Sunday, March 23

Daily WHUFC News - 23rd March 2014

Hammers beaten by Rooney double
Wayne Rooney scored twice before half time to send West Ham United to defeat
on Saturday

West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United's three-match home winning streak came to an end on Saturday
when Wayne Rooney's first half double gave Manchester United a 2-0 victory
over the Hammers. Rooney's brace allowed the visitors to control a low tempo
second half in which the Hammers were unable to test goalkeeper David de
Gea. The England striker's opener was one which will be shown again and
again as he took aim from fully 45 yards to catch Adrian out in the Hammers'
goal. His second was rather more prosaic, profiting from a loose Mark Noble
clearance, yet just as effective as the Hammers missed out on the chance to
put more pressure on David Moyes' under-fire side. Manchester United pushed
from the off and went close in the third minute when Andy Carroll was in
place to clear Marauone Fellaini's effort off the line following a corner
for the Red Devils. It was not long before they moved in front in
spectacular fashion through Rooney. The situation appeared innocuous enough
when a high ball landed just inside the Hammers' path, but Rooney eased
James Tomkins out of the way and, spotting Adrian out of position, unleashed
a 45-yard effort on the volley which evaded the backpedalling goalkeeper and
bounced into the net. The Hammers looked to put the visitors' makeshift
backline under pressure, but were being hurt themselves on the
counter-attack and fell 2-0 down on 33 minutes.

Penalty appeals fell on deaf ears as Kevin Nolan went to ground under a
Darren Fletcher challenge, and David Moyes' side broke quickly, allowing
Ashley Young to cross low, and Mark Noble's attempted clearance to cannon
off Rooney and past a helpless Adrian. Rooney went looking for a first-half
hat-trick when he curled a free-kick over the top and the visitors looked
comfortable enough, despite West Ham winning a number of corners. The second
period began in a similar vein, with the away side's biggest danger coming
on the counter. West Ham's best moments were coming from set plays, but
United did well to defend them without conceding a clear chance. In truth,
the game meandered to a certain extent with the Red Devils having done the
damage before the break and 2-0 was how it ended.

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Nolan (C.Cole
72), Noble, Taylor (Nocerino 83); Diame (Jarvis 58), Carroll, Downing
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Armero, J.Cole
Booked: Collins, Taylor

Manchester United: de Gea; Rafael, Carrick, Jones, Buttner; Fletcher,
Fellaini; Young, Mata Welbeck 77), Kagawa; Rooney (Hernandez 77)
Subs: Lindegaard, Evra, Nani, Cleverley, Januzaj
Goals: Rooney 8, Rooney 33
Booked: Rafael

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 34,237

Tonka tells of disappointment
James Tomkins was left to rue West Ham United's rough luck against
Manchester United on Saturday

James Tomkins felt West Ham United had passed up a golden opportunity to
take points off a much-changed Manchester United side in the Barclays
Premier League on Saturday. David Moyes retained just five of the starting
XI that brushed Olympiacos aside in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday
and yet Wayne Rooney's first-half double saw the visitors run out 2-0
victors. Centre-half Tomkins could hardly hide his frustration following the
final whistle, insisting very little had gone the Hammers' way on the day.
He told West Ham TV: "We're obviously disappointed, because the side that
Manchester United put out was a team that we could have made the most of on
Saturday. "Unfortunately, their qualities have obviously shown again with
the two goals. The second one's unfortunate and the first is a great goal.
We look at it ourselves as being a disappointing day."

It took just eight minutes for Manchester United to make their mark, with
Rooney levering Tomkins off the ball, before lashing a dipping effort over
Adrian in the Hammers goal. Spectacular though the finish was, West Ham's
No5 maintains that Rooney's initial challenge on the half-way line was an
unfair one. "I felt I got nudged," he confirmed. "It's one of those that
you've seen given. It could have gone either way I suppose, but having seen
it back, it could have been given. Adrian's not expecting it and it's a
one-in-a-million shot. With a player of his ability you can be punished in
this game."

Thereafter, Tomkins admits the task was a tough one, with Rooney's opener
having taken the wind of out of West Ham sails. And their luck got worse
still when Mark Noble's attempted clearance ricocheted off Rooney to double
the Red Devils' lead. "We started OK and they didn't look like scoring. Then
they popped up with a worldy goal and that can kill you. That [swing in]
momentum just killed us. Nobes [Noble] has gone to clear the ball and the
chances of it hitting Rooney and going in the back of the net was just our
luck on Saturday. "Coming in 2-0 down is always a hard thing to come back
from against a team like Manchester United. We had a mountain to climb in
the second and we tried to give it a go. "We were a bit unlucky with a few
decisions and nothing really fell to us in the box when it could have done.
We're disappointed but the bigger game is on Wednesday night now."

