West Ham beat Manchester United in thrilling finish at Upton Park
West Ham closed out the Boleyn Ground in style after 112 years on Tuesday, beating Manchester United 3-2 and taking the wind out of the Red Devils' push for a top-four finish and a Champions League spot.
The loss severely damages Man United's chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League, as they will need Manchester City to lose on Sunday versus Swansea and win their final match against Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
The kick-off for the final match at Upton Park -- the 2,398th at the historic ground -- was delayed 45 minutes as fans blocked the streets and attacked the visitors' bus as it approached the stadium.
Once underway, West Ham wasted no time and were the aggressors from the outset and broke through in the 10th minute on a nice move after a poor clearance from the United defence.
Aaron Cresswell picked up the ball just past midfield and played Manuel Lanzini in behind the United defence. The Argentine cut the ball back from the end line to Diafra Sakho at the penalty spot where the striker's first-time strike eluded David De Gea thanks in part to a deflection off of Daley Blind.
West Ham were firmly on the front foot and had two other golden chances wasted before 20 minutes. Dimitri Payet's lashed volley was well-struck but went right to De Gea, and a Lanzini through ball found Andy Carroll wide open behind United's defence, but the No. 9 fluffed his lines and his effort was easily handled.
Payet then missed one from 12 yards in the 31st minute after Mark Noble found him in a dangerous spot in the United penalty area. West Ham's player of the year was unable to find the back of the net, unusually slicing the ball high and wide of the United goal.
The teams went into their dressing rooms at half-time with West Ham leading 1-0, a scoreline that could easily have been more lopsided in favour of the hosts.
Louis van Gaal made one change to his team at the break, substituting an ineffective Morgan Schneiderlin for Michael Carrick in midfield, and six minutes into the second half his team levelled the score.
Marcus Rashford picked up a long pass in West Ham's third and played an overlapping Juan Mata into the penalty area, for the Spaniard to cut the ball across the goalmouth to a wide open Anthony Martial for an easy tap in.
Payet was at it again in the 54th minute when another poor clearance from United found its way to the Frenchman. However, his curled, line-drive attempt went just wide of the goal.
Sakho almost had his second in the 56th minute but made a mess of a wide-open opportunity in front of the United goal after a lovely cross in from Payet found him alone with De Gea. The Senegalese got his headed attempt all wrong and the ball sailed well over the goal.
Martial then put United ahead in the 72nd minute, after Wayne Rooney caused a turnover in midfield and passed forward to Rashford who found the France international streaking down the left wing. Martial took it from there, blowing past the West Ham defence and beating Darren Randolph at the near post.
With the farewell party now in doubt, Payet restored hope for the home supporters in the 76th minute when his cross into the United penalty area found Michail Antonio, who headed home to level the match.
The hosts weren't done yet. Just five minutes later, Payet's cross from a set piece was headed past De Gea by Winston Reid, giving the New Zealand-born defender his first goal in nearly 18 months and sending Upton Park into rapturous applause as the lead was restored.
The result assures Arsenal will finish top four and qualify for the Champions League next season and puts West Ham in a good position to finish high enough in the table to play in the Europa League.