West Ham manager David Moyes believes his side are still well-placed to progress from the Europa League round of 16, despite a 1-0 loss to Sevilla on Thursday.
Munir El Haddadi’s 60th minute winner was enough to separate the two sides at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, having come into the Sevilla team in place of midfield talisman Ivan Rakitic, who sustained an injury in the pre-match warm-up.
West Ham grew into the match but, aside from an early Nikola Vlasic chance, lacked any tangible threat in the first leg. Nevertheless, Moyes was encouraged by the performance.
“We came up against a really good European team, an experienced team and I thought we came really close tonight to getting a draw,” he said afterwards.
“We’ve just got to turn these games [into results] – on Saturday at Liverpool we could easily have turned that into a draw, tonight we could probably have had a draw.
“It’s a lack of concentration a little bit for the goal, then there was a period for 15 or 20 minutes in the second half when they got their tails up and we had to weather it, which we did. I feel that we can be proud of the work we put in. We’re right in the tie.”
West Ham were without Jarrod Bowen, who picked up an injury against Liverpool, meaning Vlasic was given a rare start. Said Benrahma was given the task of impacting the game off the bench, along with a late cameo from Arthur Masuaku, but the Hammers failed to achieve parity.
According to Moyes, though, there was enough in the first-leg performance to suggest his side will turn the tie around at London Stadium as long as they defensively disciplined.
“We’ll get a goal next week, I’ve got no doubt about that, and what we need to do is make sure we don’t concede any,” he said.
“They [Sevilla] are a good team who keep the ball and they might make it difficult for us. We’re going to have to probably chase the ball at different times, but ultimately we will go into the game feeling that we are right in the tie.”
The Hammers will face Sevilla in the return leg next Thursday, but first host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.