Aaron Cresswell applauds the fans

Cresswell: We can take positives from the game


A 1-0 loss to Liverpool might have been disappointing, but rarely does a side come to Anfield and create as many clear opportunities as West Ham United did on Saturday.

And while Aaron Cresswell – who returned from injury to the starting XI on Merseyside, captaining the side in Declan Rice and Mark Noble’s absence – was left disappointed, he also felt his team had positives to draw from the defeat.

A testing opening 20 minutes eventually subsided following Sadio Mané’s first-half goal for Liverpool, and the Irons began to produce opportunities on the counter-attack without finding the final ball or, on several occasions, the requisite finish.

Pablo Fornals, Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini all spurned presentable chances, and despite all the disadvantages they went into the game with, West Ham and Cresswell were left disappointed to leave without anything to show for their valiant efforts.

The 32-year-old noted: “I think once we got to grips with their front three and the rotation in midfield that they had going…

“We found it difficult at times, but overall, on the chances we’ve created throughout the 90 minutes… somebody was saying it was one of the most shots on target [conceded by Liverpool] under [Jürgen] Klopp at Anfield. 

“The result is the most disappointing thing, but you take your positives from the game. With the chances we created, on another day we maybe score two or three goals – but it wasn’t to be. 

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again in midweek.”


Cresswell wearing the captain's armband at Anfield
Cresswell wearing the captain's armband at Anfield

Already without vice-captain Rice due to illness, the Irons suffered a further blow when Jarrod Bowen limped off early in the second half.

Yet the Hammers fought on, creating opportunities against a side with a strong defensive record in the Premier League.

“Jarrod’s been one of our best players this year,” Cresswell reflected. “You look at his numbers, goals and assists, and he’s been fantastic. 

“Let’s hope he’s not too bad and he gets back to the training ground tomorrow and assesses it.”

While Liverpool went into the game as favourites to claim victory, the Irons will have every right to feel hard-done-by after Saturday’s game.

Crucially, however, they will not have long to dwell on it; the first leg of a UEFA Europa League Round of 16 tie, away to six-time winners Sevilla, is up next on Thursday evening.

And with ten Premier League games to go, they remain firmly in the hunt for further football on the continent next season.

“We’re going to stay positive regardless – we’ve got to,” Cresswell said.

“There are ten games left in the Premier League and still loads of points to play for. We want to push up that table and finish as high as we can. 

“Of course, we’ve got Europe coming up and two big games in that, so let’s see where we go.”

UEFA Europa League round of 16 tickets