West Ham United 3-2 Manchester United: Hammers severely dent Red Devils' top-four hopes in Boleyn farewell thriller

Winston Reid scored the winner as The Irons waved goodbye to Upton Park, as the visitors may have also to their Champions League hopes.

West Ham United 3-2 Manchester United: Hammers severely dent Red Devils' top-four hopes in Boleyn farewell thriller
Photo: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Manchester United suffered a 3-2 defeat to West Ham United at Upton Park on the final night at the famous ground. Hammers' Defender Winston Reid scored the decisive goal on a thrilling night in East London. 

The defeat leaves the Red Devils needing favours from elsewhere if they are to finish in the final Champions League qualifying position.

Slaven Bilic made one change to the side that lost 4-1 so surprisingly to Swansea City on Saturday, with Diafra Sakho coming in for Victor Moses, with Sakho partnering Andy Carroll up front. 

United made a host of changes as Louis van Gaal looked to put his charges in the box seat for Champions League qualification, going into this weekend's final set of fixtures.

In came Daley Blind for the injured Matteo Darmian in defence, Marcus Rashford replaced Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin replaced Michael Carrick in midfield and Anthony Martial was named in the stead of Jesse Lingard.

Emotional night in East London

With emotions running high for The Irons with their final game at The Boleyn Ground before moving to The Olympic Stadium this summer - the game was delayed by 45 minutes after the United team bus was attacked by home fans -  and with a top-four spot up for grabs for the visitors, the stakes were high in East London.

As the bubbles drifted into the night sky for the last time, the home side were keen for theirs not be burst and began with corresponding tempo, rushing in to press United at the first opportunity.

In the tenth minute, West Ham lit the blue touch paper.

Sakho opens scoring for Hammers

After the opening play went with little to shout about, it was the home side that sent the watching Hammers fans into early joy. On the left, Aaron Cresswell played a cute ball into Manuel Lanzini, who swept a measured ball into the box, allowing Sakho to side-foot a placed effort past David de Gea and into the United net.

Diafra Sakho opened the scoring for home side (photo:getty)
Diafra Sakho opened the scoring for home side (photo:getty)

The Argentine was heavily involved again as West Ham went in search of a second. After neat play on the left from Lanzini, the ball was switched and eventually came out to Dimitri Payet who drove straight at de Gea from distance.

Minutes later, Daley Blind unfathomably gave the ball away in a defensive area and high up the pitch, allowed Andy Carroll to race through on goal, only for the Spanish stopper to deny the home side again.

West Ham pushed for a second

United, who were desperate for the three points, were in danger of being ambushed and needed a response. On 22 minutes, Wayne Rooney - in his deeper-lying midfield role - blazed over, which would not have helped van Gaal's mood in the United dugout.

Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial were being shackled in the wide areas and without the width, Marcos Rashford was being starved of the ball. At the other end, Lanzini shied wide of the target for West Ham.

United began to find feet

With ten minutes to the break, The Red Devils were finally beginning to get a foothold in the game and when Rooney whipped in a cross from just outside the box, Michail Antonio used his chest to prevent Rashford stealing in to equalise.

The United skipper was beginning to see more of ther ball allowing his side to tick, but still West Ham continued to be the more offensive side. As the half-time whistle blew, Bilic was the far happier of the two managers and van Gaal needed things to change and quick.

Carrick introduced at the break

On a night that West Ham fans would have hoped to remember forever, van Gaal attempted to throw a spanner in the works of the Hammers' momentum, with former Iron, Michael Carrick coming on for Schneiderlin.

Valencia was beginning to overlap with Juan Mata on the right, as United looked to level things up and indeed It wasn't long before the scores tied. 

Anthony Martial levelled things up for United (photo:getty)
Anthony Martial levelled things up for United (photo:getty)

It was very route one in nature, but United needed a spark. De Gea's long ball forward found Rashford, who slipped a ball wide to Mata, who in turn laid off to Anthony Martial to coolly slot home, to level things up.

Martial equaliser opened affairs up 

With both sides desperate for a win, the game opened up. Payet shot wide narrowly again and Sakho nodded down and wide for West Ham. For United, Rashford attempted an audacious back-heel toward goal, but the on-running Ander Herrera was closed out. 

Shortly after a Carroll header was cleared off the line by Martial, it was the Frenchman who gave United the lead. Martial's pace has been a signature of his arrival in the Premier League this term and it was that that beat Winston Reid.

His shot was struck across the boughs of the West Ham goal and Darren Randolph could only sprawl, as the ball found the far side of the net. With 15 left, West Ham's farewell was being spoilt and United could sniff fourth spot.

Antonio levels, before Reid gives Hammers lead

West Ham were never likely to go quietly and it was their Player of the Year who was involved. Payet, who had had a disappointing night thus far crossed from the left and found Antonio, who rose and nodded past de Gea. United needed to go again. Upton Park was set for a fitting conclusion. 

Michail Antonio made it 2-2 (photo:getty)
Michail Antonio made it 2-2 (photo:getty)

West Ham proceeded to flip the game on its' head. It was again a Payet delivery and the Frenchman found Winston Reid in the United box and thumped a header toward de Gea that the 'stopper could only parry into the net. The Boleyn was in raptures.

Hammers looked to hold on

The intention was clear for the home side to hold on to the win, as Pedro Obiang and James Tomkins came on for Lanzini and Sakho.

United tried in desperation to respond but as West Ham ushered the ball into the corner in stoppage time, time ran out for the visitors.

The defeat for United leaves them two points behind Manchester City in fourth, knowing victory versus Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Sunday, will leave them outside the top-four, providing the Citizens do not lose away to Swansea.