Europe on an edge – Hammers 1, Swansea 4

Oh dear.

This was meant to be a farewell for playing football at the Boleyn Ground but it turned out to be a horror show and has severely dented our European ambitions for next season.

Once again I was distracted in watching the game in full, but from what I saw West ham started the most lively. There was 20+ minutes worth of pressure but then some clinical finishing by Swansea inflicted the Hammers first defeat since August 2015.

TBH, there is not a lot to say about this game. We were just not at the races today and the play and possession were poor. Payet was not as creative as he should have been and for all accounts Antonio was played out of position which did not help matters .

I missed a couple of the goals, but reading that Antonio was at fault for three of them means that Bilic actually got it wrong today. Even the one we scored was a Swansea own goal, so no-one registered on the score sheet.

“They took their chances and we didn’t – it’s as simple as that,” he correctly observed. “We started really well, moved it well, had three or four corners and some good chances, but couldn’t hit the back of the net and got caught on the counter.

“I’m not going to dwell on it because we’ve been fantastic this year. We’ve had two or three games this whole season like that. We’re still fighting and we’re still in a fantastic position, so let’s not forget where we’ve come from. We’ve improved massively this year.

“I’m not going to stand here and say we were rubbish, we were this, we were that. We just didn’t finish our chances, we weren’t at the races and sometimes that can happen to any team, and we’ve seen it happen to all teams.

“It hasn’t happened to us a lot this year, which is why it’s strange, but we deserved to lose.”

Mark Noble

And now the haters are back – slagging off the team, ensuring that it is all doom and gloom. OK, we screwed up today – big style. But let us not forget that this has in fact been a wonderful season. Semi finals of the FA Cup,. beating Arsenal, City, Liverpool and almost doing a number on newly crowned Champions Leics City……biggest points haul of being in the Premier League to date – what is not to like?

We have punched well above our weight and we have no right to demand that we hit the big time. I am not going to write any more on this as  I will save this for the last game of the season and end of term review.

But today was a bad day at the office. Think about it – what a season it has been if you are a Chelsea fan……….

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “What went wrong? Well, we started well for 20 minutes – it was like we were on fire, with the whole game being played in front of the Swansea goal. But Swansea have players who are capable of hurting you, and from nothing we conceded the first and second goals. We started losing out on balls in the middle of the park.

“I’m not that disappointed with our play with the ball, but without the ball we had too many passengers, relying on someone else to get the ball and play it to me in a good position.

“The bottom line is Swansea deserved it, and it’s been a shock for us. We had a chance to qualify for the Champions League, but I have always said the gap I was focused on was the smaller one below us with Southampton and Liverpool. We really want to finish as high as possible and to achieve that we have to react in these final two games.”

West Ham: Randolph, Antonio, Cresswell, Reid, Ogbonna, Noble, Kouyate (Emenike 76), Moses (Sakho 59), Lanzini (Valencia 83), Payet, Carroll

Subs not used: Spiegel, Tomkins, Obiang, Collins

Bookings: Sakho, Reid

Swansea:  Fabianski, Naughton, Kingsley, Fernandez, Amat, Ki, Fer, Cork, Routledge (Gomis 81), Barrow (Rangel 69), Ayew

Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Emnes, Britton, Gorre, Fulto

Bookings:
Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 34,907

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