Wednesday, February 10

Ogbonna wins a classic for the Irons

KUMB's take on the result…
West Ham 2 Liverpool 1 (FA Cup)

What a game. Had to miss this one as celebrating my daughter’s 15th birthday in Byron (strangely she turned down Ken’s Café) but caught the latter stages on the radio.

It’s a cracking start to the match with a stronger Liverpool line-up starting well. Coutinho hits the woodwork for the Scousers and Benteke is blocked by Randolph. Goal machine Joey O’Brien has a deflected shot against the post for the Irons. Payet then strikes the post with another superb free kick with Mignolet making a sharp save to deny Kouyate’s header from the rebound.

West Ham take the lead just before the break as Payet finds Valencia and Enner’s fine cross sits up for Antonio to score with a Van Basten-esque controlled volley. Great effort.

It’s a superb atmosphere at the Boleyn as the radio commentator gets involved in a not very PC metaphor of, “the old girl bats her eyelids and shows she can still do it.”

But it goes wrong early in the second half as West Ham’s wall jumps over the ball and Coutinho scores with a low free kick. Randolph looks slow to react too.

It’s more end-to-end to stuff after that as Sturridge and Origi come on for Liverpool and Collins and  Carroll for West Ham. Winston Reid pulls a hamstring and late in the game the curse of WHU right-backs strikes Joey O’Brien who limps off to be replaced by Moses.

Text reports reach me from Upton Park claiming that Matt is struggling to stay positive. As if. Antonio has a lobbed effort tipped over and West Ham should be awarded a penalty when Valencia is pulled back by Ilori as he goes for Antonio’s cross. Randolph has to save Benteke’s free kick and then Ibe’s long-range effort

So it’s into extra time with Antonio as an emergency right-back and Kouyate off after being knocked out in a worrying clash of heads. Noble has a decent effort saved by Mignolet and the hapless Benteke misses with a volley and then loses a one-on-one duel with Randolph. Sturridge shoots just over the top as the Scousers finish strongly.

It looks certain to go to penalties until the last minute of extra time when Lucas gives away a silly free kick with a push on Valencia. Payet curls in a beautiful cross and Ogbonna rises brilliantly to thump home Carroll-esque header. Upton Park erupts and there’s even a chant of, “Que sera sera whatever will be will be we’re going to Wembley.” Matt texts, “Oggy Oggy Oggy, oi oi oi!” Some unlikely heroes tonight in Oggy, O’Brien, Antonio and Randolph.

If this is the final cup-tie at the Boleyn then it's a fitting finale. So that’s three wins in a season over Liverpool and an aggregate score of 7-1. No room for complacency at Blackburn, but get a result there (and a fit right-back) and we’ll start to believe this might be our year.


matt said...

One of the great Boleyn nights. And a small measure of revenge for the heartbreak of a decade ago. Just hope the latest swathe of injuries aren't too bad. Last week Nigel was saying "can we have the old Matt back" and last night he was suggesting it was time to book another flight to San Francisco. I just can't win - fortunately West Ham can...

Pete May said...

You mean we just don't seem to understand? In your defence it looked a real nerve-shredder and Benteke could have won it for them. We only have four injured right backs now….

Pete May said...
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