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West Ham defender: “I didn’t think the ref was going to give my goal”

09:56 07 April 2014

Guy Demel at the West Ham United v Liverpool match.

Guy Demel at the West Ham United v Liverpool match.

Archant

Hammers full back Guy Demel finally broke his goalscoring duck and insists that Liverpool’s second penalty should not have been given

It took him 72 games in claret and blue, so it was little wonder that Guy Demel’s first goal for the club was met with a huge grin a laugh and his tongue poking out.

The likeable Ivory Coast full back was the first to react when Simon Mignolet dropped a Mark Noble corner under pressure from Andy Carroll and he poked the ball into the net to make it 1-1 right on half time.

“It was a controversial goal,” smiled Demel. “I wasn’t sure if the ref was going to give the goal or not.”

Referee Anthony Taylor initially gave the goal and then ran over to consult his flag-waving linesman, but though he had clearly seen the obvious foul by Carroll on the keeper, the ref decided to ignore him and give the goal.

“They were talking for a long time, but in the end I was happy,” said the 32-year-old. “The boys have been on at me about not scoring, so now it is done. It dropped nicely and it was an easy goal.

“But you never know if you might miss it so I was happy when it hit the back of the net, though it would have been even better if we had got some points.”

So when did Demel last score a goal? He has trouble remembering.

“My last goal was for Hamburg before I came here,” he said. “It was about four seasons ago, so still a long time ago.”

Despite Demel’s efforts, West Ham were beaten by two penalties and the defender certainly had something to say about the second one at least.

“The first one I think is a penalty,” he reflected. “The long ball from Gerrard went just over me and it was a great goal because it was between me and ‘Tomks’ (James Tomkins) and it is really hard to defend those sort of passes.

“I tried to get the ball, but couldn’t get there and that meant a one-on-one with Suarez, but it is a penalty.”

He had a very different view on the other one however: “The second one was definitely not a penalty because the keeper touched the ball. I heard the referee apologised afterwards, but it is always too late by then.

“It is football and we just have to hope that next time we get the luck and the penalty goes for us.”

That goal ended West Ham’s chances, but Demel felt that the team deserved something out of the game.

“It was a hard game, but I think we played well and it is kind of disappointing that we didn’t get anything out of the match,” he said.

“I think a draw would have been fair. They had chances, but we had some too and to be honest, I have never seen Liverpool as under pressure as they were against us in the first half and in the last 20 minutes – I think luck was on their side today.”

Despite the defeat, West Ham still look safe in the division, so how does the right back think the season has gone?

“I think we can decide that at the end of the season, but when you come from the bottom of the table to be where we are now, then you can talk about it as a successful season,” he said.

“We are not far away from our objective at the start of the season and that was to finish 10th. A point against Liverpool would have been nice, but we will look for more points and try and reach that 10th place.

“If we can, it will be a good season.”

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