Daley Blind scored a 92nd-minute goal for Manchester United on Sunday to secure a dramatic 1-1 draw against West Ham – although Louis van Gaal might rue a missed chance to reclaim third place.
The Reds started the match knowing a victory would be enough to go above Southampton in the table again but trailed for most of the second half following Cheikhou Kouyate’s impressive opener at Upton Park. With time running out, after struggling against Sam Allardyce’s hard-working team, the visitors snatched a point from the jaws of defeat with Blind’s timely strike. Luke Shaw’s subsequent red card for a second bookable offence was only a slight blemish on a battling performance.
Van Gaal named the same team that started last weekend’s impressive 3-0 win over Leicester City at Old Trafford and the boss said ahead of kick-off: “I believe the confidence is coming back, and we have to prove it today.”
Despite the manager’s optimism, the Hammers made the brighter start and Enner Valencia created the first meaningful chance with a superb 20-yard effort that was brilliantly saved by David De Gea, who then tipped over another close-range effort from the Ecuadorian following the resulting corner kick.
West Ham’s pressing was particularly effective in the early exchanges and United struggled to retain possession, although van Gaal’s men improved after 25 minutes and started to show more creativity in the final third. The hosts were still on top, though, and went close to scoring just after the half-hour mark when James Tomkins’ downward header at the back-post was booted clear by De Gea.