Daley Blind rescues Manchester United at West Ham

Published Sunday, February 8, 2015 12:08 PM by Shane Barrow

Incentives all around today as Manchester United travelled to West Ham.  Fourth in the table visiting eighth.  Manchester United had the chance to move within three points of 2nd placed Manchester City while West Ham were trying to keep pace with Liverpool for a coveted top seven spot.

It was a fairly even opening half of play as both sides got into the attack and created some opportunities.  West Ham definitely had the better of the shots on frame though forcing Man U keeper David De Gea into three smart saves.  Where would Manchester United be without David De Gea this season?  I would say definitely down towards 7-8-9 rather than where they are currently.

The opening half ended scoreless.  Would either side break the deadlock after the break?

The answer was a quick yes as West Ham broke through in the 49th.  Manchester United failed to deal with a free kick and the loose ball fell to center back Cheikh Kayoute who was up on the set piece.  The defender showed impressive skills as he juggled the ball twice before spinning and firing past the helpless De Gea.  Striker skills from a defender and quite a goal.

Robin Van Persie had the chance to bring United back minutes later but he rifled his right footed strike right into the belly of West Ham keeper Adrian.  Finally Manchester United looked to be showing a bit of urgency.  Too bad it was an hour in and a goal down.  Plenty of time left still and West Ham were being pushed deep into their own half suddenly.

After the ten minute push by Manchester, West Ham finally evened the match back up and started getting forward again.  Louis Van Gaal responded by introducing Marouanne Fellaini to the match.  He had rescued United several times earlier this season.  Could he do it again?

The chances were coming for Manchester United, but to say they were wasteful would be an understatement.  Fellaini had a free header from just outside the six.  He put it over.  Van Persie teed one up from ten yards out with the whole goal to shoot at only to see it saved by Adriano.  Falcao one on one where he missed the frame.

Mark Noble had a chance to put the game away at the other end, but once again David De Gea was up to the task as he pushed the shot away.

The final chance of the match would be a good one as Robin Van Persie was fouled just outside the West Ham penalty area.  Wayne Rooney stood over the ball looking to tie the game.  He fired at the back corner only to see it blocked by the wall.  West Ham were unable to clear though and the ball came right back in.  Daley Blind was the man as he knocked it home on the volley.  1-1.

In the end the points were shared.  West Ham surely weren't happy about it though as they lost a grand chance to move in the standings.  Manchester United stayed 4th a point ahead of hard charging Harry Kane and Tottenham.  West Ham stay 8th two points behind Liverpool.