Despite defeat at the Boleyn Ground, it was far from all bad news for the
Hammers, with each of the division's bottom five clubs losing too. Equally,
Sam Allardyce's men need wait just four days for the chance to make amends,
with Hull City next to visit east London. "We can't dwell on it. A lot of
the results went our way on Saturday and that's the good thing. Wednesday
night's obviously a massive game and we need to get our form back on track.
"We didn't give the fans much to shout about on Saturday. We've disappointed
them and we're disappointed ourselves but we'll be back Wednesday night!"

Big Sam rues Red Devils decisions
Sam Allardyce claimed decisions had cost his West Ham United dear against
Manchester United

Sam Allardyce was again left to lament a questionable refereeing decision as
West Ham United were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in the Barclays Premier
League at the Boleyn Ground. After an even start, the Red Devils went ahead
in a manner that was both controversial and spectacular on eight minutes.
Wayne Rooney appeared to nudge James Tomkins as the defender rose to head
clear on halfway, but official Lee Mason gave nothing and the England
striker took full advantage by volleying over Adrian from fully 45 yards.
West Ham gamely attempted to get back into the game and saw a penalty appeal
turned down for a Darren Fletcher challenge on Kevin Nolan on 33 minutes.
Seconds later, it was 2-0 as Mark Noble cleared Ashley Young's cross
straight to Rooney, who found the bottom corner. The Hammers had chances of
their own, only for their shots and headers to either be blocked or fly wide
or over the target. At the other end, Adrian was kept busy by efforts from
Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa, while Rooney passed up a couple of chances to
complete his hat-trick.
After half-time, Big Sam threw on Carlton Cole and switched to a 4-4-2
formation, but it was to no avail as the Hammers dropped two places to 14th
in the table. "I think we've had another refereeing decision that has gone
against us, or maybe two because I'm not absolutely sure Kevin's was a
penalty, but Darren Fletcher did get across him and didn't play the ball,"
he told West Ham TV. "Certainly the foul on James Tomkins resulted in the
best goal of the weekend, but it shouldn't have stood because when the ball
bounced James would have won a free header. Wayne Rooney knew he wasn't
going to win it so he pushed James and James missed the header. The referee
and assistant referee didn't do their jobs properly and Wayne Rooney
produced the best bit of skill you'll see all weekend, if not all season,
because I don't think we'll see another goal as good as that. "It was
unbelievable technique and not one I can really blame the goalie for,
because the goalie always has to be out of his goal when the ball is on the
halfway line. Nobody expected Wayne to shoot from that position, but he took
the chance, struck it brilliantly and scored a goal. "It was a big blow and
it knocked the stuffing out of us, then the second one we thought might have
got a penalty and would have got us back in the game if the referee had
given it. Then they broke right up the other end, it looked like Mark Noble
was going to clear it but unfortunately he passed it straight to Wayne, who
scored again. "As hard as we fought in the second half to get a goal back,
we couldn't find one."

West Ham did more than match David Moyes' side before Rooney's second goal,
but Big Sam admitted his team's defensive resilience had not been there at
vital times for the second match in succession. "You have got to keep the
back door shut. We paid the price and did the same thing at Stoke City,
where we were in control of the game and looked like we were going to score
in the second half, then they got one ball in behind our midfield and they
got through our back four and scored. "Our defensive quality is there to
make sure we have a platform to enable us to wait for our goal and not to
have to fight back from goals down. If you go goals down against the likes
of Manchester United, it is hugely difficult to come back and get something
out of teams of that quality. "We produced some good play, but I was a
little bit disappointed that we didn't play better with Carlton up front
[with Andy Carroll]. We started all right with Carlton up front and had
started the second half very well, but instead of playing the ball through
the midfield into wide positions, we started playing too many balls from
back to front too quickly and ended up giving it away. "As a result, we
didn't exert as much pressure on Manchester United as we might have done."

West Ham now prepare for two proverbial six-pointers at home to Hull City on
Wednesday evening and away at Sunderland a week on Monday. The manager is
under no illusions about the importance of both matches. A win over Hull
would take West Ham above Steve Bruce's side and put them within two
victories of the magical 40-point mark. "It is a massive game against Hull.
We've played 30 games and only got 31 points now and I've always said that
is what counts. We have got to try to maintain our points total above our
games total. "It's very important that we try and get a victory on Wednesday
and feel a bit more secure."

