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England - FA Cup
January 16, 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 71081
W. Rooney 9'
West Ham United
That's it for this blog, but please head to our LIVE coverage to get all the post match reaction as it happens. Thanks for your company!
Awaiting Sir Alex Ferguson's men in the FA Cup fourth round are Fulham, with the tie due to take place on January 29th - a week on Saturday.
Pretty straight-forward stuff for United after they took a 9th minute lead courtesy of Wayne Rooney's tap-in. West Ham improved immeasurably after the interval though several chances went begging for the visitors - and you just can't afford to do that at Old Trafford.
90' + 3'
And that's it, Phil Dowd blows for full time.
90' + 2'
West Ham throw numbers forward but they're met by a wall of defenders as United attempt to see the game out. Tomkins knocks down a long ball into the box but he can't find anybody in blue.
Three minutes of stoppage time.
Yellow Card Paul Scholes
Scholes ploughs in, pretty cynically, and earns himself a yellow for a foul on Taylor. United's attack had broken down and the Hammers looked like they were going to break forward in number. A wily campaigner that Paul Scholes.
And Chicharito thinks he's killed the game off after smashing home Giggs' exquisitely volleyed pass. The Mexican is about a yard offside though and he's caught red-handed by the referee's assistant.
This, among many other reasons, is what makes Manchester United so difficult to beat at Old Trafford. The home side have squeezed the life out of the climax of this game, pushing the ball around from side to side to deny West Ham any chance of building up momentum.
Not so positively, it turns out. United enjoy a long spell of possession that culminates in nothing whatsoever.
10 minutes left and it will be interesting to see how West Ham respond to that let-off...
MISSED! Rooney steps up and blazes over the bar. Terrible effort from the United front man.
Missed Penalty Wayne Rooney
After seeing some fairly innocuous handballs decisions gone against them, West Ham are penalised after Giggs' cross clips Spence's arm.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Yellow Card Jordan Spence
Don't turn your attention anywhere else, Jack Gaughan has promised late drama: "West Ham are looking to hit Man United solely on the break in the hope of nicking a goal to take this to extra-time. Matt Taylor and Kevin Nolan have both wasted a glorious chances, while United still haven’t found any sort of pattern to their play. There will be another goal in this, though."
Yellow Card Kevin Nolan
Shank from Taylor after Diarra tees him up on the edge of the box. West Ham are cranking it up as the game enters its final stages.
A promising West Ham counter after Giggs' loose pass ends in Vaz Te unconvincingly releasing Nolan out wide. Baring down on the United penalty area, Nolan is somewhat cumbersome in his efforts and he's crowded out. Can't help but feel that if the duo's roles were reversed there, Lindegaard would have been in big danger.
Rafael finds Valencia with a probing ball down the right touchline but the Ecuadorian wildly miscues and his cross from deep flies over the bar.
Yes, we've hit a slight lull at Old Trafford if you couldn't tell.
Incidentally, this is West Ham touh product Michael Carrick's 20th FA Cup appearance for Manchester United.
Chicharito almost doubles the lead though after being slipped in by Rafael though Diarra's prod sends the striker too far wide to be able to round Jaaskelainen. Crucial touch from the centre-half.
Surely if anyone can grab a goal, it's Kevin Nolan, right?
On a knife-edge this. United always look threatening when attacking, yet West Ham have not only improved after the break but are growing in stature as they game develops. As I type, the ball drops to Taylor in the area though he declines to hit the volley on his weaker foot and after taking a touch is snuffed out.
This time it's Taylor who breaches the United rearguard though after working himself into a very promising position, his cutback is useless and easily cleared. Carlton Cole was screaming for the ball, free, six yards out from goal.
Here's Jack Gaughan again: "West Ham have asked for three penalties so far this half – one of them looked an excellent shout – but they have failed to make the dominance count. You need to score when on top at Old Trafford and United, undoubtedly, will be ready to pounce as the game wears on."
West Ham appeal for another penalty, though this time Tomkins' header against Rooney is a no-brainer for Phil Dowd.
