David Moyes: Finishes like that are not good for a manager's heart!
David Moyes has seen just about everything in a managerial career spanning 22 years and 952 matches, but even the West Ham United boss was left stunned by the dramatic climax of his team’s 1-0 Premier League win over Fulham.
A game that saw his Irons hit the crossbar twice and force Whites goalkeeper Alphonse Areola into a succession of saves was still goalless as it ticked over into added time. Tomas Soucek then drove the Hammers in front with a fine low strike set up by home debutant Said Benrahma, seemingly earning his team all three points.
Then, four minutes past the 90, Benrahma was ruled to have tripped Tom Cairney by VAR official Andre Marriner and, following a review on his pitchside monitor, referee Robert Jones awarded a late, late penalty. Ademola Lookman, who had carried a threat for Fulham all night, stepped up but his ‘Panenka’ spot-kick was both bizarre and weak, and was easily saved by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
After all that drama, Moyes was left to celebrate a victory and a clean sheet that saw his side rise to eleventh in the Premier League table ahead of the November international break.
I think the finishes we’re having at West Ham at the moment are not good for the manager’s heart, that’s for sure!
The win at Tottenham was good for it, but I don’t know if the last minute today was good for it, but nevertheless we’ve got there and we’ve got three very important points.
It’s what we want because we stuck at it. We probably didn’t play as well tonight as we’ve done in other games, but we showed stickability and we kept playing.
We were definitely the better team in the last 20 minutes, we were dominating the ball and trying to find openings, but we just didn’t really have the sort of key to that tonight.
To be fair to Fulham, they didn’t concede any goals against West Brom and they only conceded one goal in their previous match at Sheffield United, so they’ve certainly tightened up defensively and we found that tonight.
It’s absolutely brilliant to win and keep a clean sheet going into the November international break, because we’re putting ourselves in a better position.
All the hard work the players have done leading into this has paid off, plus we’ll learn from this as well.
We tried to play better and there were bits of the game in which we tried to play well, but we just didn’t quite always succeed with it, so I’m really pleased because we’re in a good position with the points we’ve got from the games we’ve had going into this international break.
I want to move higher up the league, I want to get more points and we’ve got chances of winning games and if we have to win like that, so be it.
I thought the opening part of the game was really good. We had three or four chances, shots getting blocked and I think Fulham took a bit of strength from not conceding in that period.
They improved a little bit better than us after that but I thought we probably had the better opportunities.
I have to say they’ve had one or two, but for them to miss a penalty in the last minute was great for us.
Said Benrahma has made an impact off the substitutes’ bench and we want him to make an impact, but we’ve had players making an impact every week like Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen, so we’ve got good competition.
We want Said to come in and help us and he did tonight – well, he didn’t in the last minute but I wouldn’t put it all down to him because we’ve got to defend all the four minutes after we scored our goal better.
We got away with it, and we won’t always get away with it, but it’s something we need to learn from.
Said set Tomas Soucek up brilliantly and Tomas will get goals, there is no doubt about that.
One of the problems tonight was our crossing quality was really poor and we didn’t deliver good enough quality into the box when we were in positions to do so.
We had Tomas in the box and Seb Haller too, and we were hoping to get something aerial for him to score from, but I felt our crossing quality was really poor.
It’s really sad that we can’t have the supporters in because we’ve had one or two incredible moments late on this season and that’s why we should always watch the game right ‘til the end!
I’ve got to say, getting the goal late on and then what happened was perfect!