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Published: 10:14 | 11/5/16

Bilic hails "great night"

Hammers leave Upton Park with win

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has hailed his side's farewell to Upton Park after 112 years as "a great night" as they came from behind to beat Manchester United 3-2 in a thrilling encounter in front of a capacity crowd.

Late goals from Michail Antonio and Winston Reid sealed a superb comeback for the Hammers after an Anthony Martial double had cancelled out Diafra Sakho's early opener and threatened to spoil the party.

It was the perfect end for West Ham faithful as the club prepares for life at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford after more than a century at Upton Park and, although the occasion was marred somewhat by the attack on the United coach as it made its way to the ground ahead of kick-off, Bilic was in celebratory mood after the game.

"It's a great night," he said.

"It's our history and it's not just a game. It's against them, (United) it's fighting for Europe and everything, a late night game - it couldn't be better.

"All the boxes you need to have a special kind of a game, it was tonight. All the boxes were there, Man United, late night....thriller, five goals....so brilliant.

"It was a special game, it was big, big pressure for us although we've had a great season and I told the guys 'whatever, you...however we finish the last couple of games, this season has been great for West Ham in terms of breaking a few records and everything'.

"We were till the end in a couple of competitions and battling for the Europa League and a good run in the FA Cup so it was good, very good or excellent, but we were under pressure.

"We didn't want to lose our last game at this fantastic stadium. We just wanted to win and this was a win of character.

"We didn't stop believing because we were unlucky to be 1-1 all the time.

"Okay, they are Manchester United and they have scored a couple of great goals.

"We knew that they were highly motivated because it meant a lot to them as they could have overtaken Manchester City but we should have been more than 1-0 up at half-time."

Meanwhile, United manager Louis van Gaal refused to blame the pre-match attack on the club coach as an excuse for their defeat.

"First of all you cannot prove that (it had an effect)," he said afterwards.

"We live in this world, we know that, I know it is not the first time it happens. Okay, I have a long experience in football and there are players who don't have the experience.

"It will have an influence but I don't think we have to look for excuses because we chased the match in the second-half and 20 minutes before full-time we are ahead so I don't think you have to look for that excuse.

"I think the disappointment is because we were 2-1 ahead, we changed the match in our favour and in a fantastic way.

"Then you lose because of the set-plays and that I have already said before the match, we tried to organise everything but still you miss the centimetres so we have a lot of set-plays and corner goals against us already.

"That is disappointing because it has a big consequence and you lose a game you have to win."

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