FA Premeirship
Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United 

Wednesday, 29th March 2006
by Graeme Howlett

West Ham have lost by a single goal in tonight's Premiership encounter with Manchester United.

The Hammers conceded the only goal of a pulsating affair in the final minute of the first-half; the recalled Ruud Van Nistelrooy grabbing the goal for the home side to give them a 1-0 win - their 10th successive victory in all competitions.

Alan Pardew went into the game with the same team that won 2-1 at Wigan last weekend, and his side had given a good account of themselves up until the final minute of the first-half where once again a lack of concentration proved costly as Van Nistelrooy scored from a Park cross.

As the game wore on the Hammers visibly tired and did well to restrict the Reds to just a single goal - although Marlon Harewood almost snatched a dramatic equaliser for the Hammers in the closing moments.

Alan Pardew - whose team ended the match with three strikers on the pitch after late introductions for substitutes Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham - has plenty of praise for his team, despite the defeat.

"This is a big stage, they've got some big players - and we found them in good form," he said.

"It was tough for us, but we gave a real honest account of ourselves and we had some big bonuses.

"Anton came back from injury and looked fantastic when he came on. We had some real good displays.

"They had a few big names missing - but they bring in other international players, so it is difficult."

Meanwhile, Reds boss Alex Ferguson was equally pleased with the win that keeps his side in touch with league leaders Chelsea.

"The way the game was played it's a bit surprising there was only one goal. It was a very open game," he said.

"Both teams had a go and I think we played some fantastic attacking football which we should have rewarded with more goals - but the most important thing was three points."

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Player Ratings

Shaka Hislop
Comments to follow.

Lionel Scaloni
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Paul Konchesky
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Danny Gabbidon
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James Collins
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Hayden Mullins
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Nigel Reo-Coker
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Yossi Benayoun
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Matthew Etherington
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Marlon Harewood
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Dean Ashton
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Anton Ferdinand
(Replaced Scaloni, 67) Comments to follow.

Bobby Zamora
(Replaced Etherington, 80) Comments to follow.

Teddy Sheringham
(Replaced Ashton, 80) Comments to follow.

Jimmy Walker
Did not play.

Carl Fletcher
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Lionel Scaloni, Paul Konchesky, Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Dean Ashton.

Goals: None.

Booked: None booked.           .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Manchester United: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Pique, Park, van Nistelrooy, Rooney.

Subs not used: Howard, Rossi.

Goals: van Nistelrooy (45).

Booked: None booked.

Sent off: None.

Referee: G.Poll.

Attendance: 69,522.

Man of the Match: tbc.