Arsenal deserved to win says West Ham boss Bilic
PUBLISHED: 01:34 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 01:34 06 April 2017
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Manager realistic after 3-0 loss at Emirates Stadium
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic had few complaints following his struggling side’s 3-0 loss against Arsenal.
The visitors saw Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble go close in the early part of the match, before the Gunners began to find their rhythm.
And it remained goalless until just before the hour mark, when Mesut Ozil’s shot beat Darren Randolph at the foot of his right-hand post for the breakthrough, despite protests from the Hammers.
Bilic said: “I think the players they complained because they thought there was handball. (Arthur) Masuaku tried to clear it, I think off (Theo) Walcott, but (Alexis) Sanchez wasn’t offside.
“Unfortunately, it was very similar to the goal against Leicester we conceded, a half-cross from (Riyad) Mahrez. This was a stoppable shot from Ozil, I think our goalkeeper thought Sanchez was going to interfere but he wasn’t offside, it was a well-timed run.
“We were disappointed with that goal, but before that and after that, Randy did very good for us.”
Randolph twice denied Theo Walcott in the first half, while James Collins produced a superb block to thwart Ozil early in the second half.
But once the home side got their noses in front, they were able to dictate play and Walcott slid home a second from Ozil’s cross, before substitute Olivier Giroud curled home a third with seven minutes remaining.
Bilic added: “They deserved to win. We started the game good, we were very good in the first half and overall in the first half we defended, not only the back four, really well.
“We stopped their best players being with a lot of space, one against one. In the first half an hour we were good with the ball, breaking their rhythm, but in the last 10-15 minutes of the first half we started to lose the ball very quick and if you give them that quantity of attacks they are very quick close to your goal in front of the box and it’s very hard.
“You only need one mistake or one great thing from them, but the first half overall was good, also because of the result.
“But the second half started like the first half finished, they were again too often, too soon there, and after the first goal it’s hard to come back.
“We wanted to keep it longer 0-0 or even better score a goal to make them nervous, lose their composure, make the crowd a bit more nervous.
“But they scored the second one, after that it’s very dangerous to play against them, because they let you create. You are coming into good spaces and the game starts to be played on a big, big pitch and you start to have the feeling that you can create also.
“They take risks, they stay up with a few players and every time you lose the ball or when they get the ball it’s a problem for the defence with those really good players, great players, on such a big pitch.”
West Ham’s cause was not helped by the loss of Michail Antonio at half time and the removal of Andy Carroll just past the hour mark.
“Mikey Antonio was out because of a hamstring, after the Leicester game, but the problem was around lunchtime he started to vomit. He didn’t feel well,” explained Bilic.
“In the first half he was good, but the recovery time was basically long for him so that’s why we decided to change him, to save him for Saturday. He was no good after half an hour.
“It wasn’t an injury that he had to rest a few weeks. He missed one game against Hull, it was not that his hamstring was not okay, but that he started to feel ill in the hotel around lunchtime.
“Andy Carroll said at half time he felt a bit of groin, but the medical department said he was okay, it’s not that bad. But then I decided if it stays like that we’re going to change him after 60 minutes.”