Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pellegrini: West Ham were like zombies in first half

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Apr 2019

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West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said his team “were like zombies” in the opening half of their 2-0 Premier League loss to Chelsea.

Real Madrid target Eden Hazard was the star of the show with two goals as Chelsea defeated West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Hazard opened the scoring thanks to a stunning solo goal in the 24th minute before he sealed the result in the closing stages.

Pellegrini lamented West Ham’s display in the first 45 minutes, telling BBC Sport: “We improved a lot after the first half.

“We were like zombies inside the pitch. We were not playing. We were not an aggressive team that you need to be against these types of players.

“They did what they want, they scored one goal – Hazard dribbling four-five of our players. And they have other options.

“In the second half we improved a lot. We have more possession of the ball, we created chances to level the game but finally Chelsea scored the goal late.”

In his post-match news conference, Pellegrini added: “This team can be beaten by Chelsea, but if we do that by playing that complete game as we did in the second half we cannot complain.

“We spoke about a lot of things at half-time, but I said only the same thing: ‘When you want, you can.’

“You need the desire to demonstrate the way you can play, which team you are. We did that in the second half, but you cannot give 45 minutes to Chelsea.”

Pellegrini also revealed Sami Nasri suffered a calf injury as he planned to introduce the French midfielder at half-time.

“Samir was going to start in the second half but in the warm-up felt a problem in his calf, so he was not confident to play,” Pellegrini said. “We’ll see how it is tomorrow.”

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