Carlton Cole showed that practice proves perfect with his consolation goal at Manchester United on Saturday.

The Hammers striker has put in extra work on the Chadwell Heath training pitches to hone his ability when one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and he was given the perfect opportunity to benefit when Modibo Maiga played him through with nine minutes left to play.

The No24 made no mistake to push the ball through David de Gea's legs, but he admitted the goal would have meant a whole lot more had his team not been 3-0 down at the time.

Second half sub Ashley Young added to earlier goals from Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj to leave the Hammers frustrated in their quest to inflict a third straight home league defeat on the Red Devils.

Cole explained: "We wanted to at least get a result from the game, so the gloss is taken off scoring at Old Trafford.

"For the goal Van [Maiga] picked up the ball in midfield, they got turned and when you're playing with two strikers one goes to the ball and one pulls away.

"He saw my run, I was kept onside by their left-back [Alexander Buttner], so I ran along his line and behind the centre-back and right-back. It was a lovely timed ball and I was in.

"I saw the goalkeeper coming up towards me with his legs wide open, so I made up my mind to go through his legs.

"He put his knees down to try and close the gap, and it just went through that, so I hit it in a good place and I'm happy with that goal because I've been practicing one-on-ones. I did about 10 or 20 in a row, just before the Tottenham game so I'm happy that came off.

"I just wish it was a bit earlier so we could have done something with it."

The game had already slipped the Hammers by when Cole entered the fray at 3-0 down, but he felt that even before his goal the Hammers were making a better first of the match after the break.

He continued: "I thought we didn't have a great first half, but we imposed ourselves a little bit better in the second half. We changed formation and gave them a few more things to think about.

"Going 2-0 down at Old Trafford before half time makes things difficult as it would need heroics to get back in the game.

"At the end of the day, we were away at Old Trafford, but we did really think that we could come here and upset things. We didn't, that's football and hopefully we can go on to our next game now and get the result we need."

The Hammers entertain Arsenal next up, with the Gunners coming across London to contest a Boxing Day derby.

Arsene Wenger's men may be riding high in the Barclays Premier League table, but Cole still believes his team can achieve a positive result.

He added: "We need any sort of result we can get against Arsenal. We need to get our home form much better than it is but we can feel we can produce another upset in the away games we have, like we did at Tottenham.

"It didn't happen on Saturday, but I do feel that we have a chance in every game we play, it's just about capitalising on our chances."