Updated: Thursday, 9th July 2020 @ 8:21am

'World class’: Sir Alex Ferguson praises Robin van Persie’s last-gasp FA Cup equaliser against West Ham

'World class’: Sir Alex Ferguson praises Robin van Persie’s last-gasp FA Cup equaliser against West Ham

By Pippa Field

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insisted Robin van Persie’s stoppage time equaliser against West Ham United in the FA Cup was ‘world class’.

A James Collins header in either half – both from crosses by new boy Joe Cole – nearly handed the Hammers the win after Tom Cleverley’s opening goal on 23 minutes.

But substitute van Persie’s cool finish from Ryan Giggs’ inch-perfect pass seconds from time earned the Reds a third round replay – much to the relief of Ferguson.

“You never rule out fighting back with our team but certainly at 2-1 down with a couple of minutes to go you hope to get a break,” he said.

“When Ryan Giggs headed over the bar, Danny Welbeck hit another over, Tom Cleverley hit one more over and then Shinji Kagawa had one blocked near the line, I thought it wasn’t going to be our day.

“But you have to praise the pass from Ryan and the first touch of the ball from Robin.

“The finish was absolutely world class. You are hoping he is going to score given his ability to do that. There were only a few minutes left so it was a great goal for us.”

While insisting his side should have been out of sight by the time of van Persie’s equaliser, Ferguson praised the West Ham for exposing United’s defensive weaknesses.

“When you play West Ham you have got to defend your crosses from the set pieces because they are brilliant and the best team in the league at that, but we didn’t do it,” he added.

“Twice, from the same position, James Collins scored from the same type of cross from Joe Cole and we lost two goals.

“Given some of the football we played and the chances that we missed, we should have really been home safely.

“But as I say, we have to defend better than that.”

Although yet to be confirmed, the replay is likely to be played during the week before Saturday January 26 when the fourth round matches are scheduled.

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.

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