#FlashbackFriday - West Ham United v Manchester United: Part Four - 2001 to 2017

(Part One can be found here, while Part Two can be found here and Part Three here)

On Harry Redknapp’s resignation in the summer of 2001, West Ham appointed former Orient and Newcastle defender Glenn Roeder as Hammers boss.  Roeder’s first meeting with Man United came in early December.  Man United languished as low as eighth in the Premiership and eight points behind league leaders Liverpool having played one game extra. Man United had suffered three defeats out of their previous four games – a 1-3 away losses to Liverpool and Arsenal, followed by a 0-3 home defeat to Chelsea.  West Ham in contrast stood in sixteenth place having won just four of their fifteen games played and six points off of the relegation zone.  Roeder managed to pull off West Ham’s first victory over Man United during the Premiership era, with a 1-0 win secured by a goal from a nineteen year old Jermaine Defoe, which consigned Man United to a third straight loss.

The return fixture at the Boleyn Ground came the following March, by which point Man United topped the Premiership though Arsenal sat one point beneath them with a game in hand.  West Ham meanwhile stood tenth.  Steve Lomas gave West Ham the lead after seven minutes, before a David Beckham chipped equaliser nine minutes later.  Frederik Kanoute restored the lead on nineteen minutes, before a Nicky Butt equaliser two minutes later.  Paul Scholes gave Man United the lead nine minutes into the second half before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put Man United 4-2 up on sixty three minutes.  With twelve minutes to go, Jermaine Defoe pulled one back, before a David Beckham penalty two minutes from time gave Man United a 5-3 victory.

By the close of the 2001/02 season however, Man United finished ten points off of league Champions Arsenal (who also bagged the FA Cup) in third place – the Reds’ lowest finish for eleven years.  West Ham managed a seventh place finish.  The following November, Man United returned to Upton Park sat in fifth place, ten points behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand.  West Ham however were second from bottom of the Premiership table.  Ruud Van Nistelrooy gave Man United the lead nine minutes before half time, before a Jermaine Defoe equaliser four minutes from full time earned the Hammers a 1-1 draw.


The return fixture came just under a month later, nine days before Christmas 2002.  Arsenal still topped the table, though Man United stood three points behind in third.  West Ham however were now anchored to the foot of the Premiership table.  Goals for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Juan Sebastian Veron and an own goal from Sebastian Schemmel gave Man United a 3-0 win.  Six weeks later, West Ham returned to Old Trafford to meet Man United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.  Goals for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Phil Neville and two apiece for Ryan Giggs and Ruud Van Nistelrooy inflicted a 6-0 hammering on West Ham.

The 2002/03 season ended with Man United winning back their title by a five point margin over runners up Arsenal.  West Ham meanwhile were consigned to the drop after a 2-2 away draw to Birmingham City on the final day of the season with Glenn Roeder exiting that same year.  The Hammers spent two seasons outside of the top flight, returning via the Play offs in 2004/05 under Alan Pardew.  In their absence, Man United endured two successive third place finishes in the Premiership.  The first meeting between the two sides on West Ham’s return came at Upton Park at the end of November 2005. At the time, Man United sat in fourth place and seven points behind leaders Chelsea and even Wigan Athletic in third.  West Ham meanwhile sat in ninth place.

The Hammers took the lead within two minutes with a goal from Marlon Harewood.  In the second half however, goals for Wayne Rooney and John O’Shea gave Man United a 2-1 win.  The return fixture at Old Trafford came at the end of March 2006.  Man United were twelve points behind leaders Chelsea, though had won their previous six games.  The Hammers meanwhile were sat in ninth place.  A goal for Ruud Van Nistelrooy gave Man United a 1-0 win.  Man United finished the season as runners up, eight points adrift of Champions Chelsea.  The Hammers ended their first season back in the top flight in ninth place, though reached the last FA Cup Final to be held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, losing on penalties to Liverpool after a 3-3 draw in normal time.


