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Sunday, 17 November, 2002, 18:05 GMT
Defoe denies Man Utd
Man Utd players celebrate Van Nistelrooy's goal
Man Utd players celebrate Van Nistelrooy's goal
West Ham United 1-1 Manchester United

Jermain Defoe's late equaliser gave West Ham United a deserved draw against Manchester United at Upton Park and relieved the pressure on boss Glenn Roeder.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side looked to be heading for a fortuitous victory courtesy of Ruud van Nistelrooy's first half goal.

But just as West Ham - without a home win this season - looked to be heading for another defeat, the dangerous Defoe did the trick for Roeder's team with four minutes left.

Manchester United then brought two brilliant saves from West Ham goalkeeper David James in injury time, but a draw was the least the Hammers deserved.


West Ham deserved their point, but their goal was clearly offside
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

England captain David Beckham was missing for Manchester United as he started a lengthy absence with a rib injury.

But there was a return for Wes Brown following a spell out with an ankle injury to compensate for the absence of injured Rio Ferdinand.

Defoe thought he had given West Ham the lead after 19 minutes as Roeder's side were desperately unlucky not to take the lead.

Trevor Sinclair crossed from the right and Joe Cole's powerful free header hit the post and fell for Defoe to divert home from close range.


The spirits are high and we deserved a point and maybe more
West Ham manager Glenn Roeder

But the celebrations were cut short by a linesman's offside flag.

And for all West Ham's endeavours, it was the visitors who went ahead eight minutes before the interval.

Quinton Fortune slid a neat pass to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and his pass was neatly flicked in at the near post by Van Nistelrooy.

Sir Alex Ferguson points the way
Sir Alex Ferguson points the way

West Ham's England goalkeeper James was at his most unpredictable in front of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He almost gifted Solskjaer United's second when his attempted clearance from near the left-hand touchline rebounded off Van Nistelrooy.

But Solskjaer could not find the target from around 40 yards out.

Defoe had been a constant threat to Ferguson's side, and he was desperately unlucky after 66 minutes when he lifted a composed finish over Barthez, only to see the ball bounce agonisingly off the bar.

But he was rewarded for all his efforts four minutes from time as West Ham scored a deserved equaliser.

Defoe stole in on Michael Carrick's pass and finally beat Barthez from close range.

It brought relief for West Ham - but they still needed two brilliant injury-time saves from James to hold on to a point.

First he denied Solskjaer after Christian Dailly's slip, and then dived to somehow stop Laurent Blanc's point-blank header.



West Ham: James, Schemmel, Winterburn, Dailly, Pearce, Sinclair, Cisse, Carrick, Cole, Defoe, Di Canio.
Subs Not Used: Van Der Gouw, Repka, Breen, Camara, Garcia.

Booked: Cisse.

Man Utd: Barthez, Brown, Blanc, O'Shea, Silvestre, Scholes, Veron, Solskjaer, Fortune, Giggs, van Nistelrooy.
Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Phil Neville, Forlan, Davis, Richardson.

Booked: Fortune.

Attendance: 35,049.

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Steve Wilson
"Defoe's equaliser was richly deserved"
West Ham boss Glenn Roeder
"The crowd were outstanding"
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