BYE BYE ROONEY
Sunday, September 28
West Ham denied a point after Wayne sees red
Manchester United 2 West Ham 1
Managed to listen to the game on Absolute Radio and you could certainly hear the West Ham fans singing “Cheerio!” when Wayne Rooney was sent off for a stupid and dangerously high hack on Stewart Downing. Match of the Day confirms we were unlucky not to get a point in the end as Nolan’s goal is disallowed by a dubious offside flag.
Noble is injured and Poyet makes his full league debut, while United have to give a debut to Paddy McNair at centre back. The Mancs go ahead after seven minutes and it looks like the Irons are in for their normal spanking. Creswell doesn’t boot ball and man into touch as Van Persie tussles with him, allowing Rafael to nick the ball past him and rampage down the right. The full back’s cross is met by Rooney who fires a great first time shot over Adrian. Yes, our defence should have been tighter, but it’s a quality strike.
West Ham should equalise almost immediately, as a bad back pass lets in Valencia, only for the West Ham man to fire way over the bar. We’re two goals down when Song gets dispossessed in midfield, and Falcao finds Van Persie, who fires a first time shot across Adrian and into the corner.
But this is not the invincible United of old. Demel wins a corner. Valencia heads on to the bar and Sakho heads in the rebound for his fourth goal in four games.
BYE BYE ROONEY
At the start of the second half Adrian makes a good save from Falcao’s deflected shot. Cresswell crosses and Sakho volleys first time to bring a great stop from De Gea. Rooney’s silly sending off, with the ball 70 yards from United's goal, gives us the chance to do a Leicester. “Oh no, we’re up against ten men!” I text to Matt, remembering how we always seem to play worse after an opponent is dismissed.
I’m not sure that bringing on Carlton Cole for Amalfitano is a good decision, as it encourages West Ham to go more direct. Sakho has another header into the side netting and we force an endless series of corners. It’s not often West Ham have United desperately defending at Old Trafford. Debutant McNair has to make a great headed clearance to prevent a goal. The key moment is in the 89th minute, as lively sub Jenkinson crosses from the right and Nolan prods home. His body is in line with the last defender and his head a fraction in front. It’s a very harsh decision.
This was our chance to finally get something at Old Trafford and in that sense it’s disappointing, but if we can finish better it’s still an encouraging sign how close we pushed a side that has just spent £150m.