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  • Julian Taylor at the London Stadium

Moyes happy with Hammers' resilience on a Noble day at the London Stadium

David Moyes paid tribute to his exemplary leader and epitome of the club, as captain Mark Noble helped West Ham earn a 2-2 draw at home to champions-elect Manchester City in his final competitive game for the club at the London Stadium.

Noble, a second half substitute for Manuel Lanzini, helped the Hammers stabilise, despite going into a two-goal lead in the 24th and 45th minutes thanks to Jarrod Bowen, which shocked Pep Guardiola’s side.

Eventually, resilient City responded when they pressed West Ham back after the break - and efforts from Jack Grealish and an own goal from West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal grabbed a point, which keeps the leaders on track for the Premier League title. Additionally, City were dramatically denied with five minutes to go, when Hammers’ keeper Lukasz Fabianski saved a Riyad Mahrez penalty.

Nevertheless, a win for City over Aston Villa at home next Sunday will clinch the title for the Sky Blues, in the wake of a determined challenge from Liverpool throughout the campaign.

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Despite seventh-placed West Ham having little to play for in a wider sense, the atmosphere was electric at the East End arena, where the home support were determined to give Noble, their favourite son, an unforgettable send-off. And precious few of them left at the final whistle of an absorbing day, gathering round to celebrate the man who has played nearly 550 games across 18 years in claret and blue.

This was a clearly understandable, emotional occasion for the 35-year-old boyhood Hammers fan Noble who has lived the dream, but the memories of the send off will live with him forever.

“Ultimately against the team we were playing, a draw was a fitting result,” said West Ham boss Moyes. “I thought we needed him (Noble) to help control the ball and settle the team when he came on for the last fifteen minutes or so.

“I wanted us to challenge the top teams here. We beat Liverpool and Chelsea here and have shown we can compete. Especially when you lose people like Mark Noble, who has been so important around the dressing room. It was great for him today to be surrounded by his family and so many people.”

Moyes highlighted West Ham’s fibre – and striker Bowen in particular - in a second half where City grew into the contest and began to dominate.


He added: “Bits of it today have been fabulous. The players have been so good, they don’t give in and keep at it. Mich (Antonio) kept wrestling and we did everything to stop them scoring.

“Jarrod Bowen is doing as well as anyone in England. I thought today his goals were fabulous and the way he finished them off was not easy. I hope he gets called up (for England) and I think Jarrod fits into that category in the future.

“I’m happy because if you think about the big six clubs how many break into that? There was Leicester City and we nearly did it this year. I want to get in amongst it and upset it. Next season for us will be hard, but to get European football is fantastic.

“They were so good with the ball, but you have to find a way to get results. Manchester City have been winning games by fives and fours recently and I had to find a way to avoid that and the penalty save was fantastic. Lukasz has been really good for us this year.”

Meanwhile, City boss Pep Guardiola refused to be downcast about the stalemate and has demanded his players give their all for the supporters for one final time, ahead of the showdown versus Villa.

“We just win our game and we will be champions,” he said. “We will give them (the fans) all our lives. To give this to them is an incredible privilege – to win one game at home, to be champions.”

“Don’t be sad about today. It is a big privilege to win at home, and it is in our hands. The fans know we will give absolutely everything.”


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