Now its Sir Alex Ferguson's side who are struggling to tag together a few passes, with West Ham looking a great deal more composed and combative after the break. Again the Hammers look to slowly advance forward though after Spence works himself into an excellent crossing position, his delivery lets him down.
Much better stuff from the Hammers, who are forcing a bit of sustained pressure on United. Cole acts as an effective focal point, before Taylor rifles in a shot that is blocked by a crowd of bodies.
This second half is yoyoing violently end-to-end. West Ham are denied a penalty one end after the ball ricochets against Rafael's arm, before Chicharito blazes over after being presented a perfect opportunity by Reid's gaffe. A wasteful effort, very unlike the usually-clinical Mexican.
West Ham almost create something of note, as Vaz Te's clever flick almost falls into the path of Diame, though Smalling shepherds the ball excellently back to Lindegaard.
Really not the most convincing off starts as Jaaskelainen immediately slices a back-pass. The ball falls to Nani who, to be fair, wasn't expecting it and makes little of the situation.
And we're off.
The teams have re-emerged at Old Trafford, with West Ham ready to kick off.
So, a vast improvement needed from West Ham after the interval if they want to continue on this short-lived FA Cup odyssey. Has Big Sam got any tactical aces up his sleeves? Rejoin us in 15 minutes.
Here's how Jack Gaughan interpreted the action: "he only actual shot on target since you were last with me was a Wayne Rooney drive comfortably stopped by Jaaskelainen in a first half which petered out rather quickly after the early goal. The away supporters are getting excited about not very much and United are playing in second gear as Phil Dowd blows for half-time."
45' + 1'
And it's half-time here at Old Trafford, in what was a pretty lacklustre showing.
More intricate build up play from United who see Anderson denied by a block in the penalty box from Diame. West Ham look a little ground down, with runs into the box barely being tracked in that passage.
Always nice to see a megs, but Diame can't capitalise on his on Anderson, with the ball trickling out for a United goal kick.
Still United probe and after a spell of intense pressure, Rooney takes aim from about 25 yards and forces Jaaskelainen into a smart save at his near post with a fiercely struck right-footed effort back across himself.
This time it's Nani who takes on the impossible by attempting an effort from range. Nice dip, swerve and all the rest of it yet sadly, the ball has ended up nowhere near on-target.
On a rare foray forward O'Neil gives the ball away for the visitors, attempting an outrageous scooped pass up and over the United back four. I'm not sure even Andres Iniesta would have pulled that off.
United are pretty much camped in the West Ham half here, with Rafael and Buttner making pretty serious headway in terms of going forward. Adventurous stuff from the full-backs, who are often advancing beyond Wayne Rooney to add an extra dimension to the home side's attacking endeavours.
Buttner advances down the left and whips a cross in that hits the near post and goes out. Jaaskelainen knew exactly what was happening though, so no need for panic.
The Finnish keeper is then spared some blushes after flapping at Wayne Rooney's viciously swerving cross, though young full-back Jordan Spence hoofs to safety.
And in the aftermath of that move, Smalling rises highest though can only see his free header sail into the welcome hands of Jaaskelainen.
Impressive work from Giggs, Rafael and Rooney drive United forward after defending a West Ham throw-in deep within their own half. A corner is eventually worked and after some intricate build-up, Rafael fizzes an effort across Jaaskelainen's goal, only to see Potts clear the ball off the line.
Here's what our man at the ground Jack Gaughan makes of proceedings: "Allardyce has got this five-man midfield spot on in the sense that they’re winning a lot of ball in there. The problems come when West Ham lose possession and United are able to reap joy from the breakdown – particularly in wide areas. Hasn’t been a classic thus far."
Chicharito is, correctly, called offside after breaching the West Ham rearguard once again. His movement is causing all sorts of issues already - particularly with Rooney dropping off deep and looking to pull the strings.
A lax O'Neill pass is seized upon by Valencia though after pinging the ball around for a bit, Rafael allows the ball to run out for a goal-kick. O'Neill puts the ball into the box himself but it is easily cleared. You get the feeling that the Hammers are going to have to be a great deal more effective from set pieces if they want to test United this evening.
Diame slams one into Jones' shins and the ball trickles out for a West Ham corner which, again, ends up inconsequential. A bit of a recurrent theme, that.
