Tony Cottee: Manchester United win one of the best for West Ham

Win over United one of the finest for many years

Tuesday night will go down as one the greatest the club have had in the last 20 years or so.

It was a tremendous performance and a great reward for the fans who managed to file into Upton Park.

The supporters have been starved of cup success of recent times and their loyalty through these tough times was rewarded.

I, like most fans when we saw the team sheet would not have been too confident, despite Manchester United not playing their best team and I felt we would do well to take the game to extra-time.


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I feel there were a couple of turning points which really swung the game in our favour. Rob Green made a fantastic diving save to deny Gabriel Obertan early on and James Tomkins did superbly well to follow in the shot and clear the danger when it looked likely United would score.

The disallowed goal I think also in a strange way worked in our favour. There was such a delay before the goal being scored and it being chalked off, fans and players alike believed we had taken the lead leaving both fired up.

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In the end it was a good decision by the referee as Victor Obinna’s shot deflected off Jonathan Spector, who was a yard offside and into the net.

It was a stunning performance from Spector, who had one of those nights where everything went right for him.

He was your classic box-to-box midfielder making surging runs into the area and supporting the strikers, an aspect of West Ham’s game which has not been at its best this season.

His hard work was rewarded with two excellent goals and the biggest compliment I could give him is that we did not miss Scott Parker out there on Tuesday night. I was delighted for Jonathan because he is such a nice lad, tries hard always give his best and was well deserving of his man of the match award.

Carlton Cole was also tremendous and it was so pleasing to see him hit a brace.

It has been a tough season for Carlton, in of the team one minute and out the next, struggling to find the net, so last night would have boosted his confidence no end.

After he was dropped I said in this column he needed to knuckle down train hard and take his opportunities when they came.

I had sympathy for his comments after the Liverpool game. He was right he had no service and was left isolated and as a striker that is extremely frustrating.

It may have led to a negative reaction for the fans and him dropping to the bench in Saturday’s win against Wigan, but he has reacted positively and took his goals extremely well on Tuesday.

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