West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Third Round Proper
5.30pm, Saturday 5 January 2013
Upton Park, West Ham United
Winning clubs receive £67,500 from The FA's prize fund
Click here for results
By Marc Isaacs
Robin Van Persie stole the headlines once again as he netted a crucial injury-time equaliser to help keep Manchester United in the competition.
The Premier League leaders looked to be heading out of The FA Cup after James Collins had netted twice for the east London club to cancel out an early goal from Tom Cleverley.
But Van Persie broke the hearts of the West Ham supporters as he produced another clinical finish to set up a replay at Old Trafford on 16 January.
The Dutch striker has been a revelation for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side following his move from Arsenal last summer and he showed once again why he is rated one of the best strikers in the world with a classy finish.
It was another special Cup evening at Upton Park and both sides didn’t disappoint as the game produced four goals in a thrilling encounter.
Former England captain David Beckham was watching from the stands and he must have enjoyed every minute as both teams seemed determined to reach the Fourth Round of the competition.
United almost took the lead after just eight minutes as Paul Scholes showed why he is still one of the best midfielders in the top flight by playing a superb ball into the path of Chris Smalling.
The United defender crossed in for Javier Hernandez but the Mexican just failed to connect with the ball. Any touch would have certainly handed United an early lead in the game.
West Ham also had their chances early in the game and came even closer to breaking the deadlock on 12 minutes.
Jack Collison’s corner picked out Alou Diarra who saw his header cleared off the line by Scholes before Nemanja Vidic just managed to beat Carlton Cole to clear the ball away to safety.
United thought they had opened the scoring on 16 minutes. Shinji Kagawa split the West Ham defence with a pass into Hernandez who pulled the ball back for Danny Welbeck.
The England striker tapped put the ball past Jaaskelainen but his effort was immediately ruled out for offside.
United also came within a whisker of taking the lead on 20 minutes after Guy Demel needlessly gave away a corner.
Vidic’s header was cleared off the line by youngster Daniel Potts. The 18-year-old has only just returned from a loan spell with Colchester but he was in the right place to stop United from taking the lead.
The deadlock was finally broken on 23 minutes. Hernandez broke away down the right hand side and crossed in for Cleverley who was completely unmarked inside the box.
The England midfielder produced a great finish, strikinh the ball past Jaaskelainen to give United a deserved lead at Upton Park.
The lead was short-lived as West Ham drew level on 27 minutes and it was a moment for Joe Cole to remember on his first appearance back at Upton Park.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool forward wasted no time making an immediate impact back in east London.
Cole played the perfect ball into the path of Collins who rose above the United defence and directed a powerful close-range header which flew past De Gea into the corner of the net.
The chances kept coming and United had a golden chance to retake the lead shortly after half-time.
James Tomkins failed to clear a cross and the ball fell perfectly for Cleverley inside the box, but he fired his shot over the bar.
De Gea came to United’s rescue on 57 minutes when he made a fine save to deny Carlton Cole’s close-range header.
But he could do nothing to stop Collins netting his second of the game on the hour mark.
It was a carbon copy of the first goal as Joe Cole turned provider once again as he picked out the West Ham defender for the second time in the game.
Collins gave the United 'keeper no chance as he flicked another powerful header past De Gea into the corner of the net.
United tried everything as they tried to force an equaliser. Van Persie crossed in for fellow substitute Antonio Valencia, who rose above Tomkins on 72 minutes but saw his header fall inches over the bar.
The home side were made to pay as Van Persie got on the score sheet once again in stoppage time.
Ryan Giggs played a superb ball into his path and the United forward took the ball down and fired an unstoppable shot past Jaaskelainen into the corner of the net to ensure both sides remain in the hat for Sunday's Fourth Round draw.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, Potts; Diarra (Noble 73mins), Collison; Vaz Te (Jarvis 60mins), Nolan, J Cole (Taylor 77mins); C Cole.
Subs not used: Spiegel, Reid, Spence, Lee
Manchester United: De Gea; Smalling (Giggs 77mins), Vidic, Evans, Buttner; Rafael, Scholes (Valencia 68mins), Kagawa, Cleverley; Welbeck, Hernandez (Van Persie 68mins)
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Young, Macheda
Referee: M Atkinson
West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United