By the time of Man United’s visit to Old Trafford one week before Christmas 2006, the Reds were five points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premiership, while the Hammers languished in eighteenth place.  During the week, Alan Pardew had been sacked and replaced by Alan Curbishley one day prior to this fixture.  A goal from Nigel Reo-Coker fifteen minutes from time gave West Ham a 1-0 victory. 

West Ham’s visit to Old Trafford came on the final day of the season.  Man United had already sealed the 2006/07 Premiership title after second place Chelsea’s failure to beat Arsenal with two games left to play.  The Hammers meanwhile stood in seventeenth place with a three point cushion and a +2 goal difference.  The other two sides embroiled within the relegation battle – eighteenth place Wigan Athletic and sixteenth place Sheffield United – were to play each other that same day at Bramall Lane.  The Hammers secured their Premiership future with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a goal from Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez. 

A 2-1 win for Wigan over Sheffield United meant that the latter dropped outside of the top flight.  By the time of the next meeting between the two sides at Old Trafford the following December in the interim between Christmas and New year, Carlos Tevez would now be lining up for Man United.  The Reds had topped the Premiership table by one point over second place Arsenal, while West Ham sat in tenth place. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Man United the lead on fourteen minutes, which was held until fourteen minutes before the end when Anton Ferdinand – brother of Man United centre half Rio – bagged an equaliser.  Five minutes later, a Matthew Upson goal secured a 2-1 win for the Hammers.  A 4-1 win for Arsenal over Everton meant that Man United lost pole position to the Gunners. 

The return fixture back at Old Trafford came on the penultimate game of the season in May.  Man United topped the Premiership on goal difference ahead of Chelsea.  West Ham meanwhile lay in tenth place. Goals for former Hammers Carlos Tevez and Michael Carrick, as well as two for Cristiano Ronaldo meant a 4-1 win for Man United, while Dean Ashton would be on target for the Hammers.  Two weeks later, on the final day of the season Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Bolton meant the title headed to Old Trafford for the second season in a row.  Man United would also add the Champions League later that month by defeating Chelsea on penalties in Moscow. 

Five months on, West Ham’s visit to Old Trafford came at the end of October 2008, by which point Alan Curbishley had been replaced as Hammers boss by Gianfranco Zola.  Man United lay in sixth place and seven points behind league leaders Liverpool, with a game in hand.  West Ham were just three points behind in tenth place having lost four of the last six games.  Two first half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo meant a 2-0 win for Man United. 

By the time of the return fixture at the start of February 2009, Man United stood in second place, one point behind leaders Liverpool with two games in hand.  West Ham meanwhile were eighth in the table.  A goal for Ryan Giggs gave Man United a 1-0 victory, which allowed the Reds to overhaul Liverpool at the Premiership summit.  By May, Man United had secured another hat-trick of Premiership titles.

For the 2009/10 season, Man United’s visit to the Boleyn Ground came in early December with the Reds trailing league leaders Chelsea by five points in second place.  The Hammers meanwhile languished two points above the relegation zone, while Bolton Wanderers were one point behind with a game in hand.  Goals for Paul Scholes, Darron Gibson, Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney meant a 4-0 win for Man United which moved them to within two points of the top of the table after a 1-2 away defeat for Chelsea to Man City.  This defeat however moved West Ham to within a point of the relegation zone.

West Ham’s visit to Old Trafford in 2009/10 came in late February.  Man United stood four points behind Chelsea in second place, while West Ham stood in thirteenth place.  Goals for Michael Owen and two for Wayne Rooney meant a 3-0 victory for Man United which pushed the Reds to within one point of Chelsea at the top of the table.  By May, Man United lost their title to Chelsea by one point, after Chelsea bagged an 8-0 home win over Wigan Athletic on the final day.  The Hammers meanwhile finished one place above the relegation zone, though with a five point cushion over eighteenth place Burnley.

