West Ham United closed out 112-year-old Boleyn Ground in style, as defender Winston Reid’s stunning header in the 81st minute assured the Hammers a 3-2 victory over Manchester United in their final match at their home stadium on Tuesday.
Breaking a 2-2 standstill, Reid powered Dimitri Payet’s cross past Manchester United keeper David De Gea and denied the Red Devils a chance at inching closer to a Champions League berth.
Slaven Bilic's side led after Diafra Sakho’s goal in the 10th minute, but Anthony Martial notched a brace with goals in the 51st and 72nd minutes to give Manchester United hope of knocking West Ham down. At the moment, West Ham are just one point short of Manchester United for fifth place.
But defender Michail Antonio levied the equalizer in the 76th, again off a Payet cross, allowing Reid to save the day with his first Premier League goal of the term.
The game was delayed after unruly West Ham fans attacked the Manchester United team bus. Pictures showed smashed windows. Local police confirmed that one officer and one civilian sustained minor injuries.
The loss is a difficult one for Louis van Gaal. Manchester United missed a massive opportunity to leapfrog Manchester City for fourth place on the table to set up a clinching match against Bournemouth on Sunday. Now Van Gaal’s side need their local rivals to lose a road match against Swansea City to have any chance of reaching the world's top club tournament.
West Ham, seeking a berth in Europa League, are not out of the woods yet. Southampton, slotted in seventh place, trail the Hammers by just two points entering the final week of the season. Meanwhile, Liverpool are just four points behind and have two games left on their schedule.