Lukasz Fabianski: The only thing missing was a goal
West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski regrets that his side were unable to make the most of their opportunities during a largely positive display in the Premier League defeat to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.
The Hammers went into the encounter off the back of a confident 3-1 win over Southampton the previous weekend, and brought plenty of that swagger into their performance at Emirates Stadium, creating a number of gilt-edged chances.
A combination of Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, profligate finishing and misplaced final passes ultimately paved the way, however, for Alexandre Lacazette to plunder a late winner for the home side.
It seemed an unwarranted twist in a match which, for large portions, was dominated by the Irons in terms of chances created, and Fabianski feels his side will still draw confidence from the match despite the result.
“We gave it our all. I think we were the better team, to be honest with you,” Fabianski summarised. “We created many chances to be even two or three up. Leno had a great game for them, and obviously we’re disappointed that we actually lost the game because I don’t think we deserved to lose it.
“I think it gives us a lot of belief. I think the only thing missing today was taking our chances, being more clinical in front of goal, but that’s something that we’re really working hard on during the week.
“We have to take positives from it. I think we’re getting better as a team, as a group. We’re pushing teams, we’re managing games. We defended very well.
“They probably created two chances when we created more, so it was a disappointing afternoon for us because of the result, but I think we can take a lot from the game.”
Hopefully the luck will turn and be back on our side and in the future those fine margins will go for us
Lacazette’s late winner, which occurred when a shot by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deflected off Decln Rice and was cushioned into the path of the Frenchman by Mesut Ozil, was initially ruled out when the German midfielder was adjudged to have been offside.
A subsequent VAR review, however, reversed the decision by a matter of millimetres – and Fabianski admitted he hopes the Irons’ fortunes will turn in the coming weeks in this regard.
“With VAR, sometimes you almost end up hoping and praying that the margins will be for us rather than for the opposition,” he explained. “Hopefully the luck will turn and be back on our side and in the future those fine margins will go for us.”
Despite emerging from Emirates Stadium without a point to show for their display, Fabianski feels that Saturday afternoon’s game will still provide his team with a quantum of confidence for the closing weeks of their relegation battle.
“If you look at our recent performances, the last few games we’ve been really good while playing against really good opposition away from home,” he observed.
“We’ve always manage to score goals or create decent chances or push the other team to defend really deep.
“I think with the last nine games there is a massive chance for us to actually stay up and be safe.”