Issa Diop took no joy from keeping Harry Kane quiet as West Ham United were edged out 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at London Stadium.
The Hammers slipped to a frustrating sixth defeat in nine Premier League fixtures, despite restricting Spurs to just two shots on target and forcing Hugo Lloris into a string of spectacular saves, as Erik Lamela took advantage of a rare defensive lapse to head the visitors to victory.
For Diop, defeat was even more frustrating seeing as he produced an outstanding individual performance to render the England centre forward all but anonymous.
I want to test myself against the best players and Kane didn’t score, but we didn’t score either, so we lost the game
“It’s very disappointing because we had chances and their ‘keeper had a big game and Tottenham were more clinical than us,” the centre-back observed. “That is what was disappointing.
“It was the same game as against Brighton as we had chances, but we didn’t score, so we need to work and I hope we will score more goals in the next game.
“I played normal, but we conceded a goal and we didn’t win, so I can’t be happy with my performance. I want to test myself against the best players and Kane didn’t score, but we didn’t score either, so we lost the game.”
While Diop, his defensive colleagues, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and deep-lying midfielder Declan Rice restricted Tottenham to just a handful of opportunities, West Ham themselves wasted a host of promising positions in the final third.
Marko Arnautovic was denied by Lloris three times, while Diop and Fabian Balbuena both headed wide when they might have expected to hit the target.
The young defender says the Hammers have to be more clinical if they are to return to winning ways at Leicester City next weekend.
“We need to work hard this week and find a solution to win this game and in the other games going forward,” the 21-year-old confirmed.
In closing, Diop had words of support for Andriy Yarmolenko, who was carted off the pitch on a stretcher after suffering an injury to his lower right leg in the closing moments of the first half.
“I’m very sad for him because he is a good man and a very good player,” said the No23. “He will be missed and I hope his recovery is good and quick.”