West Ham 0 Manchester United 2
22 March 2014
Last updated at 19:59
By Neil Johnston
BBC Sport

Wayne Rooney scored two goals, including an exquisite lobbed finish, as
Manchester United overcame Robin van Persie's absence to win at West Ham.
Rooney, now third in United's all-time goalscorers list on 212, put his side
ahead with a stunning lob from just inside the Hammers' half. The England
striker doubled the lead after Mark Noble's attempted clearance fell
straight to Rooney to steer home. West Ham were poor, Andy Carroll's tame
header the closest they came to a goal. United manager David Moyes, without
Netherlands striker van Persie for up to six weeks due to a sprained knee,
has had little to smile about this season. But Rooney's spectacular eighth
minute finish had the Scot out of his seat in the dug-out applauding a truly
wonderful goal. There were shades of David Beckham's memorable finish from
the halfway line for United against Wimbledon in 1996 as Rooney, spotting
Adrian well off his line, outmuscled James Tomkins before unleashing a
brilliant lob which sailed over the goalkeeper and into the net. This was
United's ninth Premier League win away from Old Trafford, where the Red
Devils return on Tuesday for the Manchester derby. While United's domestic
home form - five defeats in 14 games - continues to frustrate Moyes, he is
at least finding some solace on the road. Former Manchester United player
David Beckham was at Upton Park with his sons Brooklyn and Romeo to watch
his old club win. Beckham was seen applauding Rooney's spectacular goal
which had shades of his famous finish from the halfway line against
Wimbledon in 1996. With Beckham and England manager Roy Hodgson in the Upton
Park main stand, United carried on where they left off after reviving their
Champions League campaign at Olympiakos' expense on Wednesday. Rooney's
spectacular finish set the tone for a comfortable victory to move back to
within three points of fifth spot in the table. The Hammers should have
equalised in the 15th minute. But Carroll, who was unmarked, spurned a
glorious chance to give Hodgson a reminder of his goalscoring prowess ahead
of the World Cup when he headed straight at David De Gea from close range.
United, who had Michael Carrick as a makeshift centre-back in the absence of
the injured Rio Ferdinand and suspended Nemanja Vidic, carried a threat each
time they went forward. Shinji Kagawa, on only his eighth league start of
the campaign, forced a fine save from Adrian before the Spaniard beat away a
goal-bound shot from countryman Juan Mata. But United, who also recalled
Alexander Buttner, Marouane Fellaini, Darren Fletcher and Ashley Young,
established a two-goal cushion in the 33rd minute. Moments after the Hammers
had claims for a penalty waved away when Noble went to ground under a
Fletcher challenge, Young powered deep into West Ham's half. His cross fell
to Noble who could only kick the ball into Rooney's path and the United man
made no mistake from close range.

West Ham still have to secure their Premier League survival and face
Liverpool (home), Arsenal (away) and Manchester City (away) before the end
of the season. Sam Allardyce can only hope his team can raise their game
after a limp performance. The damage had already been done when Fellaini
crashed to the ground inside the West Ham penalty area after Antonio
Nocerino's challenge in the closing stages. But there were few complaints
from the visitors when referee Lee Mason waved away their appeals. United
had the points safely in the bag.

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce: "The first goal knocked the stuffing
out of us. "It's such a wonderful goal, you've got to admire the finish, but
to get off to a start like that when we were looking forward to this game,
having won the last three at home and trying to get more points on the
board. "Straight away you're 1-0 down against a side that have got an
abundance of talent. "I definitely thought there was a foul [leading up to
the first goal]. "When the ball comes forwards, James Tomkins is going to
try and win it. Wayne, not making an attempt for the ball, pushes him with
his left arm."

Sunny side up
Filed: Saturday, 22nd March 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham look set to play Liverpool in a glamorous post-season fixture in
Mauritius, according to reports. The friendly fixture between the two
Premeir League clubs has provisionally been pencilled in for Sunday, May 18
- a week after the culmination of this season's Premier League campaign.
Liverpool representative Olly Dale, the club's Director of Sales, said: "I'm
very impressed with everything in Mauritius, it's a great country. We've had
a very warm welcome extended to us here. We look forward to any prospective
game with the knowledge that this is a fantastic country."

Meanwhile Mark Gibbon, who has been widely reported as representing West Ham
United's interests, added: "It's a fantastic country, it's a fantastic
welcome. The people are beautiful. I'm very surprised how professional the
facilities are, good enough to host any international event here. I'm very
impressed indeed."
The game is scheduled to take place in Mauritius' Anjalay Stadium, a
30,000-capacity arena situated in Belle Vue Maurel. Also used for racing
(cars and bikes), the stadium received a multi-million overhaul in 2003 and
is used for many of the country's major sporting events.

Neither club has yet confirmed the fixture.

Wayne Rooney wonder strike helps Man Utd win 2-0 at West Ham
Last Updated: 23/03/14 8:09am

Two goals from Wayne Rooney, including a wonder strike from just inside the
West Ham half, secured Manchester United a 2-0 victory at Upton Park.
Returning to league action after progressing to the Champions League
quarter-finals with a fine victory against Olympiakos, the England
international netted twice as David Moyes' men proved Wednesday's result was
no flash in the pan.

