West Ham United surprised Premier League champions Manchester United with a grand final this day in 2007.
Alan Curbishley’s Hammers, who had beaten Sir Alex Ferguson’s team at home and away the previous season on their way to a miraculous escape from relegation, completed a memorable hat-trick at Boleyn Ground.
Cristiano Ronaldo brought the Red Devils in front in the first half before former Manchester United player Jonathan Spector managed to give the Portuguese a chance to double his team’s lead from the penalty spot after the break.
The then 22-year-old, however, knocked his spot kick into the billboard to the left of Robert Green’s goal, and West Ham took full advantage of it.
Only in the 77th minute Mark Noble swung a corner in and Anton Ferdinand headed a header down past Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
Then five minutes later Noble was again provider, this time from a free kick, and Matthew Upson rose to nod an unstoppable header in the top right corner, leaving Kuszczak no chance.
After the match, Ferguson was generous in the defeat, admitting: “I have no complaints. We were beaten by the better team. We were nowhere near our normal performance.”
West Ham would continue to end the 2007/08 season in tenth place, while Manchester United would simply lose two more games on their way to retaining the Premier League title.
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