Noble and Arnautovic delighted with consecutive clean sheets
Two clean sheets in as many games and four points in the Premier League is a great reward for West Ham United’s hard work in consecutive London derbies, according to Mark Noble and Marko Arnautovic.
The Hammers secured a goalless draw against Arsenal at London Stadium on Wednesday night and that followed Saturday’s memorable victory against champions Chelsea in east London.
And four points could have been six against the Gunners had substitute Chicharito’s agonising late strike found the back of the net after coming off the underside of the crossbar.
That said, skipper Noble admitted a point was a fair result and was delighted with his side’s return from a tough run of fixtures, which began with a trip to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium a week and a half ago.
He said: “To keep two clean sheets in two games, in five days, it’s fantastic and four points is a really good reward for that.
“When you come out the game at Everton when we lost 4-0 and you go to Man City and then Chelsea and Arsenal after, to be honest, you dread it in the position you’re in.
“But the boys have worked hard and we believed we could get something.
“I said on Saturday, sometimes against these teams with such a good amount of special players, you just need to defend. Last year we got done here by the so called bigger teams.
To keep two clean sheets in two games, in five days, it’s fantastic and four points is a really good reward for that
“But tonight we defended well and we could have snatched it at the end. Chicha always hits the target but you’d hope he would bury them. I think it was a good save in the end from Cech.”
Arnautovic was Saturday’s hero, scoring David Moyes’ side’s sixth-minute winner against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, and it could have been a similar story against Arsenal.
Early in the first half, Arthur Masuaku crossed for the Austrian who found the back of the net with a perfect header, however the summer signing’s celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.
Arnautovic remained a constant threat throughout, however, and was named the broadcaster’s Man of the Match.
“I think as a team, we have worked very hard for the couple of weeks,” the attacker explained after the draw. “We wanted to keep a clean sheet and it’s up to us.
“I have to say well done to the team because we have fought a lot and now we need some results to be rewarded with three points.
“I have enjoyed since the first day to be here with the team. I had a difficult start that everyone is behind me, especially my teammates and they’re getting me going.
“I’m fit and healthy and I want to help the team and the Club to go upwards.”
While Arnautovic has been leading the line in attack, Noble – who returned to West Ham’s starting XI on Saturday – praised the way the defence have responded to Moyes’ focus on preventing the opposition from scoring.
“You look at the way we’re set up; the gaffer came in and thought we had to stop shipping goals, for one,” he contined. “I think we obviously got off to a bad start and our confidence was low. That was the whole club.
“The performance against Man City – you go there dreading to play at the Etihad but to get two clean sheets since against Arsenal and Chelsea is great.
“You see what Chelsea did to Huddersfield the other night. They’re two massive games for us.”