Over the summer of 2010, the Hammers sacked Gianfranco Zola and replaced him with former Chelsea boss Avram Grant.  West Ham and Man United met three games into the 2010/11 season at Old Trafford.  Man United had won and drawn their first two games, while the Hammers suffered back to back defeats against Aston Villa away and Bolton at home.  Goals for Wayne Rooney, Nani and Dimitar Berbatov gave Man United a 3-0 win, consigning the Hammers to a third straight defeat.  The two sides were drawn together in the League Cup Quarter Final at the end of November.  Two goals apiece for Jonathon Spector and Carlton Cole meant a surprise 4-0 win for the Hammers.      

The Hammers however were eliminated from the tournament at the Semi Final stage to that year’s eventual winners Birmingham City.  By the time of Man United’s return to the Boleyn Ground at the start of April 2011, the Reds had a five point cushion over second place Arsenal having played one game more.  The Hammers meanwhile were only kept out of the relegation zone by a goal difference of +1 over Wolves and two points over bottom club Wigan Athletic.  Within twenty five minutes, two Mark Noble penalties gave the Hammers a two goal lead.  Into the final twenty five minutes of the game however, goal from Javier Hernandez and a Wayne Rooney hat-trick secured a 4-2 win for Man United.

The result stretched Man United’s lead at the top to seven points.  West Ham meanwhile were plunged into the relegation zone with seven games left to play.  By May, Man United won their fourth title in five years, while West Ham’s relegation was confirmed with a 2-3 defeat to Wigan Athletic, finishing rock bottom by six clear points.  On the Hammers return to the top flight, their first visit to Old Trafford came in late November 2012.  Man United topped the Premiership with a one point margin over reigning Champions Man City.  The Hammers, now managed by Sam Allardyce, stood in eighth place.  A first minute goal from new signing Robin Van Persie gave Man United a 1-0 win.

By the early of January 2013, Man United were drawn away to West Ham in the third round of the FA Cup.  Tom Cleverly gave Man United the lead half way through the First Half, though the Hammers equalised four minutes later with a goal from James Collins, who added a second just short of the hour to give the Hammers the lead.  A last minute goal from Robin Van Persie however meant a 2-2 draw which took the tie to a replay.  A goal from Wayne Rooney in the replay meant a 1-0 win for Man United.  The Reds reached as far as the Quarter Final before losing to Chelsea.

By the time of Man United’s visit to Upton Park in mid-April, the Reds held a fifteen point lead at the top of the Premiership, while West Ham stood in twelfth.  The Hammers took the lead with a goal from Ricardo Vaz Te just past the quarter hour.  Just past the half hour, Antonio Valencia equalised for Man United.  Ten minutes into the second half Mo Diame restored the Hammers’ lead, before another equaliser from Robin Van Persie secured a 2-2 draw for Man United.

Five days later, Man United secured the Premiership title (their last to date), followed by Alex Ferguson announcing his retirement from football management.  Taking over from Fergie at the helm would be Everton boss David Moyes.  West Ham’s first and only visit to Old Trafford during the David Moyes era came four days ahead of Christmas in December 2013, with Man United standing in eighth place and ten points behind League leaders Arsenal.  West Ham meanwhile were one point above the relegation zone in seventeenth.  Goals for Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young gave Man United a 3-1 win, while Carlton Cole bagged a consolation for the Hammers nine minutes from the end.

Moyes’s only visit to the Boleyn Ground as Man United manager came in late March 2014.  Man United stood eighteen points off ofour f leaders Chelsea in seventh place with nine games left to play.  West Ham in contrast stood just five places below Man United in twelfth.  Two goals for Wayne Rooney gave Man United a 2-0 win (the first an excellent forty yard shot past Hammers’ goalkeeper Adrian).  Man United however finished 2013/14 in seventh position, leading to the sacking of David Moyes, with Louis Van Gaal taking over at Old Trafford.

