Manchester United’s hopes of claiming a top four finish and qualifying for the Champions League suffered a major setback on Tuesday following their loss to West Ham.
A late header by defender Winston Reid gave West Ham a 3-2 win over Louis Van Gaal’s side as the Hammers bade farewell to Upton Park after 112 years.
United knew that a win would take them into the final weekend of the season with their hopes of securing Champions League football next season in their own hands, and they looked to be in dreamland when an Anthony Martial brace overturned Diafra Sakho’s early opener.
Slaven Bilic’s men rallied back, with Michail Antonio levelling the scores in the 75th-minute before Reid settled it four minutes later to ensure that the Upton Park curtain came down in considerable style.
Dimitri Payet whipped in the free-kick and Winston Reid’s header simply overpowered David de Gea. He got both hands to the ball, but it was not enough.
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West Ham will play at the Olympic Stadium next season as they remain on course for a Europa League qualification.
The result moves West Ham up to sixth, ensuring the Hammers left this corner of east London with honour and pride intact, while United are now two points behind rivals Manchester City in the race for the last Champions League spot ahead of Sunday’s final round of fixtures.
United host Bournemouth, while City travel to Swansea City, knowing a point would secure Champions League qualification for them.
Prior to the game, there were disgraceful scenes outside Upton Park when the late arrival of Manchester United’s team bus was hit by glass bottles and other missiles.
Video footage on the coach by Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard showed the players reaction as the coach was hit by objects thrown outside the ground.
“It wasn’t nice, the coach got smashed up,” said Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney told Sky Sports. “I’m sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done.”
The incident prompted West Ham to issue life ban to fans found responsible for the attack.
“We are aware that there were some supporters outside the Boleyn Ground who didn’t act in an appropriate way,” a club statement read.
“We will work closely with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to fully investigate these matters.
“It was an extraordinary night full of extraordinary moments in front of extraordinary fans, 99% of whom behaved impeccably and were a credit to the club.
“We have already had thousands of tweets and emails from fans to say how proud they were to be a part of such a special evening in West Ham’s history.
“However, we are aware that there were some supporters outside the Boleyn Ground who didn’t act in an appropriate way when the Manchester United team bus was damaged.
“That was not acceptable and we will work with the police to identify those responsible and ban them for life.”
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The Football Association also condemned the incident, describing it as an “unsavoury”.