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Published: 18:54 | 5/3/16

Bilic asked for 'less sexy' football


West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he asked his players for "less sexy, more lethal" football in the second half against Everton.

West Ham fought back from 2-0 down with 78 minutes on the clock to beat 10-man Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park to move to within three points of third-placed Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

Bilic admits he was overcome with emotion after Dimitri Payet's late winner, following earlier strikes from Michail Antonio and Diafra Sakho.

"I didn't know what to do. I went down [the tunnel] to calm down and came back straight away," he said.

"It was a great comeback, a great game. To do it like this is unbelievable.

"Of course they are going to cause you problems with [Romelu] Lukaku, [Aaron] Lennon, [Ross] Barkley but when we had the ball I always had the feeling we could do it.

"I said at half-time 'We are one down but we are going to do it. We have to be less sexy and more lethal in front of the box'."

West Ham were 2-0 down after 56 minutes thanks to Lukaku's 13th-minute opener and Aaron Lennon's 56th minute strike, but the home side wasted a glorious opportunity to go 3-0 up midway through the second half when West Ham goalkeeper Adrian saved Lukaku's unconvincing penalty.

"If they had scored that penalty they would have won the game maybe 3-0 or 4-0," Bilic added.

"What I am pleased the most about - apart from three points - is we never lost our composure, our patience."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez defended Kevin Mirallas, who was sent off for two bookable offences, and paid tribute to his players for working so hard following the Belgian's dismissal on 33 minutes.

"We were presented with a very difficult game when Kevin had the red card but you look at the way we adapted, worked for each other, and we were the better team," he said.

"You wouldn't know West Ham had an extra man.

"He [Mirallas] apologised but it is part of the game. He didn't do anything apart from trying to play the game.

"The penalty was a big blow psychologically. Romelu is such a reliable footballer that we were all a little bit shocked. Those were two key moments."

Referee Anthony Taylor sent Mirallas off after a poorly-timed challenge on Aaron Cresswell, but Martinez was furious at the winger's first yellow card for simulation following a challenge by Pedro Obiang.

"The second booking is a decision the referee has to make. The first one is a ridiculous decision," the Spaniard said.

"Why should we book a player because we feel it is not a free-kick? Two players come together, they cross each other and he loses his balance.

"I don't feel he is a referee who understands the game in a way that we want the game played.

"You want a referee who takes the backseat. Unfortunately we had him here against Swansea and he had a very unfortunate game.

"You want to see refs who understand the game and allow players to play and not just have to apply the letter of the law."

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