Slaven Bilic says Andy Carroll was “brilliant” after the striker scored against his former club in West Ham’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Upton Park.
Carroll – who holds the record as both clubs’ most expensive signing – rose brilliantly to power home Mark Noble’s second-half cross, clinching the match after Michail Antonio had put the Hammers in front after 10 minutes.
West Ham could have scored more, with Manuel Lanzini hitting a post with a vicious, swerving drive and Simon Mignolet saving well from Aaron Cresswell’s deflected shot and another Carroll header.
But the day belonged to Carroll, who celebrated wildly after scoring a goal against the club who let him leave just 18 months after signing him for £35million.
“I thought he was brilliant,” said Hammers manager Slaven Bilic.
“Not just because of his goal but his performance; defending, holding the ball up, pressing their defenders, everything.
“Liverpool is always a ‘target’ team, especially now with Jurgen Klopp as their manager, and to create chances and keep a clean sheet is a great way to start the new year for West Ham.”
The only sour note for West Ham was an injury to Lanzini, who could face another spell on the sidelines after he suffered a recurrence of the thigh problem which kept him out for the last two months.