West Ham manager Slaven Bilic hailed his team for writing a memorable chapter in the club’s history books after they ended a 52-year wait to taste success at Anfield with a shock 3-0 victory over Liverpool.
Goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho secured the east London club their first win at Liverpool since September 1963, a dismal run of futility which Bilic brought to an end in just his fourth league game in charge on Saturday.
“It is three points but it is one of those games that for the club, for the supporters especially, it is more than three points,” said Bilic, who also masterminded an equally impressive opening day victory at Arsenal.
“It is the same story as Arsenal — 52 years without winning here. Especially at this kind of stadium, and I think we did it with style, we didn’t nick it. It was a great performance in 90 per cent of the aspects of the modern game.
“And then, of course, it is more than three points. I am very proud of the players, the whole club, it is great for everyone and one of those games for the history books.”
The only negative for Bilic was the second half dismissal of Noble, shown a straight red for a challenge on Danny Ings, becoming the sixth West Ham player sent off in their 10 competitive games to date this season.
Bilic, however, insisted he expects the midfielder to succeed with an appeal.
“For me, the very simple answer is I have watched it and for me it is not a red card, nowhere near a red card,” he said.
“I’ll leave it to the club to appeal but I am very hopeful and I think we would win it. For me, and with the greatest respect to the officials, it is not a red card.”
– Alarming –
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers agreed that the dismissal of Noble was harsh, and thought similarly about the red card shown to his own player Philippe Coutinho.
However, after seeing his team’s unbeaten start to 2015-16 brought to an end in such alarming fashion, Rodgers has greater concerns in attempting to help his team bounce back when they return from international duty with a visit to arch rivals Manchester United next month.
“Four of seven teams lost at home in the league today and up until today I think there have been six (home) wins out of 30, so it’s going to be a really difficult league to get your home wins,” said Rodgers.
“But our concentration is on winning here at home, we love playing here and the support has been brilliant here. The first three games we gave them hope again but today we disappointed.
“But we have seven points out of 12, the players are going away on international duty but they will come back and focus on putting in a better performance away from home.
“The performance disappointed, right from the off. Once we conceded that early goal we just couldn’t quite get back into the game.
“The overall performance, with and without the ball, will be much better in the future.
“Up until now, the confidence has been really high, it has been developing and improving. But our problems today were self-inflicted, we gave away poor goals and that was the biggest disappointment.”
Rodgers claimed that he will do no further business in what has been a busy transfer market before the window closes on Tuesday.
“If I have got the squad I have got now, I’ll be happy to work with that,” said Rodgers. – Agence France-Presse