West Ham defender's goal overshadowed by thumping loss against the champions
PUBLISHED: 14:30 01 May 2018
Cresswell determined to halt the Hammers slide
It was the highlight of the match for West Ham fans, but unsurprisingly Aaron Cresswell was reluctant to wax lyrical about it.
Three minutes before half time and trailing 2-0, Edimilson Fernandes won a free kick on the edge of the box.
Cresswell stepped up and with memories of Dimitri Payet, he curled his shot into the corner of the net for his first of the season.
“I think Mark Noble was on the end of the wall and he sort of leaned back and opened it up for me.
“But it was not about my goal, it was about the result and it was not good enough.”
He was right and Cresswell knew it only too well. Despite his goal and almost getting on the end of another cross, he had as tough a time as anyone dealing with Raheem Sterling on the right wing.
Still, at 2-1 at the break, did Cresswell feel his side still had a chance to get something out of the game?
“At 2-1, you always think you have a chance,” said the 28-year-old, but the two goals we conceded in the first half were really bad goals and the manager told us that at half time.
“We did get one back and maybe Marko’s goal should have been given and then it’s a different game, but let’s not beat about the bush, they are one of the best teams in Europe and they certainly showed that at times, but it was disappointing from our point of view.”
West Ham certainly planned to contain the champions, but with a defence that has conceded the most this season in the Premier League against a team who has scored the most, that was never likely to happen.
“I think we may have shown them a little bit too much respect and they punished us,” said the former Hammer of the Year.
“We came out second half and they scored early and at 3-1 the game is pretty much over and it is hard to come back.
“If it is 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, you always have that chance, but it wasn’t to be.”
It wasn’t and though City were always expected to win this game, the ease with which they did is certainly worrying.
That is two 4-1 defeats on the trot and at a time when their relegation rivals are showing signs of life, there is a fear that the momentum is very definitely against the Hammers.
Cresswell is determined that they can get a result to pull clear of the bottom three and said: “You look at them against Palace and they had a man sent off which changed the game even more.
“But they are still a good team and at this time of the season, anything can happen.”
It is possible the Hammers could stay up without earning a single point in the last three games, with Manchester United and Everton to visit London.
But Cresswell would like to avoid that if he can, adding: “I couldn’t give you a points tally because the Premier League is so unpredictable. We just have to have a good week of training and focus on Leicester.
“You would like to think that we will stay up. We are not going to be negative about anything, we need to stay as positive as we can.”