Mark Noble admitted to being a relieved man on two counts following West Ham United’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.
Not only was the captain happy to see his side secure a hard-earned point at Selhurst Park, but he also made it 13 consecutive seasons with a competitive goal in Claret and Blue when he opened the scoring with a first-half penalty.
With Palace having 25 goal attempts to West Ham’s seven, including two incredible misses from James McArthur and Michy Batshuayi in the second half, Noble was content with a point.
I think I’ve scored in virtually every other Premier League season I’ve played in, so I didn’t have many games left to go!
“We were probably the better team in the first half and had two or three really good chances and they were definitely the better team in the second half,” the No16 reflected. “They missed a lot of good chances and we missed a couple of one-on-ones early in the first half so, all in all, I think it was a fair result.
“That’s the Premier League for you – if you don’t score your chances, you don’t win games, so we’ve probably took a point each that we’re happy with, to be honest.
“Lukasz [Fabianski] keeps pulling saves out every week and he’s made a couple more for us here. Their ‘keeper made a few good saves for them in the first half, too, but we’ll probably go home on the coach having got a great point against Liverpool and another good point here, which is a tough place to come.
“If we can win our next home game [against Fulham], it’ll be a really good set of points for us.”
Coming off the back of a fine performance against Liverpool, Noble was pleased with the way the team dug in for one another in the face of Palace’s second-half onslaught, only conceding when Wilfried Zaha’s shot was deflected past Fabianski by the unfortunate Issa Diop.
“We were much better against Liverpool and you could see with that result and performance and again here, we weren’t great in the second half, but everyone worked hard for each other and we came away with a point, which in the Premier League is always to be respected.
“All in all, it’s been a good week for us and now we’ve got a good two weeks’ training before we face Fulham at home.”
Amazingly, Noble’s successful spot-kick was his first since scoring at home to the same opposition at London Stadium a year ago, and his first goal since netting at Leicester City in May.
With 38 Premier League strikes to his name, the 31-year-old ranks behind only Paolo Di Canio and Carlton Cole in the Club’s all-time leading charts in the competition.
“It’s been on my mind a little bit, to be honest, because I missed a good chance against Liverpool and then I think I’ve scored in virtually every other Premier League season I’ve played in, so I didn’t have many games left to go!
“It’s a little bit of a relief for me, to be honest.”