West Ham boss Slaven Bilic claimed that his side deserved their last-gasp 1-0 win over Sunderland at the London Stadium.
Winston Reid fired home from a Dimitri Payet corner in the 94th-minute to secure the victory for the hosts who have now picked up seven points from their last three games and kept consecutive clean sheets.
West Ham faded after making a bright start in which Payet struck the post and were grateful to goalkeeper Adrian who denied Wahbi Khazri when the Tunisia midfielder found himself clean through early in the second half.
But Bilic still felt that the hosts’ performance warranted the three points.
“It was a dramatic end,” he told Sky Sports. “It was a good game of football. Our start was by far the best start we’ve made this season. We played good football and should have been one or two goals up, but we didn’t take the chances that we created.
“They came back and the second half was very open. We pushed up and they had some good counter-attacks and our goalkeeper made a terrific save. In the last 15 minutes we changed it a little bit with a couple of strikers and got some good set-pieces and from one of those we scored.
“We deserved it, just. Overall, over the course of the 90 minutes, I thought we were better.”
Sunderland boss David Moyes insisted that West Ham substitute Jonathan Calleri had been offside and interfering with play when Reid’s low shot found its way into the bottom corner.
But although Bilic sympathised with his opposite number, he claimed that replays showed that the Argentine had in fact been onside.
“There was no offside,” he said. “It is very difficult for referees. If you freeze the picture, Calleri’s boots are in a position that is not offside.
“But I do feel for them [Sunderland] and I would probably be the same in their position.”
Bilic called on his side to maintain their recent upsurge in form and continue their climb away from the relegation zone.
“It was still early days but we had to react,” he said. “Now we have two wins, two clean sheets, nothing can give you a bigger boost than wins. We have to build on this and make sure that we don’t find ourselves back in the position that we did a few weeks ago.”
West Ham host London rivals Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday before returning to Premier League action on Saturday with a trip to Everton.