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Moyes Praises Clinical Antonio As West Ham Show Resolve

  • 3 min read

West Ham manager David Moyes heaped praise on his resilient side and striker Michail Antonio after the Hammers fought back from a goal down to beat Leeds 2-1 away and complete a memorable week.

Having knocked Manchester United out of the League Cup on Wednesday with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, West Ham produced another gritty performance with Antonio netting a 90th-minute winner at Elland Road.

Moyes conceded that he had feared a different outcome after Raphinha gave Leeds a 19th-minute lead with a sublime shot and nearly doubled their advantage when he hit the post in the 35th as the home side began to dominate.

“It was a really tough game,” Moyes told the BBC.

“Leeds were what you expect. We got there in the end which was important for us. I thought we played much better in the second half and deserved it.

“I felt we were capable of scoring but when we went 1-0 down I was concerned; you’re always liable to concede against Leeds because of the way they play.”

Moyes felt Antonio looked subdued for much of the contest but applauded the towering striker’s determination and composure that helped him to score a last-gasp winner after West Ham had equalised thanks to a Junior Firpo own goal.

Asked if he would have expected anyone other than Antonio to pop up with the late winner, Moyes said: “I wouldn’t say that with the way he played today but it’s what centre forwards do. They will tell you they can mis-control it and it can bobble off your leg but if you’re there to score the winner in the 90th minute that’s what makes you special.”

The result piled more pressure on Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa as it left them still looking for their first league win of the season and the Argentine felt his team had deserved more from the see-saw contest.

“Two teams faced each other with two different realities, a team that is chaining together positive results and our team who is chaining together negative results,” he said.

“In those circumstances, the team in the negative trend finds it difficult to obtain what they deserve. When the team is in a good moment it is easy for them to obtain what they deserve.

“I think if the game had been a draw it wouldn’t have been unfair. Evidently all our sacrifice didn’t crystallise.”