The Football Association strongly condemns actions after carnage outside stadium while David Sullivan questions why the United coach did not get there earlier
West Ham Uniteds farewell to Upton Park was marred by incidents involving some of their supporters, with the visiting Manchester United team bus pelted with missiles beforehand and their goalkeeper, David de Gea, also targeted during the game.
De Gea had a bottle thrown in his direction after he celebrated his teams equaliser at 1-1 in provocative fashion, while a pitch invader ran on to taunt him towards the end of West Hams thrilling 3-2 win. The fan was led away by stewards.
The Football Association pulled no punches in a statement after what was a night of extreme emotion both positive and negative. The FA strongly condemns the unsavoury incidents involving both the Manchester United team coach outside West Ham Uniteds Boleyn Ground and objects thrown from a section of the home support during the game, it said. We will work closely with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to fully investigate these matters.
It was West Hams final match at their home of 112 years before their move to the Olympic Stadium next season and the volatile tone was set when the United bus became snarled up on Green Street and attacked. Windows were damaged as bottles and other missiles were thrown by supporters.
The decision had been taken to open the turnstiles later than usual before the kick-off and, with many more people than normal turning up to be a part of a historic occasion, there were worrying levels of congestion outside the stadium. The United bus was one victim of the situation but, briefly, there was panic on Green Street as a crush threatened to develop. The 7.45pm kick-off had to be put back to 8.30pm. The United captain, Wayne Rooney, discussed flashpoints in an interview before the game with Sky Sports. It wasnt nice, Rooney said. The coach got smashed up but were here now, so have to prepare for the game and go out and do our job.
Pushed further on the supporters behaviour, Rooney said: Im sure youll see the images. Thats not for me to say but I think it was disappointing. We know its a big game for West Ham. Its a big night for them, leaving the stadium, but Im sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done.