Same Old Story For Hammers as Old Trafford Jinx Hits
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 21 Dec 2013 21:21:00
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West Ham United couldn't follow up their remarkable win at Tottenham Hotspur in midweek as they fell to a 3-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Sam Allardyce's team selection showed two changes from last weekend goalless draw at home to Sunderland as Adrian made his Premier League debut in place of Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal and Matthew Taylor was preferred to Joe Cole in midfield.

It didn't take long for the pressure to be put on the visitors as David Moyes' team won a corner which was sent over by Luis Antonio Valencia but the Spanish stopper got them out of trouble by making a superb save from Tom Cleverly's effort as early as the second minute.

West Ham were pressing but kept conceding possession at key moments. The home side largely dominated and on 26 minutes, they sent the majority of the crowd wild as Danny Welbeck was able to open the scoring following a defensive mistake from James Collins.

From that moment onwards, the visitors couldn't get out of their own half and ten minutes later, the Red Devils further increased their advantage when Collins was at fault again as he allowed Adnan Januzaj to get past him and leave the debutant goalkeeper with no chance as the youngster smashed the ball into the net.

The half continued in the same vein and three minutes of first half stoppage time were signalled but thankfully Manchester United were unable to score a third before a forgettable first period ended for the East Londoners.

The home side started the second-half on the front foot but were not able to capitalise and on 58 minutes the visitors forced a couple of corners but nothing came of them and they survived. That was typical of the sort of afternoon the Hammers were having.

Just after the hour mark, in an effort to try and change shape, Jack Collison replaced Taylor as the Londoners made their first substitution.

On 68 minutes the hosts should have had a third goal but Big Sam's men were fortunate to see Javier Hernández effort ruled out for offside, though the replays showed it was the wrong decision.

Three minutes later, Allardyce decided to shuffle his pack again as Matt Jarvis came off and was replaced by Carlton Cole but the change didn't stop the hosts from grabbing another goal as Ashley Young unleashed an unstoppable shot past Adrian.

Soon after, the visitors made their final change as Razvan Rat entered the fray and Collins was the man to be replaced.

As the game was coming to a close, the East Londoners did reduce the deficit on 81 minutes when Cole received the ball from Maiga and placed a shot through David De Gea's legs to at least send the travelling support home having seen their team do something in this game.

As they did for much of the first 45 minutes, the home side dominated the closing stages and even though four minutes of stoppage time were played at the end of the game, the away team could not find another goal to make it an interesting finish.

All in all, it was a disappointing day but the Hammers will have to go again when they face a London Derby and take on Arsenal at Upton Park on Boxing Day.

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