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Moyes praises West Ham effort in Man City loss

PUBLISHED: 08:01 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:01 20 February 2020

West Ham United manager David Moyes after the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium

West Ham United manager David Moyes after the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium

PA Wire/PA Images

West Ham manager David Moyes praised his players for the effort and organisation shown in their midweek defeat at defending Premier League champions Manchester City.

But although they managed to frustrate the hosts and retrict them to just one goal in each half, Moyes admitted his side needed to do more with the ball to get any kind of result at the Etihad Stadium.

Having seen their original February 9 fixture postponed due to safety concerns as Storm Ciara battered the UK, the Hammers returned to the North West to feel the full force of Pep Guardiola's City.

But Moyes told whufc.com: "I thought the players did a great job in trying to be organised, disciplined and structured in a way that would mark it hard for them.

"We did it for long periods, but they move the ball so well. They advance the ball every time they move and put you on the back foot so many times.

"There were lots of good defensive moments in the first half when we had to defend when it looked as if they were in, but overall I'd have liked us to play much better, especially with the ball and on the counter attack.

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"We had a few opportunities and we didn't take them."

The home side were playing for the first time since being banned from European football for two years under Financial Fair Play rules and clearly smarting at a decision they have said they will appeal against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Gabriel Jesus was particularly wasteful as they dominated throughout, but Rodri headed home from a corner on the half-hour mark and Kevin de Bruyne beat Lukasz Fabianski at his near post with a low drive just past the hour.

The Hammers saw Ryan Fredericks suffer a shoulder injury and replaced by Pablo Zabaleta, facing his former club for the last time before hanging up his boots this season, but offered little of an attacking threat in reply.

Michail Antonio blasted an effort over 15 minutes from time and deadline-day signing Jarrod Bowen was given his debut off the bench, replacing Robert Snodgrass.

But defeat left them in the relegation zone after 26 games for the first time since February 11, 2011 when they also had 24 points and eventually finished bottom.

"We showed really good organisational qualities, we were disciplined in our roles, everybody knew what they had to do and against these teams you have to be," added Moyes.

Few would have expected much from a trip to City, but there are games coming up for West Ham which they simply have to win.

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