West Ham United 3 – 0 Stoke City

West Ham United v Stoke City – Premier League

West Ham hauled themselves out of the Premier League drop zone as Stoke pressed the self-destruct button at Upton Park.The Hammers made it back-to-back league wins for the first time in more than a year to stay on course to complete a great escape from relegation.

Demba Ba was gifted his fourth goal in just five appearances after a calamitous Stoke mix-up, the recalled Manuel da Costa made it 2-0 and Thomas Hitzlsperger smashed in a late third to inflict a club record sixth straight away league defeat on the visitors.

The game was the first of back-to-back meetings between the two sides, who are also set to clash for the fourth time this season in the FA Cup quarter-finals a week on Sunday. Read more of this post

United blame City tactics for boring derby

 

Chances were few and far between in the 157th Manchester derby

Chances were few and far between in the 157th Manchester derby

Sir Alex Ferguson pointed the finger at Roberto Mancini‘s tactics as the reason behind one of the duller Manchester derbies in recent times but the Italian has defended his right to play for a point, adding that his players were fatigued.

Neither goalkeeper had much to do throughout the 0-0 draw at Eastlands on Wednesday night, although Manchester United arguably showed more ambition than their rivals, dominating possession and field position in the second half despite a lack of chances.

If substitutions can be used as a barometer for a manager’s strategy, Mancini’s decision to save striker Emmanuel Adebayor as a time-wasting change in the 94th minute hints at a man happy to settle for a point. Ferguson was handicapped in that facet due to injuries to his fullbacks Rafael and Patrice Evra. Read more of this post

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