David Moyes hits back at West Ham fans booing Said Benrahma substitution during Crystal Palace defeat

David Moyes’ decision to bring off Said Benrahma was met with boos  (Getty Images)
David Moyes’ decision to bring off Said Benrahma was met with boos (Getty Images)

West Ham boss David Moyes launched a firm defence of his decision to replace Said Benrahma during Sunday’s defeat to Crystal Palace, after large sections of the home crowd booed the substitution.

Benrahma’s goal had opened the scoring for the Hammers, but Wilfried Zaha’s strike saw the Eagles go into half-time on terms before Michael Olise’s deflected winner deep into stoppage time gave Patrick Vieira’s side a first away victory of the season.

Benrahma was replaced by Manuel Lanzini on 64 minutes with the scores level at 1-1, prompting an angry reaction around the London Stadium and then a chorus of the Algerian’s name as he took his place on the bench.

Moyes revealed afterwards Benrahma had been a fitness doubt ahead of the game, but also suggested he had been unimpressed with the Algerian’s performance beyond his goal.

It is not the first time this season that Hammers fans have voiced disapproval at Moyes’ changes, with the withdrawal of Gianluca Scamacca late in the 1-1 draw at Southampton prompting a similar response, but the Scot insisted his decision was vindicated.

“I think if you are watching the game from there, I actually think we got better,” Moyes said. “I thought our football was better and we controlled a bit more of the game. I thought we looked more likely to score at that period of the game as well.

“You wouldn’t see it, Said was badly strapped up on his knee and was touch and go for the game. It was about 60 minutes and I didn’t think he was moving as free as what he could do. Overall, we made the choice and I actually thought at that period we got slightly better.

“I thought he scored a good goal, I don’t know if he had much of an impact after,” Moyes added. “There’s a lot of people, a lot of experts out there isn’t there? You have to make the decisions that you think gets you the best chance.

“I felt we probably improved in the last 20 minutes of the game with the ball and gave ourselves one or two opportunities.”