Done up like a kipper: the very worst of Man Utd

It's fair to say that West Ham have been particularly hard done by during matches against Manchester United over the years.

Embed from Getty Images

The two old rivals meet competitively for the 142nd occasion in Stratford this weekend with the visitors having the upper hand, having won 66 of those meetings to West Ham's 44 (with 31 draws).

And Manuel Pellegrini's side will be praying that match referee Anthony Taylor will deliver a better - and fairer - performance that many of those who have preceded him over the years.

In the build up to this weekend's clash, we thought we take a trip down memory lane to review five of the worst decisions ever to befall the Hammers in their many clashes with Old Trafford's finest in the Premier League era.

And whether you agree or disagree with the following list, it's fair to say that the scales of justice have been tipped in Manchester United's favour rather more often than they should've been...

5. September 2014: Nolan Nullified

Embed from Getty Images

Kevin Nolan was left furious after he was denied what would've been a point-winning effort in the closing moments of a 2014 meeting at Old Trafford.

2-1 down and with less than two minutes of normal time remaining, the Hammers thought they had grabbed a late equaliser when substitute Nolan - who initially appeared to be onside - bundled a Carl Jenkinson cross over the line only to see his 'goal' ruled out by a linesman's flag.

And that left a vastly disappointed Nolan - who replays confirmed was no more than an inch offside, impossible to see with the naked eye - berating match official Lee Mason for "taking a gamble".

"I think the referee was behind me and he just sort of gambled on it," moaned the former skipper. "He's definitely gambled on it because if he had seen it, he wouldn't have given it offside."

4. January 2017: Feghouli's Fury

Embed from Getty Images

Mike Dean (who else?) was in charge on a chilly January afternoon when Manchester United visited the LOS for the first time since West Ham's move from Upton Park.

The match was just 15 minutes old when the constantly errant official decided to dismiss winger Sofiane Feghouli for little more than being fouled by Phil Jones.

Sensing that he might earn himself a caution, Jones - who executed a particularly spiteful scissors challenge on West Ham's Algerian winger - feigned injury and fell to the ground in mock agony.

And that led dopey Dean to somehow ascertain that it was Jones who had been the victim of foul play, instantly dismissing a perplexed Sofiane as a result.

The visitors, who not for the first time benefited from a referee's decision in a game between the two sides, went on to win the game 2-0.

3. December 2002: Defoe Disallowed

Embed from Getty Images

Jermain Defoe had already been denied what appeared to be a cast-iron penalty shout before referee Rob Styles ruled out a goal that would've given the Hammers a lifeline on the stroke of half time in this 2002 encounter.

Trailing 2-0 at the time to goals from Solskjaer and Veron, Defoe found the back of the net with a clever strike on the turn from inside the penalty box. To his horror, and despite being at least two yards onside, referee Styles immediately overturned the goal indicating that the young striker was offside.

West Ham's misery was compounded when a Sebastien Schemmel own goal gave the Reds a 3-0 win they barely deserved. But such was life during those years as an away team at Old Trafford.

2. April 2019: Anderson's Agony

Embed from Getty Images

Felipe Anderson thought he had made the most of West Ham's solid start in the only previous meeting between the two teams this year when he cleverly volleyed home a cross from the right flank to give West Ham an early lead.

But referee Graham Scott clearly had a different script to follow as he instantly ruled out the Brazilian's effort even though he was clearly being played onside by Reds full back Diogo Dalot.

It was no surprise to see the home side awarded TWO penalties as the game went on before a second-half effort, also from Anderson, was finally allowed to stand.

With no further goals scored, West Ham had once again been denied a draw at Old Trafford - and what would've been a most valuable point in their (ultimately unsuccessful) fight for a European spot.

1. March 2016: Randy Rolled

Embed from Getty Images

"Another day, another trip to Old Trafford cheated out of a win," is how KUMB match reporter Gordon Thrower saw this one.

West Ham had led this FA Cup quarter final since the 68th minute, when Dimitri Payet scored one of the greatest free kicks you are ever likely to see - completely bamboozling David De Gea from nearly 35 yards out.

With just seven minutes of normal time remaining the travelling faithful sensed that another famous FA Cup victory was on the cards - until Martin Atkinson someone failed to spot a blatant act of cheating by Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Not only was the German midfielder offside as a cross by Ander Herrera was delivered into the box but he was somehow allowed to shove Hammers 'keeper Darren Randolph into the net before Anthony Martial applied the finishing touch, despite protestations from Slaven Bilic's players, thus earning the Reds a replay at Upton Park.

Naturally the replay went in favour of the visitors, who went on to win a Final they should never have been in by virtue of a 2-1 defeat of Crystal Palace.

* Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

More Opinion