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Rare Reid goal caps emotional West Ham win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/05/2016

All Whites captain Winston Reid's first goal in 20 months made the difference as West Ham beat Manchester United 3-2 in an emotional English Premier League fixture to keep their hopes of playing in Europe next season alive.

West Ham central defender Reid headed home a Dimitri Payet free kick from close range with 10 minutes remaining to lift sixth-placed West Ham to within one point of fifth-placed United going into the final round this weekend.

It was Reid's eighth goal in 166 appearances for West Ham but his first since scoring early last season, against Liverpool in September 2014.

His return to the scoresheet came at the perfect time for home supporters who had packed into the 34,000-seat Boleyn Ground for its last Premier League game. The club's 112-year stay at the east London venue has ended, with West Ham to play at the 60,000-seat Olympic Stadium from next season.

"It was just meant to be tonight," Reid said.

"It was one of those evenings for us, a special occasion for the whole club. To finish with victory against a brilliant team like Manchester United is magnificent for us."

Reid says the atmosphere was the most passionate he had played in front of in his life.

"Even the buildup, we couldn't get down the road because of all the fans."

Manchester United's pre-match journey was even more stifled. Kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes after their bus was attacked by home supporters on the way to the ground.

Diafra Sakho put West Ham 1-0 up at halftime but Anthony Martial struck twice midway through the second spell for United. Michail Antonio headed the equaliser before Reid's heroics.

A win or draw away to Stoke on Saturday will improve the chances of West Ham playing in Europe's second-tier Europa League next season.

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