Skipper relishes Hammers replay
Nemanja Vidic expects ‘a different game’ when United and West Ham reconvene at Old Trafford to decide their FA Cup third round tie, but the Serbian admits the Reds will need to address problems posed by the Hammers at Upton Park.
Robin van Persie’s last-gasp leveller spared the Reds an early exit from the competition, after Tom Cleverley’s opener was overturned by a pair of James Collins headers which exploited chinks in United’s armour.
“They made this game hard,” Vidic told MUTV. “They tried to defend with everybody behind the ball, played long balls. We always know that on set-pieces they are a tough team to play against and eventually today they scored two against us from crosses.
“They scored from the second ball which we should look at again, and we are definitely a bit disappointed. It’s something to talk about. We have the height in the team, we should deal better with that, but most important is that we managed to stay in the game and I believe at home it’s going to be a different game.
“We have a wide pitch. This pitch is hard to play against, they’re good physically and in the air like they showed today and we have to give credit to them as well. They fight well and in the end I think 2-2 is a result they deserved.”
While regaining the Premier League title and plotting a Champions League course past Real Madrid are consuming priorities at Old Trafford, the scenes which followed van Persie’s equaliser demonstrated the Reds’ hunger for FA Cup success.
“We believe it’s important,” said Vidic. “We didn’t win the trophy for the last eight years and it’s a trophy we’re looking to win. We showed today in how we celebrated the goal, and I’m hoping at home it will be a different game. I think we have a big squad and we can manage to have one more game.”
The Serbian also took time out to herald the masterclass of attacking play on show in van Persie’s 92nd-minute equaliser; a sublime crossfield pass from Ryan Giggs which was beautifully cushioned and fired home.
“His touch is magnificent and his finishing is top class,” said Vidic. “It’s movement from the book, touch from the book, goal from the book. It’s something they can show to kids, how to move and finish in the last third. He was magnificent for us, we just hope he’s going to be in the same form in the end.”