West Ham United 2-2 West Bromwich Albion - Reaction
Brian Jeeves reporting from the London Stadium
WEST Ham United manager, Slaven Bilic, was furious with referee, Michael Oliver after the Hammers were held to a 2-2 Premier League draw by West Bromwich Albion at the Olympic Stadium.
Jonny Evans stoppage-time header earned Albion an unlikely point, but Bilic was critical over a series of decisions from the Northumberland-based official: “The game ending like this, the late goal after everything that happened in the first and second half regarding the decisions. It is very frustrating and very hard to accept, the Hammers chief said.
Bilic was sent to the stands after appearing to throw a TV microphone on the pitch after Evans goal. “I am proud of my team but I’m very angry at the decisions.
“There were four or five decisions and all of them were totally against us, he added.
“The game ending like this, the late goal after everything that happened in the first and second half regarding the decisions. It is very frustrating and very hard to accept.”
Nevertheless, the Croat was pleased with his side’s display, adding: “It was a great game. We played fantastic all game, especially in the second half. We were good in everything. As a team and individually, always going forward and stopping them from counter-attacking.
“It’s hard to turn a game against them. They are very good side, very well organised. Maybe not attractive, but they’ve got everything. Apart from the top-six, they are the team to beat.
“To turn the game around after the early goal and score a couple of goals, and we could and should have scored even more. I’m extremely happy with the performance. I think that including last season this was one of our best games.
West Bromwich Albion manager, Tony Pulis, said: “We are very, very pleased. I thought that in the first half we played really well. Chadli was excellent and made us play through the pitch quickly.
“We had some good opportunities. But the opportunities that we create we have to finish. It was a bit like our game with Stoke last week. We should have come in more than one goal up.
Pulis continued: “I thought in the second half, West Ham were the better team. They changed their system. Fair play to Slaven, three at the back and pushed people on. He rolled his midfield players on and that stretched us and caused us more problems. You’ve got to give him and west Ham some credit.
“When they got the second goal you think we’re struggling for it. But great character from the players. Tenacity, the energy and enthusiasm to play for one another is there for everyone to see”