A lax O'Neill pass is seized upon by Valencia though after pinging the ball around for a bit, Rafael allows the ball to run out for a goal-kick.
An sentiment echoed by Jack Gaughan: "West Ham fans were chanting about Paulo Di Canio moments before – referencing their win here in the cup some years ago – and they’ll need some of his magic tonight."
Many would have feared the implications of conceding an early goal for West Ham and I'd venture that they would be right in doing so. United enjoying heavy possession after their clinical opener and it's difficult to see how the visitors can get back into this one unless they get about Sir Alex Ferguson's side a bit more, who are spraying the ball around at their leisure.
Anderson slots through Chicharito with a delightful left-footed pass from well within his own half. The Mexican straddles West Ham's high offside line expertly, before levelling across the six yard box for Rooney to comfortably tuck home on the slide.
Assist Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Goal Wayne Rooney
Goal! It didn't take Wayne Rooney long to settle back into first team action at Old Trafford.
Dodgy stuff from Lindegaard there, whos scuffed clearance allows Carlton Cole to intercept with his head. Vaz Te picks up the scraps though can only fire at Lindegaard tamely from just outside the box.
Buttner has the game's first effort on goal, cannoning a left-footed effort narrowly wide of Jaaskelainen's upright. Decent strike that.
Vaz Te seems to be here, there and everywhere in the opening five minutes, with the Portuguese clattering into Jones to send the burly centre-half absolutely flying deep inside his own half.
Nani bursts out of United's half on the break, freeing Buttner down the left who wins another corner that amounts to nothing.
A taste of things to come? United force a corner in under 30 seconds though Giggs can make nothing of the situation.
And here we go...
The teams emerge at Old Trafford, with Ryan Giggs captaining the home side and Winston Reid the visitors.
Right, buckle in, five minutes until kick-off.
"Sam Allardyce is trying to outsmart his managerial counterpart by the look of things, with West Ham starting with what looks like a 3-5-2. They obviously fancy their chances if they can overrun Ryan Giggs in the engine room, and it could prove to be quite the battle in there."
"Good evening from Old Trafford where Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t messing about. He starts with Wayne Rooney and Chicharito up front with Robin van Persie in reserve on the bench if called upon later in the piece – as he was in the 2-2 draw at Upton Park. Rio Ferdinand is also amongst the substitutes but you get the feeling United are really up for this with the side they’ve put out. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are given a chance to show what they’re about as a defensive pairing while Nani must have an impact on the game wide on the left.
And while we're at it, here's what Jack Gaughan - our man at Old Trafford - makes of the line-ups...
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Spence, Tomkins, Reid, Potts; Diarra, O'Neill, Diame, Taylor; Vaz Te, C Cole. Subs: Nolan, Jarvis, Spiegel, Collison, Demel, Driver, Lee
Man United: Lindegaard; Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Buttner; Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Nani; Rooney, Chicharito. Subs: Amos, Ferdinand, Carrick, Welbeck, Van Persie, Scholes, Kagawa
Anyway, here are tonight's teams...
That said, the last time West Ham visited Old Trafford on FA Cup duty, in January 2003, they were spanked 6-0 - so what do I know?
Though United have recently enjoyed almost total dominion over their visitors - eight wins from the last 10 league and cup meetings - Sam Allardyce may find solace in the archives, as the Hammers actually enjoy an FA Cup upper hand. The two are due to meet for the 10th time in the competition this evening, with the Irons winning on four occasion, compared to the Red Devils' three.
Tonight the two sides meet again at Old Trafford in the knowledge that a win would lead to a home tie in the fourth round against Fulham - who came from behind to see off Blackpool 2-1 last night.
But if for some reason you don't, the Dutchman sumptuously brought down a majestic Ryan Giggs cross-field pass before firing past Jussi Jaaskelainen with the usual deadly aplomb. Lovely stuff.
Robin van Persie put the Hammers' dreams of unlikely FA Cup progression to the sword earlier in the month, coming off the bench to score THAT last-minute equaliser. I'm sure you remember.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the FA Cup third round replay between Manchester United and West Ham.
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