LVG’s first meeting with West Ham came at the end of September 2014 at Old Trafford.  Man United had managed to win just one of their first five games, sitting twelfth.  West Ham meanwhile stood in eighth.  Goals for Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie gave Man United a 2-1 win, while Diafra Sakho pulled one back for the Hammers.

By the start of February 2015, Man United stood thirteen points off of League leaders Chelsea in fourth.  West Ham meanwhile were in eighth position.  Cheikhou Kouyate gave West Ham the lead four minutes into the second half, before Daley Blind grabbed a last minute equaliser and a 1-1 draw.

Man United finished the season in fourth place, while the Hammers finished twelfth and parted company with Sam Allardyce to appoint former Hammer Slaven Billic.  By the time of Billic’s first trip to Old Trafford in early December 2015, Man United stood one point behind League leaders Man City in third.  West Ham however stood in eighth place.  The two sides played out a 0-0 draw.  The next meeting between the two sides came three months on, when they were drawn together in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.  At Old Trafford, Dimitri Payet gave West Ham the lead with twenty two minutes left to play, however with seven minutes remaining Anthony Martial bagged an equalizer with the tie ending in a 1-1 draw.

The replay back at the Boleyn Ground took place exactly one month later.  Man United took a two goal lead with Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini on target.  James Tomkins pulled one back with eleven minutes left to play, however a 2-1 win for Man United meant that West Ham’s final season at the Boleyn Ground would end trophy-less.  Four weeks later, Man United would visit the Boleyn Ground for the final fixture to be played at the Hammers home of 112 years.  The kick off would be delayed by forty five minutes due to the Man United side being caught up in traffic on the way to the ground.  On entering the Boleyn Ground, the Man United team bus came under attack by West Ham fans outside of the ground. 

When play finally got under way, the Hammers took the lead with a goal from Diafra Sakho.  In the second half, two goals for Anthony Martial gave Man United a 2-1 lead.  In the final fourteen minutes however, goals for Michail Antonio and Winston Reid meant that the Hammers final game at the Boleyn Ground would end in a 3-2 victory followed by a closing ceremony in honour of their spiritual home.  The result meant that Man United would fail to qualify for the Champions League for the second season out of three.  Despite winning the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley ten days later, LVG would face the sack as Man United manager with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho appointed in his place.

Jose Mourinho’s first meeting with the Hammers as Man United boss came at the end of November 2016.  Man United stood sixth, having won just five of their twelve games played.  West Ham meanwhile were in seventeenth place and only kept out of the relegation zone on goal difference.  Diafra Sakho gave the Hammers the lead after two minutes, however an equaliser from Zlatan Ibrahimović meant a 1-1 draw.  Three days later, the two sides met again at Old Trafford in the Quarter Final of the newly rebranded EFL Cup.  Two goals apiece for Antony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimović put the Reds through to the Semi Finals with a 4-1 win, while Ashley Fletcher would be on target for the Hammers.

On the 2nd January this year, Man United made their debut appearance at West Ham's former Olympic Stadium, as the two teams met for the third time in as many weeks.  On fifteen minutes, after taking a heavy touch in the final third, West Ham's Feghouli left the ground to challenge Man United's Phil Jones in a 50-50 challenge. Jones won the ball, but the ref adjudged the tackle to be worthy of a red card, despite Feghouli not showing his studs in the challenge.  Goals for Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic meant a 2-0 victory for Man United.

And so on to Sunday.  Man United managed to regain their place in the Champions League for the 2017/18 season, though failed to achieve a top four finish, ending 2016/17 in sixth.  United will obviously want to improve on this for 2017/18, however West Ham with the inclusion of Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Anautovich and Joe Hart maybe buoyed as a result of this, not least with former Red Javier Hernandez making his debut against his old club.  West Ham however have only won two games against Man United during the 2010s, both of which at the Boleyn Ground which no longer exists.  West Ham's last win at Old Trafford was over ten years ago, on the final day of the 2006/07, after the title had been secured.  Therefore, its fair to say the odds may well be against a Hammers victory this weekend. 

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*Published August 11th 2017