Hammers.
GOAL!! IT’S ANOTHER FOR WEST HAM! COLE AGAIN! Rafael was brought on after his twin couldn’t deal with Obinna, but he hasn’t covered himself in glory here, nor has Evans. Obinna twists and turns on the left side of the Hammers area before driving the ball into the box. Cole holds off the challenge of Evans, who will surely not return to Man Utd starting line-up too soon after this display, before turning his man and firing low past Kuszczak. The Hammers are in dreamland and are set to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time in 21 years.
Assist Victor Obinna
Goal Carlton Cole
And there is that change, as Rafael replaces Fabio. A straight swap, and Rafael will line up on the right side of defence and will look to stop Obinna tormenting the Red Devils back line.
Substitution Fabio Da Silva Rafael
There’s a change of ball as the referee feels a yellow ball is now needed following the amount of snow falling at Upton Park, and there’s going to be a second Manchester United change any time soon as well. Rafael looks set to come on, with his twin Fabio possible making way.
Giggs gets a promising flick on to set up a rare second-half attack for Man Utd, but Macheda isn’t sharp enough on the edge of the box as the ball runs through to Green in the West Ham goal.
September 2007 was the last time Manchester United lost in the League Cup, with Coventry City shocking the Red Devils that day. It’s West Ham, the Premier League’s bottom side, who are beating the league leaders today and sure to end their dominance in the League Cup.
Wayne Veysey reports from Upton Park: A bit of east London chill? Who cares? Not the majority of the 35,000 crowd packed into Upton Park (most of the latecomers have now arrived). Jonny Evans punted the ball away in disgust after Cole's classic centre-forward's goal. But the Northern Irishman, who is sure to be the subject of ire from United fans after this display, only had himself to blame. He didn't track Cole's run or even get close to challenging him.
GOAL!! COLE PUTS THE HAMMERS 3-0 UP! NIGHTMARE FOR MANCHESTER UNITED! Obinna is again the architect as he races away down the left side of the West Ham area. Fabio is too slow in closing the forward down, and the ball is whipped in to Cole making ground in the centre. Evans allows far too much space for the England international to run into, and the Hammer makes no mistake as he guides his header home to surely put this match to bed.
Assist Victor Obinna
Goal Carlton Cole
Obinna tries to get away down the left wing but loses control as the ball rolls out of play. Anderson pushes the Nigerian to help him on his way, much to the frustration of the West Ham forward who gives his opponents a glare.
Man Utd win a corner on the right and Giggs whips an inviting cross into the six-yard box. Kovac is there to header away, but only as far as Fletcher 25 yards out, though. The Scot looks to take advantage, but can’t, as his wild effort sails over the bar.
GREEN IS A LUCKY MAN! The West Ham goalkeeper tries to drive a low goal-kick up field from just inside his own area but he gets it all wrong and fires against the back of Macheda. The Italian then looks to steal in and get a shot away, but Green races across his box to regain possession. That would have been on football blooper DVDs for years to come had Macheda capitalised.
You would have thought it would be Man Utd, but it’s West Ham who are beginning to have a spell of possession in the game, looking to remain in control and avoid surrendering their two-goal advantage.
A slight change in formation for Manchester United. Macheda will play up top alongside Hernandez, which means Obertan will play in a slightly withdrawn role in this second half.
Substitution Bebe Federico Macheda
West Ham kick us off for the second half. One change at the break, with Sir Alex bringing on Macheda for Bebe.
A cold Wayne Veysey gives us his thoughts on the first half: The man-in-the-red-hat (AKA Sir Alex) will no doubt be getting the hairdryer out to blast his players at half-time after they failed to build on a bright start and were completely over-run by the greater energy and intensity of the hosts. West Ham have been especially bright in midfield, with Spector playing like a latter-day David Platt and Anderson and Fletcher failing to get to grips with their opponents. And did I say it's getting colder? The deep freeze is getting deeper.
Half-time. West Ham 2-0 Manchester United. It’s a shock scoreline at the break, then. The Hammers have been the better of the two sides in the first half, with Spector making the difference so far with his tremendous runs from the centre of midfield. United have had their chances, though, with Bebe having a couple of attempts and Obertan striking the post.
