Daley Blind Saves Manchester United F.C. vs West Ham United
Manchester United failed to take third place from Southampton in the Premier League as they were held 1-1 by West Ham United.
Daley Blind scored a stoppage-time volley as Manchester United belied an off-colour performance to rescue a 1-1 draw at West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Auxiliary centre-back Cheikhou Kouyate's stylish 49th-minute finish looked to have earned West Ham a deserved first win over United in 13 league games, only for Blind to draw the visitors level at the death.
But United left-back Luke Shaw was sent off moments later after a lunge at Stewart Downing and there was no disguising the deficiencies of a United team who have won only two of their last seven games in all competitions.
Blind's goal prevented Louis van Gaal's side from succumbing to a first away defeat since November 2, but it was not enough for them to reclaim third place from Southampton, who they trail by a point.
Sam Allardyce's West Ham finished the weekend seven points below their opponents in eighth place, and they had reason to feel aggrieved after a commanding display.
Injuries to West Ham defenders James Collins and Winston Reid saw Kouyate pressed into action in central defence and he made a crucial early intervention to thwart Robin van Persie after Alex Song had passed the ball straight to the United striker.
But it was West Ham who set the tempo in the first half, with Enner Valencia's forceful running causing problems for a visiting defence inadequately shielded by solitary holding midfielder Blind.
Phil Jones had to clear after David de Gea drilled a clearance straight to Valencia, who then worked the United goalkeeper twice in the space of a minute.
The Ecuadorean's right-foot drive obliged De Gea to plunge to his left and from the resulting corner, a miscued volley by the West Ham striker forced the Spaniard to tip the ball over the bar.
With United's front two of Radamel Falcao and Van Persie starved of possession, West Ham continued to press, fuelled by a sense of injustice after Van Persie escaped punishment for catching James Tomkins in the face with his left arm as he attempted to shield the ball.
It took a last-ditch sliding challenge from Antonio Valencia to deny Diafra Sakho a sight of goal, while De Gea had to save with his foot when Tomkins met Aaron Cresswell's deep free-kick with a downward header.
Short of a shot from Angel di Maria that he caught comfortably, Adrian was a virtual spectator in the home goal.
The half-time whistle gave the visitors a welcome opportunity to regroup, but West Ham needed less than four minutes in the second half to make their dominance count.
Mark Noble curled a free-kick into the box that struck Wayne Rooney and looped up for Kouyate, who kept the ball airborne with two delicate touches before lashing a volley past De Gea via a deflection off Blind.
Belatedly, United threatened to stir, with Falcao shooting wide and Van Persie working Adrian at his near post.
But as the visitors pressed, they left gaps at the back, and after Cresswell had tested De Gea from long range, Carl Jenkinson saw a cross drift fractionally wide of the left-hand post from wide on the right.
Van Gaal turned to his regular Plan B, introducing Marouane Fellaini in place of Adnan Januzaj, and after Falcao had stabbed wide when clean through, Adrian blocked from Van Persie.
Noble would have extended West Ham's lead had he not shot straight at De Gea and it was an opportunity that took on greater significance in the 92nd minute when Blind seized on Jenkinson's misplaced clearance to spear a volley into Adrian's bottom-right corner.