West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic praised his side’s performance while expressing sympathy for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on the back of the Hammers 2-1 win against the Blues at Upton Park.
The Stamford Bridge outfit were reduced to 10 men shortly before half time after Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic was dismissed for two bookable offences. This fuelled the outrage from Mourinho and was also sent to the stands for the second half after remonstrating with referee Jonathan Moss in the tunnel.
Bilic insisted that he can understand why Mourinho – who refused to speak to the media – was enraged as the dismissal of Matic was “a bit harsh”.
The 46-year-old said: “The first yellow card that Matic got was definite. I was too far away to see the second yellow and I haven’t seen the replays. If Matic was my player then I would say it was a bit harsh. Second bookings in the first half should be proper bookings. I would definitely moan if it was against us and they weren’t mistakes it was just a matter of opinion.”
Striker Andy Carroll was the match winner in the 79th minute after Mauro Zarate put the hosts in front before England centre back Gary Cahill levelled the score line for the visitors 10 minutes after the restart.
This now means the east Londoners are on a seven game unbeaten run and momentarily climbed to the dizzying heights of second in the Premier League.
Former Besiktas chief Bilic was overjoyed with the result – saying that West Ham deserved maximum points against the current Premier League champions.
He said: “I am very proud of my team and the whole club. It is brilliant to beat the champions at our home ground in front of our crowd. It’s unbelievable and there is nothing wrong in saying that we’re playing good and playing well and we deserved to win.”
“We played well in the first half but we started the second half exactly the opposite like we wanted to.
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“We defended too much in the second half and that’s why we conceded. The crowd was also expecting us to push on because Chelsea were playing with 10 men. Don’t get me wrong, it has a massive impact on the game but with their class keeping the ball was not a problem to them even though they were down to 10 men.
"However Chelsea scored the goal at the right time for us because it gave us plenty of time to recover.”
This was West Ham’s first ever win against a Jose Mourinho side and the Hammers will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight when they face another London derby next week as the Hammers travel to newly promoted Watford.