Bilic - The game plan was perfect

  • West Ham progressed to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-1 win against Chelsea at London Stadium
  • Boss Slaven Bilic praised his side for executing a perfect game plan
  • The Hammers gaffer also singled out Edimilson Fernandes as being particularly impressive after his first West Ham goal

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic said his side executed their game plan perfectly to progress to the EFL Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Cheikhou Kouyate gave the hosts a first half lead before Edimilson Fernandes struck his first West Ham goal to double the advantage three minutes into the second period.
With almost the final touch of the game, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill tapped home from close range but the Hammers held on to claim a deserved victory and move into the last eight.
And Bilic, delighted with his team’s third win in a row at the final whistle, had nothing but praise for his players.
“We played really good tonight,” the boss said. “It was a great atmosphere, a cup game, night game, London derby, and Chelsea are a great team who have hit great form recently.
“We had a game plan and the guys executed it almost perfectly. We were great in the first half and really good in the second half and when we had to defend, we defended in numbers and we were good at keeping the ball.
“In transition we hurt them and could have scored more. It was a great win and a great performance and it was good to beat Chelsea.”
The Hammers continued with the system that proved so effective against Crystal Palace and Sunderland, with Kouyate slotting into the defence alongside Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna.

fernandes chelsea

But it was Swiss summer signing Fernandes who drew the plaudits from Bilic after his left-footed finish past helpless Blues keeper Asmir Begovic.
“He is very young and he’s relatively unknown in England,” continued the 48-year-old. “I would be lying if I said I expected him to break into the side so quickly.
“He presents himself very well in training and he is a very talented player who needs to keep working hard.
“He has got everything; stamina, he has got technique and skill and a good football brain and he should bring us a him a lot of qualities.”

Shortly after the 90 minutes at London Stadium, the Hammers were drawn against Manchester United – who beat rivals Manchester City on Wednesday evening – in the quarter-finals.
And Bilic believes the EFL Cup is a competition in which his outfit can go all the way.
He explained: “You never know in a cup. We approached this competition with great ambition, that was obvious. If we play like this, we are capable of progressing.
“This is not only important for the competition but also for the Premier League. It gives you more confidence. We will be a little bit tired on the training ground, but then it’s going to be buzzing and from that we will be less tired.
“Now we have most our players back fit, we can do it, as a unit and a team. Now we have three wins on the spin. It’s always going to be ups and downs but we need to focus like we have done. I’m very optimistic of course.”