Despite been reduced to ten men West Ham had some excellent chances through Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio. However goals from Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed their defeat and Bilic shared his frustration at the missed opportunities.
“We fought very hard and if we gave everything,” Bilic told whufc.com. “I told the guys that if we put in this work for each other then we’re going to be very good in the table.”
He continued, “Of course I’m gutted about the result but to do what we did with ten men against a very good team is very difficult.”
Bilic added, “Despite that, we nearly found a way, we had one or two chances when it was still 0-0. In these moments when you are one man down, yu have to score.”
The West Ham boss admitted, “I’m very frustrated with the result and very frustrated with the way we lost it, but very proud of my team.”
Making a meal of it
It was indeed the early dismissal of Sofiane Feghouli, with the Algerian been given his marching orders by referee Mike Dean for a tackle on Phil Jones.
At second viewing it seems that it is a equally bad challenge from both parties, and Bilic admitted that it was what changed the game: "It was never a red card to be fair, it was a challenge from both of them."
The Croat doesn't pin the blame on Jones for his apparent over-reaction, though: "Phil made a meal of it but you can't blame him doing that. Maybe he made a meal of it because he went with the dangerous one to save himself.”
Bilic concluded, "For me that was the crucial decision in the game. That early - it killed us. It put the game in a totally different perspective.”
West Ham United will take on Manchester City in the FA Cup third round at the London Stadium on Friday, January 6 with kick-off at 7:55 pm GMT.