After last season this is our new normal – winning games we would have previously lost or struggled to hold on for a draw. The fight in the team is clear and stand out players for me were Johnson who is impressing in defence with pace and desire and confidence to go forward and Areola who I felt did an excellent job in goal and was quick off his line too.
A game of drama and real frustration for us as I feel we deserved at least a point, even after the rush of blood to the head decision by Moyes to throw Noble on to take a last gasp penalty to salvage the game. It would have been so different if Noble had scored – imagine the headlines – but it was not to be.
It was an emotional return to the London Stadium as I have not seen my brother for quite some time and it was wonderful to see him. It was also great to see so many familiar faces – few faces I did not recognise from the final game before the lockdown last year. The hairs on the back of my neck raised as we heard the crowd singing and immersed ourselves in the bustle before the game. So glad to be back.
With the backdrop of one of the largest fan protests against owners Gold, Sullivan and Brady before the match, a superb performance on the pitch and a first goal for new recruit Jarrod Bowen secured a well deserved win to lift the Hammers out of the drop zone into 16th spot, albeit on goal difference.
This was the last game of the season that saw the Hammers move up to finish 13th in the Premier League and saw David Moyes bring the team out of the relegation zone to finish 9 points above relegated Swansea in 18th.
Rice’s display was once again a major plus, the 19-year-old showing composure in a defensive midfield role as he adds another string to his bow after showing his talent as a central defender.
Almost 2 years ago at the London Stadium the Hammers looked on course for a win after Lucas Perez, a 78th minute replacement for Arnautovic, had turned in a rebound after fellow substitute Pedro Obiang had hit the post in the 82nd minute.
What will surely stay in the memory is Declan’s performance just a couple of days before his 20th birthday that showed why he has a great future in front of him after scoring his first Premier League goal during a series of impressive performances.
Memories of the bitter row between the clubs hung over proceedings with fans goading the visitors by holding up Tevez masks in the first league fixture between the teams since the 2007 season that saw Sheffield United relegated from the Premier League.
The Hammers made the Reds defence look amateurish as they repeatedly failed to track runners from free-kicks, highlighted cruelly for the equaliser as Antonio caught the defence napping as they seemed to be ready for Anderson to play high into the area, instead of a low pass to set up Michail for his diagonal run and shot fired pass Allison.