Manchester United endured a pre-match bus attack and post-match demoralisation as their Champions League hopes were harpooned by a 3-2 defeat at West Ham United on Tuesday.
After United’s bus was pelted with missiles en route to the ground, they came from behind to lead 2-1 as Anthony Martial’s brace negated Diafra Sakho’s 10th-minute opener for West Ham.
But Michail Antonio equalised before centre-back Winston Reid smuggled a header past visiting goalkeeper David de Gea in the 80th minute to bring the 2,398th and final game at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground home to a crashing crescendo.
United manager Louis van Gaal said that the pre-match scenes had affected his younger players, saying: “It’s not the first time that it happens, but I have a long experience in football. There are players who don’t have experience.
“It shall have an influence, but I don’t think we have to look for excuses.”
The result left United in fifth place in the Premier League and means that they can only pip Manchester City to fourth place if they win at home to Bournemouth on Sunday and City lose at Swansea City.
That unlikely scenario confronts the under-pressure Van Gaal with the unwanted consolation of a Europa League berth, although his side also face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was left to celebrate a first league win over United in 15 attempts, which took West Ham back above Southampton and into a Europa League slot.
“We didn’t stop believing,” Bilic told Sky Sports before dashing off for an on-pitch ceremony involving several former club greats.
“We totally deserved it. It was a great night. It is history, not just a game. It is against them, fighting for Europe, late-night game. All the boxes you need for a special type of game was tonight.”
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.
– Carroll fluffs lines –
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.
Martial’s return, after missing Saturday’s 1-0 win at Norwich City with a hamstring problem, boosted United, but they barely had time to draw breath as West Ham surged ahead.
Aaron Cresswell’s pass down the inside-left channel found Manuel Lanzini running in behind Juan Mata and from his pull-back, Sakho’s shot clipped Daley Blind and found the bottom-left corner.
After Angelo Ogbonna and Dimitri Payet had threatened, Andy Carroll spurned a gilt-edged chance when, having been sent clean through by Payet, he shot straight at De Gea.
Moments later Antonio headed in a cross from Mark Noble, only for his celebration to be cut short by a linesman’s flag indicating that the ball had already gone out for a corner.
Lanzini drilled wide, Payet shanked over after Noble had robbed Martial and when the visitors finally created a chance, Wayne Rooney crossing dangerously towards Marcus Rashford, Ogbonna intervened.
Seeking greater control in midfield, Van Gaal introduced Michael Carrick for Morgan Schneiderlin at the interval and within five minutes his team were level.
De Gea’s goal-kick reached Rashford, whose pass found the overlapping Mata, and the Spaniard darted past Ogbonna before squaring for Martial to tap in his 16th goal of the season.
After Sakho had squandered a great chance for West Ham by turning Payet’s free-kick over the bar, Martial put United in front by skinning Reid and dinking a shot inside Darren Randolph’s near post.
But Upton Park’s final chapter was not yet written and after Payet had picked out Antonio to send a bullet header past De Gea, the Frenchman crossed for Reid to notch a winning goal that left the venerable rafters quivering.
Criminal minds threatening Army with travel ban: Buratai
Tukur Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff has disclosed that he does not mind living in Nigeria for the rest of his life.
Buratai made this statement on Monday in a meeting with Army Commanders in Abuja, where they deliberated on the recent End SARS protest and pockets of violence across the country.
Information Nigeria recalls there have been calls by International bodies calling for a travel ban to be placed on some military officers accused of human rights abuses in Nigeria.
Buratai attacked the international organizations clamoring for a ban on top personnel and soldiers over rights abuses. According to him, his first trip outside Nigeria was when he was 50 and that he doesn’t mind if he has to live in Nigeria for the rest of his life.
“Criminal elements are threatening us with travel ban but we are not worried because we must remain in this country to make it better. The first time I travelled outside of this country, I was already 50 years and a General, so I don’t mind if I live the rest of my life here” The Cable quoted him as saying
At the meeting, the Army chief said recent events across the country have shown the determination of unscrupulous individuals and groups to cause chaos by all means.
“The events of the past few days in our dear nation have shown the determination of some unscrupulous individuals and groups to destabilise Nigeria by all means,” he said.
These individuals, groups and other undesirable elements have hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protest marches resulting to widespread violence, acts of wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties in many parts of the country. These acts led to the imposition of curfew in several states of the federation.
Despite all these, the army has continued to exercise restraint applied all the principles of internal security operations and fully abided by the internationally recognised rules of engagement as contained in our published standard operating procedures for internal security operations which are derived from the International human rights laws and are in accordance with the international principles guiding the use of force.” he said.
How iron protector prevented my shop from being robbed: Business man
Chima Smart Nwaneri, a businessman who operates in Owerri, Imo state has disclosed how suspected robbers were unable to burgle his office due to an iron protector.
Nwaneri thanked God for wisdom saying they couldn’t access his goods because of the protector on his ceiling.
Chima wrote on his Twitter account;
“So robbers visited my office where i do my business, but I thank God for wisdom, they couldn’t enter because of the protector on the ceiling..
Help me thank God….”
#EndSARS: We are not collection of angels, Nigerian Police says
The Nigerian police have said its officers are not angels, but the force is doing its best to serve Nigerians better.
This was disclosed in a statement posted on Twitter by the force. This comes after several unrest and pockets of violence that greeted the endsSARS protest against police brutality.
The Nigerian police appear to have started an online campaign to redeem their image and rebuild trust with Nigerian citizens, following the nationwide #EndSARS protests and its devastating fallout.
The security agency which admitted that it is not a collection of angels, however told Nigerians that it is doing its best to ensure better services.
The police, Monday night, uploaded a campaign flyer on Twitter, via their official handle @PoliceNG.
“We are not a collection of angels, but we are doing our best to serve you better,” said the flyer which was produced by the police public relations department, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 26, 2020
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