Kurt Zouma believes the ‘little details’ were the difference between West Ham United and Manchester City in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat.
The Irons looked like they could extend an unbeaten start in the Premier League this season when James Ward-Prowse put the Hammers ahead with a diving header in the first half.
City hit back immediately in the second half, however, as Jérémy Doku levelled on 46 minutes, before Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland struck to ensure all three points went back to the north west with the reigning Premier League champions.
“It was a tough game,” Zouma told whufc.com. “They made it very tough for us and we made it tough for them. I think it was a very tense game and, obviously, little mistakes made the difference.
“It’s a football game. It’s eleven versus eleven and we knew we could hurt them. We had a few chances where we could have scored one or two more goals, but against the top teams the little details make the difference. They were better at those details in this game.
“The beginning of the second half was the killer for us, I would say. Conceding straight away, after just a few seconds in the second half, it feels bad. We tried to stay in the game and gave our all, but it wasn’t meant to be today.”
The loss is the first time the Irons have experienced defeat this campaign, while also subsequently being the first time this season the Hammers have been behind in a match.
Despite falling to City, Zouma can pinpoint several positives for West Ham to take into a busy September schedule.
He continued: “We were so good in the first half, so solid. On the ball, we kept it and hurt them. We moved it quickly and we got around them, In the first half, we were very, very good. The second half we started badly, conceded straight away, but we need to take the positives out of it and move onto the next game.
“We have a top team. The team is playing so well at the minute. We’ve started the season well and this is our first defeat. It was against a top team who are playing well at the minute too, so we need to move on. We can hurt any team and we need to stay on top of that.”
For Zouma, there is no reason to be too downhearted, despite the loss. The support of the home crowd at London Stadium showed the delight in the effort from the home side, and the French defender has confidence going forward.
“We’ve got some quality, which we showed today. Now we just want to show more. Today, it just wasn’t meant to be, and we didn’t take the points. But the fans were behind us, supporting us, and now the next game is another day and we need to prepare and be ready for them.
“After the game, we can feel that everyone was positive. It was a tough game and it was a tough team to play. We can take positives and everyone is confident going forward. Next week is another game and we’ll go out in the same direction.”
Saturday’s match marked the first game for Zouma since manager David Moyes confirmed the centre-back would continue as captain throughout the season.
For the No4, the confirmation was a huge honour, having enjoyed the privilege of serving as West Ham captain throughout the campaign so far.
He added: “For me, I’m very happy to be captain of this Football Club. For me and my family, it’s a big thing. I’ve come a long way to being here with the armband, and I’m very happy.”