Vladimir Coufal expressed his fear of West Ham suffering another heavy defeat similar to their loss to Newcastle United, before their remarkable comeback to secure a draw against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, writes the Evening Standard.
David Moyes’ team conceded two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game, just like their 5-1 defeat to the Magpies earlier this month. However, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen scored to salvage a well-deserved draw, extending West Ham’s lead over the relegation zone by four points. “To be honest, I was afraid of this – it was like the momentum from Newcastle,” Coufal admitted. “We were 2-0 down against one of the best teams in the world.”
“But [we had] nothing to lose and there was one situation where we pressed them and suddenly the crowd pushed us. We turned the game, we scored and we were pushing, pushing, pushing.
“Suddenly, we were 2-2. From this situation we found it is possible to play against them. It is possible to press them, it is possible to hurt them.”
After Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead at Anfield, Coufal noted that the turnaround had not been on West Ham’s minds, but he pointed out that Bukayo Saka’s missed penalty early in the second half was the key turning point in the match against Arsenal. He said that the miss gave West Ham a big advantage, as the crowd became energized and it felt like another life in the game. Coufal suggested that if Saka had scored, the match would probably have been finished.
He also credited the crowd’s support for helping West Ham push harder and play to their limits, saying that they needed that kind of backing from 60,000 people. When asked why Arsenal dropped points in both matches, Coufal said that it was best to ask them. He added that West Ham had their own tactics and played their own game.