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EPL PIX: United's Champions League hopes in shreds after loss at West Ham

May 11, 2016 09:54 IST

West Ham United's Winston Reid celebrates as he scores the winning goal against Manchester United during their Barclays Premier League match at the Boleyn Ground in London on Tuesday

IMAGE: West Ham United's Winston Reid celebrates as he scores the winning goal against Manchester United during their Barclays Premier League match at the Boleyn Ground in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

West Ham bade farewell to the Boleyn Ground after 112 years with a pulsating 3-2 victory over Manchester United to leave the visitors' top-four hopes in tatters on Tuesday.

On an emotionally-charged night in east London, it looked as though Anthony Martial's double had ruined the Hammers' party but late headed goals from Michail Antonio and Winston Reid secured the win that almost took the roof off the old stadium.

As the home team lapped up the applause and fans broke into a stirring rendition of their 'I'm forever blowing bubbles' anthem, United's players trudged off knowing their Champions League qualification hopes are no longer in their own hands.

"In the last match of the season we can pass over ManchesterCity, they can lose and we can win -- then we are fourth, you can count I think?" United boss Louis van Gaal told reporters.

For United to finish fourth they have to beat Bournemouth in their final match of the season while ManchesterCity must lose to Swansea.

Manchester United's Anthony Martial (right) scores their second goal past West Ham United's goalkeepr Darren Randolph

IMAGE: Manchester United's Anthony Martial (right) scores their second goal past West Ham United's goalkeepr Darren Randolph. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Van Gaal also refused to blame an attack on the team bus by West Ham fans for his side's defeat, though his players looked nonplussed as they were pinned back early on in the Boleyn cauldron after a 45-minute delay to kickoff.

"We know it can happen so we have to cope with that. Twenty minutes from the end, we were 2-1 ahead so I don't think that was an influence," the Dutchman said.

While United's need was probably greater, West Ham were desperate to leave the Boleyn on a high after a 4-1 drubbing by SwanseaCity at the weekend.

They went ahead after 10 minutes when Diafra Sakho swept the ball home from Manuel Lanzini's cut back, then Andy Carroll spurned a great chance to make it 2-0 and Antonio had a goal ruled out.

United sent on former West Ham midfielder Michael Carrick after the break to try to instigate a comeback.

West Ham United's Diafra Sakho (right) and Manchester United's Chris Smalling battle for the ball

IMAGE: West Ham United's Diafra Sakho (right) and Manchester United's Chris Smalling battle for the ball. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The visitors did improve and were level after 51 minutes when Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata combined to set up Martial.

Dimitri Payet and Sakho went close to putting West Ham back in front but United struck on the break when Martial's shot embarrassed goalkeeper Darren Randolph at the near post.

The visitors' lead lasted four minutes though as playmaker Payet's floated pass picked out Antonio, who thumped a header past United goalkeeper David de Gea.

With the atmosphere building to a crescendo, West Ham snatched victory in their 2,398th and inal game at Upton Park when Reid's header beat De Gea's despairing attempt to keep the ball out.

The roars would have been heard down the road at the Olympic Stadium where sixth-placed West Ham could host Europa League matches next season if they finish with another win at StokeCity on Sunday.

Man United team bus attacked

Police get into action as bottles are thrown at the Manchester United team bus before the match

IMAGE: Police get into action as bottles are thrown at the Manchester United team bus before the match. Photograph: Eddie Keogh Livepic/Reuters

But while the manner of victory was a fitting send-off for the 112-year-old ground, ahead of West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium, it was marred by pre-match scenes that saw the United bus struck with cans and bottles.  

Huge crowds, many without tickets, had congregated outside the stadium for the sell-out Premier League clash.

However, the carnival atmosphere was replaced by shameful scenes as some West Ham fans spotted United's coach on Green Street outside the ground and threw missiles, including a smoke canister, at the vehicle.

Several windows on the coach were damaged during the chaos and policemen with riot shields moved in to quell the trouble.

Footage filmed by United's players on board the bus showed them cowering on the floor as they bus came under attack.

Police eventually managed to escort the United team to the entrance less than an hour before the scheduled 1845 GMT kick-off and the match began at 1930 GMT.

A man is knocked over by police horses as West Ham fans become violent and start throwing bottles at police outside the Boleyn Ground

IMAGE: A man is knocked over by police horses as West Ham fans become violent and start throwing bottles at police outside the Boleyn Ground. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

It resulted in a 45-minute delay to kick-off, and there were further scenes of disorder when De Gea had bottles thrown at him following Martial's equaliser.

The Football Association subsequently announced an investigation.

London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement that one officer and a member of the public sustained minor injuries, but no arrests had been made.

The Football Association also announced that it would launch a full investigation, including an incident where objects were thrown at United goalkeeper David de Gea during the game.

"The FA strongly condemns the unsavoury incidents this evening," it said in a statement.

West Ham have played at the 35,000-capacity Boleyn Ground since 1904 but will begin next season in the 700 million pounds ($1.01 billion) Olympic Stadium after agreeing a 99-year lease.

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