Patrice Evra has hailed David Moyes’ decision to leave Michail Antonio out of the West Ham squad for the 1-0 win against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.
Sebastien Haller started his third consecutive Premier League match and managed to justify Moyes’ call by scoring a superb winner in the second half.
After the 26-year-old striker rifled the ball into the back of the Blades’ net from just outside the penalty area, he refused to celebrate.
Ex-Manchester United and West Ham left-back Evra was asked to say what he made of Haller’s non-celebration after the match.
Speaking on Sky Sports Main Event after the game on Sunday [03:58pm], the pundit said: “Strong. He needed that goal.
“Great management from David Moyes because he saved Michail Antonio. He didn’t risk him, he wasn’t even on the bench.
“Haller played as the striker and scored the winning goal.
“Jackpot for David Moyes.”
Haller has received a lot of criticism since becoming West Ham’s record signing last year when he arrived from Frankfurt for up to £45million [BBC Sport].
Stats by WhoScored show that the Ivory Coast international had four shots at goal during the game at Bramall Lane, with two of them hitting the target, one off target and another being blocked.
He also won a stunning 12 aerial duels – four more than Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie, who before Sunday, had been involved in more aerial duels than any other player in Europe’s top-five leagues per 90 minutes of league football this season [17.93], via WyScout.
Before Sunday’s game, Frank McAvennie exclusively told West Ham Zone that Haller doesn’t put himself about as much as Antonio despite being a big guy.
But there’s no doubt that Haller proved McAvennie wrong in that regard at Sheffield United by absolutely dominating the aerial game and also scoring a smashing goal to win all three points.
With Antonio on the verge of returning to the side, Moyes now has a bit of a selection headache with his strikers ahead of the clash against Aston Villa at the London Stadium a week on Monday.
In other West Ham news, Porto’s manager has been raving about loaned-out Iron Felipe Anderson.