Best of the match

Goal of the match: Wayne Rooney's opener would have graced any ground in
world football.
Moment of the match: Rooney's first. To hit with such precision after the
ball had bounced really takes some doing.
Man of the match: Wayne Rooney led by example as well as scoring both goals.
Talking point: Can United beat Manchester City on Tuesday night?

Rooney's second saw him move onto 212 goals and usurp Jack Rowley as the
third highest goalscorer in United's history, but it was his first just
eight minutes into the win that will live long in the memory. The
28-year-old produced a moment of magic, sending the ball sailing over Adrian
in a goal similar in audacity and skill to David Beckham's wonder strike at
Wimbledon in 1996. Rather aptly, the former United midfielder was at Upton
Park to witness the effort first-hand and will have been impressed by the
way Moyes' side held on to condemn West Ham to a third successive defeat.
Rooney's display was certainly a timely shot in the arm for United, with
Robin van Persie facing up to six weeks out with a sprained knee. His
enforced absence was one of the six changes from the midweek win over
Olympiakos, with the visitors impressing from the outset in east London. One
of those brought in, Marouane Fellaini, came close to putting the visitors
ahead inside three minutes, powering a header goalwards only for Andy
Carroll to hack off the line. Moyes' side continued in the ascendancy and
were almost then gifted a goal as Shinji Kagawa collected a miscued James
Tomkins pass, allowing the Japan international to thread through Juan Mata.

Adrian did well to stop the midfielder's strike but could only watch
helplessly as Rooney netted his contender for goal of the season. Having
outmuscled Tomkins, Rooney turned and hit a half-volley which sailed over
Adrian and into the net from fully 58 yards. Beckham, watching on from the
Upton Park stands, smiled wryly at the goal so similar to his own famous
strike, which West Ham tried to chalk off immediately . Mohamed Diame saw a
drive blocked by Alexander Buttner, before Carroll powered a header straight
at David de Gea moments after glancing a Kevin Nolan free-kick wide. Diame
lost his footing just before getting a shot away as the home side continued
to press, although they were leaving themselves open at the back. Manchester
United manager David Moyes hailed Wayne Rooney's first goal against West
Ham, liking it to David Beckham's wonder strike at Wimbledon in 1996. When
United next attacked Adrian had to be alert to deny Kagawa directing in a
Mata through-ball, before the Spaniard stung the palms of the West Ham
goalkeeper after wriggling free.

The visitors did not have to wait long to double their advantage, though. As
Nolan fumed at having a penalty appeal rejected by referee Lee Mason, United
countered at speed with Rooney playing the ball right to Ashley Young. The
returning winger burst forward and sent in a low cross that Mark Noble could
only hack into the path of Rooney, who easily directed home in the 33rd
minute. The goal moved him third in United's all-time scorers list and he
attempted to add to that haul before the break, although failed with three
efforts at a hat-trick. The Hammers returned from the break impressively
and, after Young saw an effort saved at the other end, Diame had a strike
blocked as West Ham attempted to carve open United's defence, which was
holding firm despite Michael Carrick playing as a makeshift centre-back. The
England midfielder did well to head away as Tomkins lurked at the back post,
before left-back Buttner failed with an attempt at the other end. West Ham
brought on Carlton Cole with less than 20 minutes remaining as they
continued to pump balls into the box, while United made changes of their
own, including the withdrawal of Rooney.

Rooney's replacement Javier Hernandez would have added a third had Kagawa
not sent a cross over the unmarked forward's head.

Sam Allardyce thought Wayne Rooney's first shouldn't have stood
Last Updated: 23/03/14 8:27am

West Ham's Sam Allardyce thought one or two decisions went against his side
in their 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester United. Wayne Rooney scored twice
for the visitors in the first half, the opener coming from at least 45 yards
out. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Allardyce praised the goal but
thought there may have been a foul in the build-up. He said: "It's such a
wonderful goal you've got to admire the finish. "But to get off to a start
like that having won the last three at home didn't help. It was wonderful,
you have to admire the talent. He didn't even look up. "If you look again
though it's probably a foul by Rooney. Rooney pushes James Tomkins and it's
difficult for the referee to see it. "He stops Tomkins heading the ball. The
assistant referee should have seen it but there you go. We didn't get a
couple today." West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was left admiring Wayne
Rooney's first goal after his side were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United.
Despite the defeat, Allardyce maintains there were some positives to take
from the display. He added: "I think we attacked well and got into some good
territorial positions. "When Man United are 2-0 up they just have to sit
back then and defend and you have to produce real quality. "They can hit you
on the break and that knocked the stuffing out of us but there were some
positives. They made six international changes from Wednesday night and they
proved it tonight. "My analysis on where we are is getting the points
quickly so hopefully we can get three on the board in the next game. "Our
defining games are against the teams around us."


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