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Tony Cottee Column: West Ham deserved a point against Manchester United

PUBLISHED: 17:26 04 April 2011

West Ham United's Mark Noble (centre) celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot with teammates Matthew Upson (right) and Demba Ba (left)

West Ham United's Mark Noble (centre) celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot with teammates Matthew Upson (right) and Demba Ba (left)

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“For me Ba would have had a goal scoring opportunity, so Vidic should have gone and if he had it’s unlikely United would have come back from two goals down to win 4-2.”

Nemanda Vidic should have been sent off for his foul on Demba Ba, but he didn’t and Manchester United went on to win the game.

For me Ba would have had a goal scoring opportunity, so Vidic should have gone and if he had it’s unlikely United would have come back from two goals down to win 4-2.

They wouldn’t have been able to make the attacking substitutions they would have at half-time, while they would also have been more open for the counter attack.

I won’t be too critical of the referee because the official was a long way away and you only get a split second to make a decision and I believe he got the rest of the big decisions right.

There is no doubt that Patrice Evra handballed when Cole flicked the ball over his head and it did look like Cole was tripped inside the box by Vidic.

I also understand a lot won’t agree with me over Upson’s handball, but I believe any handball inside the area, whether it be accidental or intentional should be penalised.

I think a draw would have been a fair result. The West Ham midfield were excellent in the first half, we had a lot of possession and we looked good going forward.

It was a wonderful game to watch and I was particularly impressed by Mark Noble who has been outstanding of late.

He started the season a bit slowly, but he has really upped his game and it’s no surprise that West Ham’s improvement in form has mirrored that Noble.

Carlton Cole was also impressive on Saturday, he was a real physical presence up front for the Hammers, which was lacking when he was replaced by Frederic Piquionne.

I found it a bit of a strange substitution and was expecting maybe Robbie Keane to come on before him.

With so many strikers at the club, it almost seems like boss Avram Grant is obliged to make changes up front.

It will be interesting to see how the team react on a mental level. Going 2-0 up and losing 4-2 is always a blow, but thee fact it was against Manchester United, who did play so well in the second half may soften the blow.

We will only find out next Saturday for the match against Bolton.

The pressure is on, especially with the table so tight at the bottom.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner

For all the latest West Ham news, views and interviews follow us on twiiter at www.twitter.com/ela_hammers

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