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 By PA Sport

Sam Allardyce: Manchester United played 'long-ball' game at West Ham

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce said his side "couldn't cope with long-ball United" after Manchester United grabbed a last-gasp point at Upton Park.

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The Hammers had been leading through Cheikhou Kouyate's fine strike early in the second half but were unable to hold on as Daley Blind steered home a low effort in injury time.

"The lads are absolutely gutted in there, and so they should be,'' Allardyce told Sky Sports. "I think it was an absolutely fantastic performance.

"I thought we were going to make sure we saw it through, but unfortunately for us it was not to be.

"I suppose in the end we couldn't cope with long-ball United. It was just thump it forward and see what they could get, and in the end it paid off for them."

Sam Allardyce's West Ham have won just once in the Premier League since the turn of the year.
Sam Allardyce said his players were 'gutted' after Manchester United's late equaliser.

Speaking at his postmatch press conference, Allardyce returned to the 'long-ball' theme and added: "You [the media] might just criticise Louis van Gaal for playing long balls as much as you've sometimes criticised me for being direct.

"But it's paid off for them, so you can't knock it in the end."

He praised his players for "how well they defended as well as how well they played in possession, which was almost the perfect performance."

"We're back to a level we know we can play at," he added. "It was just a great shame we conceded a goal as late as we did.

"A punt up the middle, it was actually our player [Carl Jenkinson] that headed it, so it wasn't any great play at all."

Mark Noble, who missed a late chance to double the lead when he fired an effort too close to United goalkeeper David de Gea, said the result "feels like a loss."

"It just shows how far we have come that we're gutted we drew with Man United at home, with some world-class players out there today," he added.

"I thought in many ways we were the better team, but we just couldn't hold out until the end.''

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