Reece Oxford reflected on a “dream debut” after the 16-year-old shone in West Ham’s surprise 2-0 Premier League derby victory at Arsenal.
The midfielder became the second-youngest player to start a Premier League match on Sunday and made the most of his opportunity, as Petr Cech endured a top-flight debut to forget for Arsenal.
Cech flapped at a free-kick from the lively Dimitri Payet, also featuring for the first time in the Premier League, to allow Cheikhou Kouyate to head West Ham in front just before half-time.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Cech was then slow to react to a long-range Mauro Zarate which doubled West Ham’s lead 12 minutes after the break and Arsenal were unable to respond.
West Ham had not beaten their London rivals in 15 attempts stretching back to 2007 before this surprise triumph in their Premier League opener, which was Slaven Bilic’s first league game at the helm.
Oxford, now the youngest player to feature for West Ham in the Premier League, relished the chance given to him by Bilic and hopes his impressive display is the sign of things to come.
He told Sky Sports: “It was a dream debut, also playing in midfield too. I had Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna behind me encouraging me.
“It’s an honour really to play for West Ham and to be the youngest. Hopefully I can get more games in.”
West Ham captain Reid said: “I think we knew we had it in us, we still think we can get a lot better.
“I thought we had a fantastic game plan which the manager gave us. He’s [Bilic] come in and changed us. He has got us thinking positively so full credit to him.”
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