Old Trafford has more often than not been the theatre of screams for West Ham United.
Just occasionally though, our visits to the largest club ground in England have produced some truly wonderful moments for the Hammers faithful. Here, Blowing Bubbles looks back at some of the brighter days we’ve experienced in our ventures north..
Manchester United 0 West Ham United 2 March 9, 1986
In 1986 West Ham United were on the cusp of greatness. Frankie McAvenie, Tony Cottee and co had put the Hammers on the brink of a possible League and Cup double when the Irons arrived at Old Trafford for their fifth round cup replay. In the midst of the club’s greatest ever season to date, the Irons claimed a memorable 2-0 win against the Red Devils.
They travelled to Manchester on the back of four defeats on the spin at Old Traff ord but goals from Geoff Pike, who produced a bullet header from just inside the box from a Mark Ward corner in the 18th minute, and a Ray Stewart penalty after Alvin Martin had been felled in the box secured the win for the Hammers.
Manchester United 0 West Ham United 1 January 28, 2001
In the early 2000s Glenn Roeder enjoyed two of his finest days as West Ham manager pulling off two wins against Sir Alex Ferguson’s team in 2001. Roeder who had never won at the Theatre of Dreams as a player travelled to Old Trafford to pit his wits against one of the best United sides of its time, littered with the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to name but a few.
This game needs no introduction, the West Ham faithful travelled in their thousands and took over Manchester. Having not won at Old Traff ord since a memorable 3-2 success in 1986, they may have travelled with some trepidation but their trip was made worthwhile thanks to one Hammers legend, who performed a proper Italian Job to knock the Red Devils out of the FA Cup.
A look at the two sides on the day makes the Hammers win all the more impressive, especially given the fact that Shaka Hislop was playing on one leg and came up against Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, Solskjaer and Andy Cole for the last quarter of the game as Sir Alex went hell for leather in the search for an equaliser.
The goal itself is still one of the most comical you’re likely to see at a football match. Freddie Kanoute, having passed a late fitness test, threaded a through ball to Di Canio who beat the offside trap much to the shock of Frenchman Fabian Barthez – who seemingly thought he was on the taxi rank after a boozy Friday night hailing a cab, stopped, waved his hand up to the linesman, baying for the flag to be raised only for Di Canio to coolly slot past the goalkeeper into the back of the net to spark wild scenes behind the goal.
Manchester United 0 West Ham United 1 December 9, 2001
Like London buses, one win quickly became two at Old Trafford as Roeder and his side did it again in December of 2001. Mercifully on the day for the Hammers, Sir Alex continued to stun the media and fans alike by leaving England’s favourite son David Beckham on the bench to give West Ham respite from his wicked right peg.
In reality, the Hammers had travelled to Manchester at the right time, United weren’t clicking and for once the Irons didn’t roll over and get their tummies tickled by the big boys. The likes of Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and the talismanic Paolo Di Canio didn’t allow the hosts to settle and the Hammers grabbed their first ever Premier League win at Old Trafford thanks to a Jermain Defoe header midway through the second-half.
Manchester United 0 West Ham United 1 May 13, 2007
Another foreign export lit up the stage at Old Trafford in 2006 as the controversial Carlos Tevez produced his own moment of West Ham history to rescue West Ham from relegation.
Under Alan Curbishley, the Hammers task was straightforward, well as straightforward as it can be travelling to Old Trafford to play the champions elect requiring a point for survival as relegation rivals Wigan and Sheffield United did battle at Bramall Lane. The Hammers were on a magnificent run though and played against a United side in holiday mode.
In a game dominated by the hosts, Robert Green and his defenders produced a blinding display to defy Alex Ferguson’s men a final day success. Tevez burst through on goal in the first half and slotted home past Van der Saar to give the Hammers the lead and relegate the mouthy Neil Warnock in the process, a very sweet day indeed.