Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Slaven Bilic ecstatic after West Ham beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic could hardly contain his excitement after this thrilling FA cup tie victory over Liverpool.

The manager declared it “ a special night for our club” after Angelo Ogbonna had secured the victory with a magnificent header in the final minute of extra time.

“This will go down as one of the great nights here,” declared Bilic, who complimented Ogbonna on his “magnificent” display.

The West Ham manager also revealed a steely determination to keep star player Dimitri Payet. “Dimitri Payet is our best player and we will do all we can to keep our best players,” said Bilic, after reports indicated that the Frenchman is to be offered a new improved deal.

Deflated Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was disappointed at his side’s failure in front of goal. “We created chances but didn’t score goals,” said Klopp, who recently discharged himself from hospital after an appendics operation.

The game was end to end from the start, with full back Joey O’Brien the first to hit the post for West Ham after being put through by Payet.

Liverpool though were quick to respond with Christian Benteke also hitting the woodwork in the 33rd minute.

Always in the action, Payet then hit the post after bending a free kick from 20 yards around the wall.

But just as it looked like things were going to remain all square at the interval, Enner Valencia weaved his way across the penalty area to send over a cross which Michail Antonio crashed in on the volley at the far post.

The lead did not last for long, when just two minutes after the interval Liverpool won a free kick just outside the penalty area. Philippe Countinho stepped up to slide the ball under the wall and into the net.

The home team were then denied a clear penatly when Tiago Llori pushed over Valencia in the area but referee Roger East waved the claims away.

The game did not slow as it moved into extra time.

First, Mark Noble had his shot turned around the corner by Simon Mignolet, then came two gilt edged chances for Benteke. The first falling perfectly for him in the centre of the penalty area with the whole goal at his mercy but the striker somehow pulled his shot wide. Then clear through on goal, keeper Randolph came out to deny Benteke with his feet.

All seemed to be heading toward penalties, when Payet hoisted over the last minute free kick to see Ogbonna rise high above the Liverpool defence and plant his header into the net. West Ham now play Blackburn in the fifth round.      

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