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Pellegrini delighted with Irons display

Manuel Pellegrini was delighted with West Ham’s performance in their 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday.

Declan Rice’s superb winning goal gave the Hammers all three points at the London Stadium. 

And the former Manchester City manager was delighted with the way in which his side performed, insisting that they played with the mentality of a “big team”.

He told Sky Sports’ television after the game: “I was pleased with the balance and consistency of the team.

“We did not allow Arsenal any chances despite their quality of players. We played with a mentality of a big team, always going for the second goal.

“We have worked in the week on the way that we want to play.”

And Pellegrini was thrilled with the display of midfielder Rice, who perhaps enjoyed his best display in an Irons shirt.

The 19-year-old turns 20 next week and his performance belied his youth, as he repeatedly snuffed out attacks and kept the ball with aplomb.

His goal, of course, was the cherry on top of the cake, Rice sending a beautiful curling effort into the top corner after a neat lay-off from Samir Nasri.

Pellegrini added: “Declan is improving in every game. I decided for him to be a midfielder, he is playing the ball forward more, he shoots well and goes forward well. He is a complete player.

“I think he will be a top player in the future.”

And he says he substituted Nasri in the second half to minimise the risk of the former Gunners star picking up an injury, adding: “I think Samir Nasri could have continued but I did not want to risk him getting a muscle injury. If he wants to be the player he was a few years ago I think he can be.”

About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.