Upson goes in on a challenge with Hernandez and comes off the worse even though he goes to ground in an attempt to slide the ball away. He hobbles off the pitch to be treated by the physio but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if he doesn’t return for the second half judging by the look on his face.
Anderson looks to set an attack going with a mazy dribble towards the edge of the area, but Barrera stops him in his tracks before getting the ball clear. Bebe then receives the ball moments later and looks to catch Green out with a pot-shot from the edge of the box but is flies well wide of the goal.
Three minutes of added time to be played in the first half…
Giggs swings in a free-kick from the right as Man Utd look for an immediate response. Cole is there, however, to header the ball behind for a corner. Sir Alex’s men fail to create a chance from the corner before the ball eventually breaks to Fabio on the right. The young Brazilian whips in a deflected cross and it looks to be looping over Green at the far post, but the England international gets his fingertips to it to parry the ball away.
Wayne Veysey’s take on Spector’s heroics: Amazing story here. Jonathan Spector, who has played two games all season - one at left-back and one at right-back - has been drafted in to central midfield in the absence of Parker, Noble et al and responded with two David Platt-esque goals after breaking from midfield. Against the club that reared him, too.
GOAL!! SPECTOR GETS HIS AND WEST HAM’S SECOND! The American, who really is relishing this role in the centre of midfield, storms forward towards the edge of the Man Utd area and manages to find Obinna in the box. The Nigerian then flicks the ball behind him back to the onrushing Spector who, after a slip from Fabio, takes the ball to his left and drills past Kuszczak for his second of the game and his second in English football. What a night it’s turning into the Spector!
Goal Jonathan Spector
West Ham win a free-kick out wide on the left, and Obinna takes. The man who is quickly becoming the club’s talisman in the absence of Parker floats a right-footed cross into the area but Tomkins can’t trouble Kuszczak as his header is well wide.
Man Utd are looking to retain a bit of possession. West Ha have looked dangerous on the counter-attack through both Obinna and Barrera win they’ve won possession, so the visitors are trying to do their best of keeping the ball around the middle of the park.
GIGGS WITH A HEADER! Man Utd split the West Ham defence open far too easily as the ball is played out to Hernandez on the left side of the area. The Mexican then stands the ball up at the far post looking for either Bebe or Giggs, and it’s the latter who gets his header to it, but the unmarked Welshman can only head straight into the arms of the grateful Green, whose defence had left his stranded.
Barrera almost makes O’Shea pay for a slip down the West Ham right wing, as he nicks the ball past him before continuing his run. However, he takes a heavy touch and is quickly closed down by a number of United players and the visitors clear.
West Ham looking much the better side now. Fabio receives the ball in the left-back position for Man Utd but makes a real mess of his pass as he plays the ball straight out of play for a throw-in, earning many an ironic cheer from the home support.
Cole looks a real fool now. The Hammers forward is played through on goal but knows he is offside. He fluffs his lines with his first attempt and, one-on-one with Kuszczak then rolls the ball wide of the far post. He was already offside, but even so…
First goal in English football for Spector. He has begun the game well in fairness, despite earning plenty of criticism over the last couple of years.
Assist Victor Obinna
Goal Jonathan Spector
GOAL!! SPECTOR SCORES FOR WEST HAM - AND IT DOES COUNT THIS TIME! Just moments after being involved in the disallowed goal, Spector haunts his former club. Obinna receives the ball on the edge of the area and clips a superb little cross into the box. Spector steals a yard in front of Fletcher, who switches off, and manages to guide his header into the corner past Kuszczak. A shock lead, but they have been on top these last few minutes.
Avram Grant is not happy with the officials. It took a long time for them to make their decision to disallow the goal, prompting the Hammers boss to throw the ball back into play rather angrily. Clattenburg has a word with the Israeli and all is well again.
GOAL? NO SAYS MARK CLATTENBURG! West Ham look to have taken the lead as Spector drives through the centre of the pitch before laying the ball off to Obinna on the edge of the box. The Nigerian flashes a strike towards goal and the ball seems to take a deflection off Smalling before spinning into the net. The goal is given, but is then disallowed as Clattenburg’s assistant rules that the ball in fact bounces off Spector before diverting into the net. Spector is a couple of yards offside, so good decision in the end from the officials.
