The Hammers responded magnificently under new coach Alan Curbishley and notched up a win for the ages at Upton Park against Manchester United, a team that had not lost an away game this season in 8 matches. West Ham had not won against Man Utd, well since the Berlin Wall fell!
In a bit of magic, again initiated by that 40+ wizard Teddy Sheringham, whose pass from the right flank found a hustling Harewood muscling in a ball for the steaming Reo-Coker to slot past Van der Saar. The goal saw Upton Park erupt. A decidedly nervous Eggert Magnusson looked ecstatic.
The next 14 minutes saw Man Utd throw everything and the kitchen sink at the Hammers. Even Van Der Saar ventured into the penalty box to have a go with his noggin at some of the Ronaldo corners and free kicks. Some great goalkeeping by Robert Green and stout defending by McCartney, Konchesky, and Anton Ferdinand kept Man Utd from scoring.
This game saw a previously somnolent Nigel Reo-Coker who under Alan Pardew seemed to be going through the motions, come alive. He made the difference because so much of the Hammers attack goes through Reo-Coker. It was fitting that he got the match winner.
With Everton's loss to Chelsea, 2-3 earlier in the day, Drogba scoring the winner yet again, Man Utd's lead over second place Chelsea has now shrunk to two. More importantly, the West Ham win has breathed new life into the more distantly placed teams like Arsenal and Liverpool to climb up further.
Some questions remain for Curbishley as he steers West Ham out of the woods. He used experience in this match to counter Man Utd bringing in Sheringham, Benayoun, and McCartney. Absent were the two Argentinian imports, Tevez and Mascherano. With this win, Curbs might not feel like tinkering around too much with the lineup. Dean Ashton is due to return to squad duty by the end of the month and that will further complicate Tevez's minutes.