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West Ham defender: 'We played like the home team and Manchester United were the away side'

PUBLISHED: 15:30 15 April 2019

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (left) and Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku in action

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (left) and Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku in action

PA Archive/PA Images

Hammers centre back Angelo Ogbonna can't believe the team lost at Old Trafford

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (left) in action against Manchester United's Anthony MartialWest Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (left) in action against Manchester United's Anthony Martial

West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna shook his head and that familiar smile was more of a grimace as he was asked about the clash with Manchester United.

“Oh man!” he exclaimed. “I don't know how we didn't get the three points, but sometimes when you can't win, you have to get the draw.”

The Italian centre-half has seen it all at Old Trafford in his time at the club, including some heavy defeats, but he has rarely seen anything like Saturday.

“I think it is only the second time we have done this,” he reflected.

West Ham United's Felipe Anderson (hidden) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mates Angelo Ogbonna (right) and Fabian BalbuenaWest Ham United's Felipe Anderson (hidden) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mates Angelo Ogbonna (right) and Fabian Balbuena

“We drew here in the FA Cup when Payet scored, but today we played really, really well.

“We played them in a good moment because they have played many games, but I don't think it was just that.

“We showed that we were a totally different West Ham. We kept the ball from the beginning. I think we were like the home side and they were like the away team.

“We deserved a lot more than we got.”

They certainly did. But West Ham were to find themselves on the wrong end of some poor decisions which were to cost them the match.

“Their penalty. I don't know,” he said.

“I don't want to criticise the ref, but they were playing at home and if we were at home it shouldn't be a penalty.

“I think the challenge was 50/50, but come on, the referee has to understand the situation.”

Ogbonna certainly played his part on the day, helping to keep West Ham nemesis Romelu Lukaku at bay all afternoon.

And he was full of praise for his all his team-mates.

“We looked good right from the start. I think we were really brave,” he said.

“Our shape was totally different, we covered the pitch really well and found a way to attack, to counter-attack and to defend.

“We also made the right decisions with or without the ball.

“I am very proud of the players, even Antonio who came on late ands had a lot of chances.

“He hit the bar and forced a great save. I can't say anything against the team, we really deserved much more.”

Ogbonna has kept his place in the team now that Fabian Balbuena has returned from injury and he remains an important part of the sqiad.

“It is good to have Balbuena back,” said the big Italian. “It is good to have everyone back.

“We want to finish the season really well and having 25 players fit is always the best thing.”

Of course, after performances like this, they are worthless unless they can do it consistently and that seems to be the biggest problem this season.

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