Wayne Rooney’s second half hat-trick kept Manchester United’s title hopes on track at Upton Park. The England international who has had a rough season after performing so well last season looked to have found his goal scoring touch once again.
In the first half United dominated the possession but it was West Ham United who enjoyed the first 45 minutes of this dramatic match. Mark Noble gave the Hammers a 2-0 lead by converting two penalties, the first of which was for a handball on United left back Patrice Evra and the second from a foul committed by United captain Nemanja Vidic on Carlton Cole.
The first penalty decision was fairly called as Patrice Evra clearly handled the ball intentionally after Carlton Cole popped the ball in the air, Mark Noble stepped up and slotted home the penalty in the 11th minute sending stand in goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak the wrong direction. On the second penalty the referee Lee Mason got it all wrong but in fairness to him it was a decision he had to make in a split second on a play that would’ve needed instant replay to have the decision overturned but there’s no instant replay in football, well atleast the real football. Nemanja Vidic’s foul on Carlton Cole was just on the outside the penalty area but the West Ham striker fell into the area and was rewarded with a penalty kick which Mark Noble stepped up and blasted into the net pass the outstretched hand of Tomasz Kuszczak giving the Hammers a 2-0 lead at home.
The second half of the match saw United making a few changes with Patrice Evra being subbed off and replaced by Javier Hernandez, the left back position was then filled in by Ryan Giggs. The Reds’ came out for the second half determined to get something from this match to keep their title rivals at bay, United started passing the ball around the pitch much better than they did in the first half and were creating problems for the Hammers.
United got a lifeline in the 65th minute from a sweetly struck Wayne Rooney freekick, in the 73rd minute he was on the score sheet again this time he received a long pass from Antonio Valencia and touched it pass a West Ham defender then fired the ball into the goal to bring United level.
With 17 minutes of normal time remaining United were on the up while West Ham’s defense started to look shakier by the minute, now with the match even on the scoreline at 2-2 United pressed forward in search of a game winning goal while the Hammers were hoping to hold on for a valuable point in their fight to avoid relegation. This day was to be United’s day though as the Reds’ completed a remarkable comeback when they were rewarded a penalty of their own as Matthew Upson was judge to have handled the ball intentionally after Fabio had made a nice run into the box and tried to play the ball back to a teammate. Rooney stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slotted home the ball to complete his hat-trick and an amazing comeback and second half hat-trick.
The scoring wasn’t over there as Reds’ continued to push forward and cause further damage to an already demoralized West Ham team and were rewarded once again when Ryan Giggs fired a shot across the box which traveled pass one defender and through the legs of two West Ham defenders to an onrushing Javier Hernandez who slid in to knock the ball into the net, it was game over after that. That goal not only sealed an amazing comeback but also pushed West Ham down into the relegation zone. A match like this is sure to help Manchester United in their hopes of winning a record 19th league title.