Manuel Pellegrini was a content man after seeing his West Ham United team score a deserved 4-2 Premier League win over Burnley on Saturday.
The Hammers were irresistible at times at London Stadium, creating more than 20 goal attempts, only for two defensive lapses to see them staring a 2-2 draw in the face going into the final ten minutes.
However, late strikes from the impressive Felipe Anderson – his second of his best game in Claret and Blue – and substitute Chicharito secured all three points and a third top-flight victory of the season.
I think that the game today, we played very well again, but we won the game
“We needed to win before the game because we had a lot of games before when we were playing very well and creating a lot of chances, but we weren’t winning,” Pellegrini began. “I think that the game today, we played very well again, but we won the game.
“In the first half, we were drawing 1-1, but we had at least three or four chances to have a couple of goals more.
“In the second half, we continued working in the same way. We continued trying to score and to create five or six more chances and we scored a third and fourth, so it was good for the fans and for the team.”
Pellegrini had demanded more from Felipe Anderson in his pre-match press conference and the Brazilian responded with a fine display.
In the first half, the No8 supplied a through ball for Marko Arnautovic, which led to a good save from Joe Hart, and forced Ben Mee into a miraculous goal-saving clearance, before he took over after half-time, scoring two goals and providing the defence-splitting pass which led to Chicharito’s nerve-settling strike.
“Well, Felipe scored two goals and made an assist and missed two goals more!” his manager observed. “I said, when you asked me about Felipe [before the game], that nobody was happy with his performance, but the first one who wasn’t happy was him.
“He knew what he must do and he has 100 per cent commitment for the club, so I was absolutely sure he was going to produce this performance in this game and he never had any chance not to be in the starting XI. That was a decision I had taken and I spoke about with him a lot of days ago.”
On the other wing, rookie Grady Diangana was electric at times, capping another promising performance with a neat piece of skill which led to Felipe Anderson’s vital third six minutes from full-time.
“I always like when I arrive to new teams to see what happens with young players,” Pellegrini explained. “When I saw Diangana that I immediately had a player who can play football and he has to play.
“After that, when we gave him the chance in the cup to see what would happen with his personality, he passed the test. After that, we gave him some minutes in the Premier League.
“Now, he is fighting for a spot in the starting XI and if he continues playing the way he did today, he can fight for a place with every other player in the squad.
“So, with an important amount of players we have injured at this moment, it’s important for young players like Declan Rice and Grady Diangana to take their chances when they have them.”