West Ham United: Joe Hart happy to heap praise on Hammers colleague Chicharito despite superb display at Chelsea
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 10 April 2018
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England international rightly named man of the match, but delighted for forward who netted equaliser
West Ham United goalkeeper Joe Hart picked up man of the match honours for his display in the Premier League draw at Chelsea — but the England international was only too happy to praise the team’s attack.
England international Hart produced some excellent saves at Stamford Bridge to rightly earn the plaudits with his best display since joining the Hammers on loan last summer.
The 30-year-old could do nothing about the Blues’ goal, though, with his defence failing in their attempts to stop Cesar Azpilicueta from scoring a simple opener in the 36th minute.
Hart kept West Ham in the game as Chelsea looked to kill the game off, with the stopper making five saves in total throughout the game to deny Antonio Conte’s men.
With 17 minutes remaining, the Hammers drew level when substitute Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez found the target with his first touch since coming on.
That gave the London Stadium side impetus, with the visitors having a late penalty appeal turned down Marko Arnautovic went down in the box.
But Hart, on loan from Manchester City, was delighted the east Londoners could collect another vital point in their battle to avoid relegation this term.
“It’s nice to stay in the game. ‘Chicha’ has come on, after being on the other side of the world and being poorly, and we’re so glad he was fit and got that vital goal,” he told Sky Sports.
“We looked dangerous in the second half. First half, I thought we were poor given the standards we are trying to set at this club, but it is important we were able to stay strong and fight back in a really difficult venue.”
West Ham were looking for a first win in the league at Stamford Bridge since September 2002.
However, with the Blues having lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the league the previous weekend, Hart knew the Stamford Bridge side would be looking for a response.
Conte’s men controlled the tie in the first half, but Hart was pleased with the Hammers resilience to remain in the game before drawing level.
“They’re the champions and they had a poor result last week so we knew they would be at it today,” he added.
“They created a lot and caused a lot of havoc but we stood strong, we believed in the process and we got the result.”