Anderson plays his first part in an attacking move in this game as he glides through the centre of the pitch before finding Giggs on the left wing. The United legend then digs out a cross and tries to find the head of Obertan in the box, but Green is there to claim.
West Ham muster up what looks likely to be a rare chance in this game. Obinna does well down the left wing to outfox Evans before picking out Barrera on the edge of the box. The Mexican then lays the ball off to Kovac to his right but the Czech’s fierce strike is wild and flies well over the bar.
Wayne Veysey with his thoughts on the early stages at Upton Park: United have completely dominated the opening exchanges and look pretty keen to hold on to their League Cup crown. Obertan, cutting in from the left flank in a 4-4-1-1 formation, has already forced a wonderful save from Green on to the post, and which was cleared by Tomkins in the nick of time before a United player could bundle in the rebound.
Obertan causes more problems as he manages to keep the ball in play down the left when Faubert looked to shepherd it out for a goal-kick. The tricky forward drills the ball across the face of goal but nobody is there to meet it. Bebe then eventually receives the ball as the Hammers fail to clear but cannot make the most of it as his weak effort is straight at Green.
OBERTAN HITS THE POST! The Frenchman receives the ball inside the West Ham penalty area and does brilliantly to turn his man and get a shot away. However, Green is equal to it and dives across to his right to tip the ball onto the post before Tomkins intervenes to clear. Good clearance from Tomkins, but a great save from Green.
Bebe makes his first real impact in the game as he does well to keep possession on the right side of the West Ham penalty area. The youngster then has an opportunity moments later as the ball breaks to him just inside the box but his first touch lets him down and West Ham clear the danger.
Cole lays the ball off to his strike partner Obinna 30 yards out but the conditions make the Nigerian look a fool as he slips going to control the ball. Man Utd regain possession but are unable to capitalise as West Ham soon get players back and close down the white shirts in numbers.
Spector, playing in an unfamiliar midfield role tonight, does well to set Faubert away on the right wing. The Frenchman then looks to swing a cross into the area and wins a corner off a white shirt, but the corner comes to nothing and the visitors clear.
Wayne Veysey reports: The gent on the tannoy assures us here that the match is a sell-out but, seconds before kick-off, there are still thousands of empty seats. The snow flakes which are floating in to the press box on the upper tier are no doubt to blame. Referee Mark Clattenburg was one of those caught up in the traffic chaos on the M25. And, in case I forgot to mention, it's proper cold here. Icy wind, sub-zero temperatures and snow. We want a decent game to warm us up.
Manchester United get us under way at Upton Park.
Wayne Veysey reports: West Ham co-chairman David Gold pays tribute to Scott Parker's resilience in his programme notes. The midfielder is suffering from a chest infection and his on the bench this evening, which is no surprise to Gold. "I saw him on Friday at the training ground and he wasn't sure if he was going to make it. Of course he had that steely determination to play, however unwell he was. I went into the dressing room before the game and he still looked poorly. I was thinking I would be stunned if he lasts until half-time. Of course, you would take that as you know he is always capable of a major contribution. As it was, he went beyond half-time and then made a great run to score the crucial goal. He was magnificent in a fantastic team display. The pace in the side was great to see. That was, for me, the big difference."
Goal.com UK’s Wayne Veysey is at Upton Park tonight, and will be keeping us up to date with all the latest from the game.
So, plenty of changes from the Red Devils. Only Anderson remains from the 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, while Bebe is handed another chance to shine on the right, and Javier Hernandez starts up front. Meanwhile, West Ham field arguably their strongest team, with the exception of Scott Parker, who only makes the bench.
Manchester United line-up: Kuszczak; O'Shea, Smalling, Evans, Fabio Da Silva; Bebe, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs; Obertan; Hernandez. Subs: Amos, Brown, Park, Carrick, Rafael Da Silva, Macheda, Eikrem.
Straight to the team news - West Ham United line-up: Green; Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Ben-Haim; Faubert, Kovac, Boa Morte; Barrera, Cole, Obinna. Subs: Boffin, Reid, Parker, McCarthy, Stanislas, Hines, Piquionne.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com’s live coverage of the League Cup clash between West Ham United and Manchester United. My name is Danny Hart and I will be taking you through tonight’s game.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed