West Ham manager Slaven Bilic conceded he almost enjoyed watching Everton striker Romelu Lukaku continue his phenomenal scoring record against his team.
Lukaku was on target for a seventh consecutive top-flight match versus the Hammers in a 2-0 win at Goodison Park on Sunday, rounded off by Ross Barkley’s strike 14 minutes from time.
That return is only bettered in the Premier League by Robin van Persie, who netted in eight straight games against Stoke City for Arsenal and Manchester United.
Bilic hailed the Belgium striker as a complete performer after a result that ended a run of four matches unbeaten in all competitions for his charges.
“Of course he’s a world-class player,” said the former Croatia boss. “On one hand it was enjoyable to see him live, especially when the game opens up and you see everything – skill, pace, physique, a plan in his head.
“Until 2-0, we coped with him really good, but of course he is a world-class player. Unfortunately he is doing that always against us.”
Bilic felt his side should have earned a positive result considering the balance of play on Merseyside, but credited Everton for being the more clinical of the two sides.
“We should have taken something from this game,” he said. “I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve it.
“At the end of the day they were more mature when the game was on the verge. But we should have done better after the start we had in the first 20 to 25 minutes.
“The first goal was very cheap. We had a couple of chances to equalise, but they were dangerous through Lukaku – they always are on counter-attacks and they scored a second one.”
West Ham lie 16th in the table after 10 matches, one point above fourth-bottom Stoke City, who entertain relegation zone incumbents Swansea City on Monday.
“We didn’t go high flying after the three wins, now we are not going to drop,” added Bilic.
“We showed some good football, but we are concentrating on this game and I am big time disappointed
“When we offered them a little bit they took it straight away. They offered us a lot and we didn’t take it
“If you don’t score goals you have a big chance of losing the game.”