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Hammer: We’ve shown we can compete against best

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Alphonse Areola of course did MORE than his bit to keep us in Saturday’s game but he was chuffed to bits with the way the team performed.

The Hammers of course produced a great performance which was spilt only by an ill deserved score line both for the team and the keeper in particular.

But the France international – like those watching the game – believes we proved many points, chiefly that we now really are a team with which to be reckoned.

Once again, the Hammers made their mark  opening the scoring  and staying in the contest right until the end.

After Jérémy Doku levelled the scores at the start of the second period, it took until the final 14 minutes for Bernardo Silva’s and Erling Haaland’s goals to seal a 3-1 away win.

It means the Hammers’ four-match unbeaten sequence came to an end, although Areola could reflect on another positive display both collectively and individually, with the Frenchman producing a number of fine saves to deny Rúben Dias, Rodri and Haaland.

And Areola told the official website at www.whufc.com: “I think we did well. We showed that we are good on the ball, solid at the back and I think we deserved a bit more from the game.

“We could have scored one or two [more]. It’s like that when you play against this kind of team, you have to be clinical and not make mistakes.

“We want to get back on the pitch and do the same. We’re here for that, we’re happy to play and we’re happy to play in that way because we’ve shown that against big teams like that we can compete.

“It’s important for the fans, for the team, for us, for our heads, that we keep that focus and that confidence to earn points in the future games.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon