Manuel Pellegrini is happy to see Adrian making an immediate impact at Liverpool but would have liked to have kept the goalkeeper at West Ham.

Adrian left London Stadium as a free agent at the end of last season and signed for European champions Liverpool, replacing Simon Mignolet as Alisson's back-up.

But an injury to Alisson in the Premier League opener against Norwich City saw Adrian quickly thrust into the action at Anfield.

And on just his first start for Liverpool, the Spaniard proved their UEFA Super Cup final hero with a decisive penalty shoot-out save from Chelsea's Tammy Abraham on Wednesday.

Adrian had been restricted to cup appearances last season, with Lukasz Fabianski the West Ham number one, but Pellegrini still sought to keep the 32-year-old.

"I'm happy for him because he played a lot of years here at West Ham," Pellegrini told a news conference, reflecting on Adrian's display against Chelsea. "He's a very good goalkeeper.

"For different reasons, he couldn't find an arrangement to continue here. We wanted him here because not only is he a good goalkeeper, he's a good player for the squad also.

"He had some problems at the start of the season, so signing for Liverpool and having this performance, I'm very happy for him."

Adrian spent six years at West Ham, largely operating as the club's first choice prior to Fabianski's 2018 arrival.

The former Real Betis man is set to continue in the Liverpool goal against Southampton this weekend, with Alisson out for "the next few weeks" - as confirmed by Jurgen Klopp.

Manuel Pellegrini accused Manchester City of tactical fouls in the Premier League champions' 5-0 thrashing of West Ham on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's side started their title defence with an emphatic victory at London Stadium courtesy of goals from Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and a Raheem Sterling hat-trick.

Hammers manager Pellegrini felt his players were too "innocent", especially in the first half, as they conceded too many simple free-kicks when in promising positions.

"Every time we tried to arrive in their box they committed fouls. We were innocent in that regard," he said.

"If you review the game, that is why we didn't create too many chances in the first half. All our offensive moments of attacking ended in a foul. You can look at the statistics. They committed 13 fouls, we committed five. But that wasn't the reason why we lost."

According to Opta data, West Ham conceded six free-kicks to City's 13, but the visitors led 8-1 in terms of fouls committed by half-time.

Kyle Walker and Sterling were the only City players booked, with Mike Dean handing out those cautions in the 87th minute and three minutes into second-half stoppage time.

It is not the first time City have been accused of such a tactic. Last November, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said Fernandinho in particular was happy to foul to stop counter-attacks, prompting Guardiola to respond: "Never have my teams been focused on doing something wrong against the opponents."

Guardiola was riled again in April when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested City would be happy to give away free-kicks to halt United in their tracks in the derby. "I never prepare a game in 10 seasons as a manager thinking about this kind of thing. Never," he said.

Pellegrini felt City's approach to stopping West Ham attacks was one of the main differences in a balanced first half, but he insisted he did not think it the only reason for his side's humbling defeat.

When asked if he might encourage his players to adopt the same tactic, he said: "We must be more intelligent though to know when to make [fouls], not use it as a system.

"If you review the game, we didn't create too many chances because many of our attacking chances were stopped by a foul.

"But I repeat, I don't think that is just the reason we lost 5-0."

David Silva has been named the new captain of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

The experienced former Spain international, who signed from Valencia in 2010 and has won 10 major trophies at the Etihad Stadium, takes over the armband from Vincent Kompany, who joined Anderlecht as player-manager at the end of last season.

In June, Silva announced 2019-20 will be his last with City.

Guardiola said the 33-year-old playmaker, who was elected by team-mates, will be supported by vice-captains Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero.

"A captain has to be what he is," the City manager said ahead his side beginning their quest for a third consecutive Premier League title at West Ham. "It's an incredible, big respect from his mates. The decision they have to take is the best thing for the club.

"David has to be himself, make decisions for the team. Normally, it depends what the captain is like when [in] the locker room. They are nice guys, they know each other, they laugh a lot. It will not be a problem. He will be a good captain."

Champions City are likely to hand a Premier League debut to club-record signing Rodri on Saturday, although the match comes too soon for Joao Cancelo, whose move from Juventus in a part-exchange deal involving Danilo was only confirmed on Thursday.

"Cancelo is not going to play, not yet," Guardiola said. "He's going to settle good, he has experience, especially in Turin with a very important team.

"Rodri, every day I'm more convinced that this deal we have done with him will be one of the best this club has done in the last years. He will be an incredible holding midfielder."

City will also have Aymeric Laporte back from a knock, and Riyad Mahrez is available after he skipped the Community Shield clash with Liverpool due to concerns that medicine he took while on international duty with Algeria could complicate a doping control test.

Guardiola is expecting a difficult test against a side managed by former City boss Manuel Pellegrini, especially given the Hammers' form towards the end of last season, when they claimed three consecutive wins over Tottenham, Southampton and Watford.

"Last season, they finished well," he said. "Manuel has quality in identifying the way he plays. At the start, it was not easy: they lost the first three of four games. But he's a calm person and the board supported him. He made good results at the end of the season.

"The quality in his teams and the quality of the players up front, they've got many good players. It's the first game. Playing away is tricky but we are ready."

Watford boss Javi Gracia was unhappy with Jose Holebas' red card in Sunday's 4-1 defeat to West Ham, ruling the defender out of next weekend's FA Cup final.

Holebas was dismissed shortly after the interval for bringing down Michail Antonio with his side 2-1 down, Gerard Deulofeu having pulled a goal back for the Hornets after the Hammers had forged ahead through Mark Noble and Manuel Lanzini.

Gracia's side conceded two more goals when down to 10 men, Marko Arnautovic scoring for Manuel Pellegrini's side before Noble added his second and West Ham's fourth from the penalty spot.

Gracia was less than impressed with referee Chris Kavanagh's decision to dismiss Holebas and says he can scarcely believe that he will now have to sit out the clash with newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley. 

"I only say I can't believe a player will miss the final for that play," he told a media conference.

"For that contact, I can't believe it. It wasn't a foul. There was a lot of fouls in the game. It wasn't a yellow card and, for sure, it wasn't a red."

There was a further concern for Watford when Deulofeu was withdrawn shortly before the hour mark through injury, though Gracia is confident he will be fit to feature against City, stating: "He had a little problem. He had a similar problem during the week. I think he will be ready [for the final]."

Opposite number Pellegrini, meanwhile, was delighted with his side's display after they secured a top-10 finish at the end of his first season in charge.

"I'm very pleased because we have won the last three games," he said. "I think to finish the first season in the top half of the table was realistic for where the team is at the moment.

"We have six very strong teams [at the top], and Everton who in the last two or three years have reinforced their squad. 

"I think for the first season to finish in the first 10 positions is not bad. We will now try to have a good holiday, then the aim will be to win the first game!"

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini hopes that Marko Arnautovic can return to his best form next season after showing what he is capable of with his brace against Southampton.

The Austria international scored his first goals since January to earn his side a 3-0 win at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Arnautovic's future has been in doubt since the turn of the year when he was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League, but he went on to sign a new long-term deal and Pellegrini believes the 30-year-old will profit from a quiet off-season.

"With this team, with Marko, a complete season that is quiet, calm and just playing football I think it is a player who makes a difference," Pellegrini said at his post-match news conference.

"Last season, for different reasons, he started bad but after that he demonstrated what he can do.

"This season, exactly the same, when he was mentally involved he played the same and made the difference and I hope that next season, he will be involved in doing a complete season.

"I am sure this season for him will have been a good lesson, he learned some things and I am absolutely convinced next season we will see a great Marko."

Arnautovic's double and Ryan Fredericks' first Premier League goal made it back-to-back victories for West Ham, who are one point outside the top half.

With one game of his side's season left to play - a trip to Watford next Sunday - Pellegrini declared himself pleased with their campaign on the whole.

"It's a special season because we started so badly," he told BBC Sport. "We knew it wouldn't be easy but we had so many players with injuries - a lot of players that couldn't play but maybe they will give us the plus we need to improve for next season.

"For me it's a good season, a consistent season, we are not fighting relegation, but not only in the table but in the stadium too I think a lot of people are happy."

Marko Arnautovic scored a double as West Ham cruised to a 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton in their last home game of the season.

The forward netted in both halves – his first strikes since January – and defender Ryan Fredericks then sealed the points as West Ham made it back-to-back victories, having beaten Tottenham last time out.

Southampton are mathematically safe, but are now without a win in four after their opponents did the double over them for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

Stuart Armstrong fired over from an early Saints chance, but it was West Ham who struck first in the 16th minute when Yan Valery lost possession in a dangerous area, allowing Arnautovic to convert with a cool left-footed finish after Mark Noble's exquisite throughball.

Manuel Lanzini, back in the West Ham team as one of four changes, forced a save from Fraser Forster, who was making his first appearance since Boxing Day of 2017.

Forster then twice denied Michail Antonio before the break as West Ham finished the first half in control.

Nathan Redmond was brought on at half-time, but it was over an hour before Saints put Lukasz Fabianski to work for the first time in the match, the Poland keeper tipping the substitute's shot over.

Shane Long had a penalty claim denied after a key challenge from Fredericks, and West Ham put the result beyond doubt 20 minutes from time.

Arthur Masuaku surged past James Ward-Prowse down the left and saw his cross pushed out by Forster, and a deflection off Arnautovic allowed the Austria forward to head in simply from a yard out.

Three minutes later, Fredericks scored his first league goal in over five years, playing a neat one-two with sub Jack Wilshere before powering into the box and beating Forster with a low strike into the bottom corner.

What does it mean? West Ham finish season on a high

West Ham's season was in danger of running out of steam, but back-to-back wins for the first time since December ensure they are finishing with some momentum, with a top-10 finish still not out of the question.

Manuel Pellegrini is targeting Europe next season and does have some significant talent to work with, as this impressive performance despite the absence of Declan Rice and Felipe Anderson shows. Saints only mustered one shot on target and have stumbled over the line to secure safety, giving Ralph Hasenhuttl plenty to ponder in the offseason.

Influential Arnautovic back to his best

Arnautovic almost had a hat-trick, firing a superb effort wide in the closing stages after his clinical double. He has 20 Premier League goals and 10 assists since the start of last season, and will be crucial to Pellegrini's hopes of making the next step.

Valery error costly

Valery lost the ball for West Ham's opener, and there was no way back for Southampton from there. That was not the only time he was loose in possession on a day to forget for the full-back.

What's next?

In-form West Ham finish their season away to Watford next Sunday, which is when Southampton are at home to relegated Huddersfield Town.

Pablo Zabaleta will stay at West Ham until 2020 after the Premier League club exercised an option to extend his contract by one year.

The 34-year-old right-back has been a regular in the Hammers' starting line-up since joining on a free transfer from Manchester City in June 2017.

After starting all but one of West Ham's Premier League games in 2017-18, he has featured in 23 league line-ups this term and is still seen as an important player by manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The two-time Premier League winner has captained West Ham four times this season and he expressed his satisfaction at having made sure of his place in Pellegrini's squad for another year.

"It's great news and I'm so happy," Zabaleta told the club's official website.

"I'm enjoying my time at West Ham and I've got so much respect and so much passion for this profession. I'm still enjoying it and it's made me feel I can go for another year.

"I just want to focus on what we're doing with the club and with the team this season and be ready to go again next season, because I just want to enjoy every single moment."

Mauricio Pochettino insists that Tottenham's home defeat to West Ham was not down to his side focusing on their Champions League clash with Ajax.

Spurs suffered a first defeat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, with Michail Antonio's 67th-minute effort proving decisive.

Substitute Vincent Janssen had a header cleared off the line late on, but Tottenham will now head into their semi-final against Ajax on the back of a frustrating result that also opened up the top-four race.

But Pochettino, who in his pre-match news conference suggested Ajax may have an unfair advantage due to a round of Eredivisie fixtures being delayed, insisted that a lack of focus was not to blame for the defeat, instead saying tiredness was a major factor.

"I cannot say we were thinking about Tuesday," Pochettino told a news conference.

"When the stress and fatigue arrived that is our reality. We are a very competitive team when we are with full energy, we are so focused.

"The stress and the fatigue arrived, we are competing with circumstances that are not the best. Nothing to say, the effort is there and is fantastic, but I'm disappointed with the result, because that result wasn't in our plan, but that is football.

"I think the feeling for everyone changes quickly. After our defeat today it's like we arrive in a complete opposite way. I think we knew very well to compete in the top four and the Champions League is very tough.

"We tried to win the game. We deserved it in the first half, in the second half they deserved it and that happens in football.

"It's a little bit unfair in the way that we arrive in the competition but we need to accept that. What can we do? There is nothing, only to accept that and be strong."

West Ham ended a four-match winless run to move themselves to within two points of 10th-placed Leicester City, and Manuel Pellegrini praised a complete performance from his side.

"I think we were a complete team, defending together without the ball, and we were playing to win," he told reporters.

"I feel that we played a big game because we defended well, because we attacked well, because we played in a way I always say this team needs to play, as a big team to go to every stadium and try to win the game.

"That was what we did today, and especially for the fans we know Tottenham is our major rival, so the fans must be very happy."

Tottenham slipped up in the race for Champions League qualification as they succumbed to a 1-0 Premier League defeat to West Ham.

Mauricio Pochettino's side relied on Christian Eriksen's 88th-minute stunner to secure the points against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, and a sluggish display this time around was punished when Michail Antonio hammered home in the 67th minute - marking the first time Tottenham have conceded at their new home.

The hosts - who have a Champions League semi-final first-leg tie with Ajax next up on Tuesday - had their chances with Son Heung-min particularly wasteful and Vincent Janssen denied on the line late on, while Lukasz Fabianski was typically impressive in West Ham's goal.

And their lacklustre showing was made worse as Antonio slammed in from close range to inflict a first defeat on Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and keep the top-four race wide open. 

Son should have done better when played through by Dele Alli in the 11th minute but the South Korea forward failed to generate enough power to beat Fabianski.

Felipe Anderson demonstrated similar profligacy soon after, drilling straight at Hugo Lloris after driving clear down the left, while a crisp Lucas Moura strike flashed wide at the other end.

Reckless play from Issa Diop might have proved costly for West Ham if not for Fabianski's fine save from Eriksen's snapshot - before Felipe Anderson's deflected strike almost caught Lloris flat footed.

Marko Arnautovic was the next to test Lloris as West Ham grew in confidence after the restart, though Tottenham wanted a penalty when Son went down under pressure from Arthur Masuaku after failing to get a shot off.

West Ham's resilience was rewarded soon after, Antonio expertly controlling Arnautovic's cross before sending a rasping strike past Lloris.

But with Antonio and Diop both squandering chances to make sure of the win, Fabian Balbuena came to West Ham's rescue with a goal-line clearance to deny substitute Janssen an equaliser.

 

What does it mean? Spurs stutter ahead of Ajax

Given Ajax's rampant form, Pochettino will have hoped for a much more convincing display from his side ahead of Tuesday's encounter.

But while their current Champions League campaign is no doubt a priority, Tottenham's defeat has opened the door for Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United – the latter two meeting on Sunday – to take advantage.

In-form Antonio makes no mistake

Having scored with a fantastic header against Leicester City last time out, Antonio etched his name into the record books when he took down Arnautovic's cross before giving Lloris little chance with a powerful finish, and would have got a second late on if not for an instinctive stop from Tottenham's goalkeeper.

Son feeling the strain?

Tottenham's forward is a remarkably consistent performer, but there were signs on Saturday that he was not quite at his sharpest. Son will miss Tuesday's clash with Ajax through suspension, and while Pochettino will loathe to be shorn of one of his star players, the enforced rest may well do the South Korea international some good.

What's next?

Tottenham's focus will switch to their first ever Champions League semi-final, when Ajax visit north London. West Ham face Southampton in their penultimate game of the season next Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini feels refereeing decisions are costing West Ham points in the race for seventh place in the Premier League.

The Hammers drew 2-2 at home to Leicester City on Saturday – a result that likely ends their hopes of Europa League qualification.

Seventh spot will earn a place in Europe if Manchester City beat Watford in the FA Cup final, but West Ham are 11th and six points behind the Hornets with only three games left to play.

Pellegrini felt his side should have beaten Leicester, though, with Lucas Perez having a goal ruled harshly out for offside after putting his side 2-1 up in the 82nd minute.

Harvey Barnes then snatched a point for the Foxes, leaving Pellegrini rueing more dropped points after a 2-1 loss at Manchester United last time out, in which his side conceded a contentious penalty.

"Unfortunately for us, we have lost five points," Pellegrini told a news conference. 

"If we have those then maybe we are fighting for seventh position. We have had two games in a row with big mistakes. 

"Our defending was not good for the second goal but for most part of the game, we played well.

"Maybe if we had those points we deserved then maybe we are fighting for seventh. It is part of the game but when you have two games in a row, it is difficult to accept that, but you have to.

"We made some mistakes though, especially with the second goal. There was too much space in our defence for minute 93 so that allowed them to draw but most part of the game, I think we played well."

Barnes' first Premier League goal helped keep Leicester in the hunt for seventh, although the Foxes are now a point and a place behind Watford, having played a game more.

"I took him out of the team because he has played a lot lately," said boss Brendan Rodgers, whose side face Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea in their last three games.

"He's a big talent and in time he is going to improve and get better. He's made a great run to get behind the defence and score. It's nice for him to celebrate in front of the supporters."

Asked about Perez having his goal ruled out for offside after being played in by Pedro Obiang, Rodgers added: "It looks like we got away with one."

Substitute Harvey Barnes scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser as Leicester City claimed a 2-2 draw away to West Ham on Saturday.

Barnes' first Premier League goal came two minutes into added time, just after it looked like a late strike from West Ham's Lucas Perez, who had also come off the bench, had given the hosts victory.

A frantic finish to the contest came after a relatively quiet opening hour, in which Michail Antonio headed in his fifth top-flight goal of the season as the hosts attempted to bounce back from a three-match losing streak.

The drama began when in-form Jamie Vardy scored his ninth goal in 10 Leicester games to equalise after the break, Barnes ultimately having the last word after Perez had struck eight minutes from time.

The reverse fixture in October also ended in a draw, and West Ham have now only won one of their last 10 meetings with the Foxes.

Manuel Pellegrini says Jack Wilshere's imminent return from injury can provide West Ham with a welcome boost before the end of the season.

The former Arsenal midfielder moved to the London Stadium at the end of 2017-18 but has endured another injury-plagued campaign, with an ankle problem affecting him since September.

However, Pellegrini has confirmed that Wilshere is set to return to the fold for the run-in, starting with the Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday.

"Jack Wilshere is OK," Pellegrini said at his media conference on Thursday. "He worked without problems.

"We'll see tomorrow how he feels. He played already one game for the Under-23s. We will talk with him but it will be soon - this week, next week. I hope that he will play some games before we finish the season.

"He's a midfielder that we need because in that position we have had so many times all of them injured. [Andriy] Yarmolenko, Wilshere and [Manuel] Lanzini, so the return for Jack will be a good injection."

Manuel Pellegrini thinks West Ham would have beaten Manchester United had VAR been in operation at Old Trafford on Saturday.

United benefitted from a hat-trick of debatable refereeing decisions on the way to a scarcely deserved 2-1 home victory in the Premier League.

Felipe Anderson had a goal erroneously disallowed for offside in the early exchanges, before Paul Pogba opened the scoring with a penalty following a Robert Snodgrass tackle on Juan Mata that Pellegrini argued was outside the box.

The Hammers equalised through the impressive Felipe Anderson after half-time but, having looked the more likely to snatch a winner, came undone via a second Pogba spot-kick in the 80th minute.

Ryan Fredericks brought down Anthony Martial from behind amid suggestions the Red Devils winger strayed beyond the last defender as he raced onto a throughball.

"It's hard to say how we have not come away from here not only with a point, but all three," Pellegrini said at a news conference.

"For me, it was a pleasure to see the way the team played here, against Manchester United at Old Trafford. It was a very good performance and we were unfortunate [not to get a result].

"I don't want to complain about the referee because all of them were very difficult decisions.

"[Felipe Anderson's disallowed goal] was onside, by just one [player's] foot, so that's why the mistake was made. If we have VAR it's a goal.

"The second goal they scored was a mistake from us, but it was also offside. [Marcus] Rashford touches the ball, so it's offside.

"We also made a mistake for that goal and I'm not complaining that we lost because of the referee.

"The three of them were very difficult decisions. It was not possible to see, but with VAR we win this game."

 

Paul Pogba converted two penalties either side of half-time to lift Manchester United to an unconvincing 2-1 win over West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Star man Pogba beat Lukasz Fabianski for the second time in the 80th minute to snatch just a second victory in six competitive games that sends Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side back to within two points of the Premier League's top four.

West Ham had been on top after Felipe Anderson cancelled out Pogba's first-half opener and substitute Michail Antonio twice went close to giving them a late lead.

But, following Ryan Fredericks' panicked challenge on Anthony Martial in the box, Pogba's second penalty ensured the hosts rebounded from Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Barcelona and can look ahead to the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie next week with renewed optimism.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said his team "were like zombies" in the opening half of their 2-0 Premier League loss to Chelsea.

Real Madrid target Eden Hazard was the star of the show with two goals as Chelsea defeated West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Hazard opened the scoring thanks to a stunning solo goal in the 24th minute before he sealed the result in the closing stages.

Pellegrini lamented West Ham's display in the first 45 minutes, telling BBC Sport: "We improved a lot after the first half.

"We were like zombies inside the pitch. We were not playing. We were not an aggressive team that you need to be against these types of players.

"They did what they want, they scored one goal – Hazard dribbling four-five of our players. And they have other options.

"In the second half we improved a lot. We have more possession of the ball, we created chances to level the game but finally Chelsea scored the goal late."

In his post-match news conference, Pellegrini added: "This team can be beaten by Chelsea, but if we do that by playing that complete game as we did in the second half we cannot complain.

"We spoke about a lot of things at half-time, but I said only the same thing: 'When you want, you can.'

"You need the desire to demonstrate the way you can play, which team you are. We did that in the second half, but you cannot give 45 minutes to Chelsea."

Pellegrini also revealed Sami Nasri suffered a calf injury as he planned to introduce the French midfielder at half-time.

"Samir was going to start in the second half but in the warm-up felt a problem in his calf, so he was not confident to play," Pellegrini said. "We'll see how it is tomorrow."

Page 1 of 7
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.