Sam Allardyce: Hammers struggled with “long-ball” tactics

Sam Allardyce West Ham United v Manchester United

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted that his side could not cope with Manchester United’s long-ball approach in the final stages of Sunday’s draw at Upton Park.

United made their way to London knowing that victory would help to push them back into the top three, however a poor first-half performance left the Red Devils in a desperate situation late on.

The Hammers edged their noses into the lead just after the start of the second half when Cheikhou Kouyate netted a wonderful volley.

Allardyce’s side looked set to add another three points to their tally but came under relentless pressure in the final 15 minutes of the game.

The introduction of Marouane Fellaini provided Louis van Gaal’s side with a target in the final third and United’s patient approach quickly turned to hit and hope.

However, it was Dutch midfielder Daley Blind who salvaged a point as he pounced on a bouncing ball with 93 minutes on the clock, volleying through a crowd of bodies into the bottom corner.

Allardyce admitted that United’s change in tactics as the game went on became very difficult to try and deal with as they looked to hang on for the win.

Allardyce said: “In the end, we couldn’t cope with the long balls Manchester United kept putting in the box.

“It was just, thump it forward and see what they could get. In the end, it paid off for them.”

West Ham can be backed at 4.82 to get back to winning ways when they travel to take on Southampton (1.71) at St Mary’s on Wednesday night.

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