18th of April 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
Manchester United got a little bit closer to regaining the Premier League title despite being held to a high-scoring draw by West Ham United at Upton Park on Wednesday. Robin van Persie scored a controversial equaliser 13 minutes from time to salvage a point for United as they produced a rather poor display, far from the kind of form that has got them on the brink of claiming a 20th Premier League crown. Ricardo Vaz Te had given West Ham an early lead, then Shinji Kagawa provided the equaliser for Antonio Valencia but the Hammers got back into the lead thanks to a stunning strike from Mohamed Diame. Van Persie scored the equaliser in the 77th minute, on the rebound after Kagawa's shot bounced off both posts, but the replays clearly showed that the Dutch striker was in an offside position. United's lead has now been cut to 13 points after second-placed Manchester City beat Wigan.
Andy Carroll was on form for West Ham, he played a big part in the play that brought the home side the first goal after just 16 minutes. Matt Jarvis evaded from Rio Ferdinand's grasp to find Carroll at the far post and the tall striker nodded back for Vaz Te who scored with a diving header from six yards. United didn't produce much of a fightback but they still got an equaliser 14 minutes before half time when Kagawa weaved through the West Ham defence before setting up a simple finish for Valencia.
Wayne Rooney had a discrete display for United, his only important contribution to the match was a cross that found Van Persie shortly after the break but the Dutchman's header failed to find the target. At the other end of the pitch Carroll tried his luck from long rage but hit the side netting. The goal came after 55 minutes when Diame skipped past Rooney before firing a superb low drive from 20 yards. Manchester United replied through Van Persie but his header was turned over by Jaaskelainen. Rooney was replaced with Ryan Giggs and Sir Alex Ferguson's men restored parity with 13 minutes left when Kagawa's shot from the edge of the penalty area took a deflection off James Collins and hit both posts before falling into the path of Van Persie who stabbed home.
Manchester United's next Premier League match is on Monday, April 22nd, when they welcome relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Manchester United win - 1/4
Draw - 5/1
Aston Villa win - 9/1
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