David Moyes said he expected Said Benrahma to clinch victory for West Ham with a late chance in their cagey goalless draw at Southampton.
Hammers boss Moyes brought on Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio in the second half in an attempt to find a way through the home defence, but in the end he had to settle for a draw.
Benrahma almost snatched the win for the visitors in the 85th minute, only for goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to make a great close-range save and deny the Algerian.
“The minute I saw it break to him I was expecting the goal,” Moyes said.
“I haven’t had a chance to look at it back yet, but I am told the keeper made an excellent save.”
Despite failing to come away with the three points, Moyes was satisfied with his side’s performance.
“(I’m) pleased because we kept a really good clean sheet,” he said. “There were some new lads that came into the team, we gave them a chance and I thought they did really well and took their opportunity.
“Southampton are in form and a good team, their league position tells you that.
“Look, it wasn’t a bad point. We are pleased with it and in the same breath we probably just about had the best chance of the game where we could have won it late on.”
Frustrating game but we take the point✔️Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for all the support this year, it doesn’t go unnoticed🙌🏻 Keep safe and see you all soon! #Saintsfc pic.twitter.com/RNc6SbE7yw
— Alex McCarthy (@Alex_Macca23) December 29, 2020
Southampton were unable to bounce back having slipped out of the European places following a hard-fought draw at Fulham on Boxing Day, recording their second successive stalemate.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said it was “horrible” trying to coach his side from home, where he is self-isolating after a member of his household tested positive for Covid-19.
“(It was) horrible, very difficult,” he said. “Before the game it was good, I must say. We had definitely found a good way of managing the players.
“I was doing the meetings, I was also in the dressing room speaking to them, explaining what I wanted them to do. I was also speaking to them at half-time. The rest – I think my assistant coaches did a good job.
“The difficulty was that I didn’t have the live picture and the live voice and this was horrible, because you hear the live voice (down the phone line) but you don’t have the picture and this makes it difficult to coach and concentrate on the game.
“But I’m happy that it worked quite well I think.”