'We took our moments' says Hammers boss Harder in Man City victory
- Credit: PA
West Ham United Women made it back-to-back Women’s Super League victories for the first time under manager Olli Harder with a superb performance in a 2-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Maiden goals in Claret and Blue from Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Yui Hasegawa secured a deserved victory over the Cityzens, who failed to find a way past an inspired Mackenzie Arnold in the Hammers goal.
A well-organised, defensive gameplan was executed to the letter as the tireless Irons pushed their opposition every step of the way at the Academy Stadium.
Speaking after the victory, Harder praised the hard work of his side that spurred them on to a memorable victory.
“I thought we dug deep,” he said. “We know Manchester City are a good team, a really quality team and we were happy to let them have the ball but try and effect it as high up the pitch as we could.
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"We took our moments when they were there and overall, it was a really pleasing team performance and always nice to pick up three points away from home.”
For all their defensive efforts, the Hammers still needed goalkeeper Arnold to produce a myriad of top-quality saves to keep the hosts at bay.
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“Mackenzie Arnold is a quality goalkeeper, the saves she made today are saves that we see on a day-to-day basis in training. From a performance standpoint, she was excellent, but we expect that from her because she’s a quality goalkeeper.”
The Irons were content to allow Manchester City to have most of the possession and look for opportunities on the counter – a gameplan that paid huge dividends at the Academy Stadium.
“I think hard work and organisation are a given for any football match,” Harder continued. “When you’re playing a team with the quality of Manchester City you have to be on point. From us it was about focus and discipline, with regards to our defensive structure and our work. We’re really pleased that the game plan came together, and we’re really pleased with the result.”
Harder also singled out goalscoring duo Brynjarsdottir and Hasegawa for praise.
“Dagny (Brynjarsdottir) is someone who continually works hard on her game and even from someone at her stage in her career she’s always looking to develop. She works hard on those moments in training and when the cross came in, we all thought ‘here we go!’, that’s earned, and she earned her moment today with her hard work and dedication.