Hammer Alphonse Areola has been named Carabao Cup Player of the Round for his performance in West Ham United’s fourth-round penalty shootout win over Manchester City.
The France international pulled off superb saves from John Stones’ close-range header and Raheem Sterling’s deflected shot, and showing quick reflexes to kick clear just as Ilkay Gündoğan looked set to score as the Irons earned a hard-fought goalless draw in normal time.
Areola, who had also shut out Manchester United in a third-round win at Old Trafford, made seven saves in total, before then forcing Phil Foden to put City’s first spot-kick wide of the target and paving the way for West Ham’s 5-3 shootout success.
The 28-year-old has yet to finish on the losing side for the Hammers, winning both Carabao Cup ties he has started and helping David Moyes side take seven points from the three UEFA Europa League Group H matches he has featured in.
The loan signing from Paris Saint-Germain told WHUFC.com
“It’s amazing for me. It’s not just player of one match, it’s all the matches in the round, which is fantastic. Lots of games, lots of big players, so I’m really happy to receive this award.
“It is quite difficult to choose one in particular! Maybe the header from John Stones, but every save is important of course, and it was good to stop City scoring at crucial times in the game.
“My team-mates helped me a lot, we managed to keep that clean sheet, and it was an amazing feeling in the end to win the penalty shoot-out, the atmosphere in the stadium was unbelievable.”