West Ham boss David Moyes was delighted that Andriy Yarmolenko was able to get on the score sheet as West Ham beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Yarmolenko, 32, notched the Hammers opener on 70 minutes before Pablo Fornals added another 12 minutes later. Jacob Ramsey pulled one back for the Villans on the stroke of full time but the points remained in the capital. It was an emotional goal for the Ukraine international given the current turmoil in his country.
And the man with 106 international appearances shed tears after dropping to his knees when scoring. Having replaced Michail Antonio on 52 minutes, the winger received warm applause from both sets of fans when scoring.
And Moyes felt doing what he does best gave Yarmolenko an opportunity to forget his troubles for a few minutes.
“We have given the boy as much time as he needs. His family are safe at the moment, he tells me,” he told BBC Sport. “He wants to make sure everybody is fine and he has a lot going on.
“Sometimes, football is a release and hopefully he has had a bit of a release getting on the pitch again and scoring but there are more important things in life than football.”
And the Scot was delighted that the veteran forward was able to play such an important role in another three points.
“The goal is great. He has great technical ability and he is capable of scoring big goals, as he has done for me since I’ve been here,” he added.
“We needed it because we haven’t been scoring that many goals, but today we got two. I thought we looked comfortable then but we gave them a goal back.”
Moyes hails West Ham character
West Ham are unlikely to secure a top-four berth this term, with Arsenal now huge favourites to finish fourth. But they are still in the Europa League and must overturn a one-goal deficit in their last-16 second-leg clash with Sevilla on Thursday.
Moyes feels his men are putting in some top performances at present. And has hailed their belief and mindset in the face of a run of tough games.
“I thought we played well. There wasn’t much in the game. I thought we played well in Seville and at Anfield, and if you put in good performances you will get some wins as well,” he continued.
“The Premier League is really tight. You look at the sides at the bottom and they are hanging in there. There are three or four teams at the top who are excellent and then there other teams fighting for the next spots.”
“We have got we have got and we have nine Premier League games to go. The boys have been brilliant with lots of character.”