West Ham defender looks at the positives after late equaliser
PUBLISHED: 14:30 30 October 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Hammers full back Pablo Zabaleta thought his side defended superbly at :eicester
It must have been a heartbroken West Ham dressing room at Leicester City on Saturday after the valiant 10-men were denied three points by a cruel deflection.
But Hammers defender Pablo Zabaleta was looking towards the positives after the 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium.
“Everyone in the dressing room is a bit sad,” admitted the veteran Argentinian full back.
“After Mark Noble was sent off, everyone knew it was going to be a long and hard game, but I thought the effort from everyone was fantastic.”
One short, West Ham held on until the 89th minute with Lukasz Fabianski outstanding, until a speculative effort from outside the box by Wilfried Ndidi hit Fabian Balbuena’s knee and ballooned into the corner.
“To concede a goal from that deflection is hard to take, but at the end of the day the point is huge, it is massive for us, so we will take it and move on,” added Zabaleta.
Clearly the red card changed this game. The Hammers were 1-0 up and in charge.
“I haven’t seen it, but I am told it was a red,” said the consistent 33-year-old, who won the Premier League title twice with Manchester City.
“He was sad in the dressing room and a bit angry because obviously we were 1-0 up. He is hard in tackling people, but sometimes with referees decisions, you can do nothing about it.
“I think we have done everything we could to win the game. I think defensively we have been fantastic. Lukasz has made a couple of great saves, but sometimes you need a bit of luck to win these games.”
That certainly didn’t happen on Saturday and even after that equaliser, West Ham could still have snatched the winner.
“With the chances for Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio at the end, we could have won the game,” said Zabaleta.
“It hurts, but we need to be positive and think that it was a good point especially in a place where it is hard to get anything.”
Zabaleta has seen it all before, of course, and if he says it is a good point, then maybe it is.
But then again all that battling and defending meant very little when it came to the fatal helicopter crash after the final whistle where five people tragically lost their lives.