David Moyes admitted to rubbing his eyes in disbelief when Pedro Obiang’s wondergoal hit the back of the net in Thursday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
The Scot’s West Ham United side were forced to defend resolutely for long periods at the Home of Football, and were rewarded for their courage when Obiang belted their first shot on goal into the top corner from all of 30 yards midway through the second half.
Spurs’ South Korea star Hueng-Min Son levelled with an equally impressive long-range strike with seven minutes to play, but Moyes was taking the positives out of a hard-earned point, rather than lamenting the suggestion that two had been lost.
“I’ve got to say we scored a brilliant goal but unfortunately they scored a really good goal as well, but it’s a good point for us,” said the manager. “After what we had to do a couple of days ago [in beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the last minute] and then play again and go again against a team such as Tottenham, I thought we did a really good job.”
“I have no idea where that strike came from Pedro because I can’t say I’ve seen it, but I’ve got to say he didn’t half strike it sweetly. We didn’t have many shots but the one we did have was very good.
“I had a look of disbelief on my face and rightly so, because we hadn’t been up the pitch that often.
“After we scored, Kouyate had a great chance to make it 2-0, too, so we might not have had a lot of shots and if we’d gone 2-0 up it would have been a real surprise, but going 1-0 up was a big enough surprise for me at the time!”
I have no idea where that strike came from Pedro because I can’t say I’ve seen it, but I’ve got to say he didn’t half strike it sweetly
With the likes of Marko Arnautovic, Michail Antonio, James Collins and Jose Fonte unavailable, Moyes gave starts to Chicharito, Declan Rice and recalled Mark Noble to his starting XI.
The result was a resolute performance and a point which saw the Hammers rise above AFC Bournemouth to 15th in the standings.
“That’s the team which beat Real Madrid 3-1, so we shouldn’t be surprised we only had a few shots or be surprised at the way we played, and perhaps you shouldn’t be surprised we took a point because we went close against Manchester City and we beat Chelsea and drew with Arsenal.
“You’ve got to say we’re doing one part of it right and we’d like to do the other part of it much better, obviously, but I’m the coach and I have to try and find a way of getting results with the players available. We need to change and find a way of winning the next games we have against teams around us in the table.
“It’s hard work on the touchline when you’re playing against Tottenham with their quality of players and the amount of attempts they had on goal, but the players have been drilled to make sure they do the right things and make it hard for Tottenham to score and I thought they did a really good job at it.”
Next up for the Hammers is a tricky-looking trip to League One high-fliers Shrewsbury Town in the Emirates FA Cup third round on Sunday afternoon.
With many of his senior players either injured or having played 180 minutes of draining Premier League football this week, Moyes says he will have to assess their fitness before picking his squad to take to Shropshire.
“We’ll get back in on Friday and get the players as ready as we can for Sunday. We’re missing quite a few players through injury at this moment in time.
“This game was the same for both us and Spurs in that we both had a quick turnaround so I think that was fair, but the hard bit comes now as we’re the team who have not had the time to prepare and recover for an FA Cup tie.
“We’ve got to get on with it and we’ll go there and try and win and get through to the next round of the FA Cup. That’s important, but I’ve always said the priority is getting Premier League points and getting us away from the wrong end of the table. I thought tonight was a really good point for us.”