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West Ham United got a 1-1 draw against newcomers Middlesbrough at the London Stadium on Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak in the league.
The Hammers, who finished in 7th place last season, have been struggling at the start of the new campaign. With just one win in seven games, they find themselves in the relegation zone.
Middlesbrough took the lead in 51st minute through Christian Stuani, after the ball was determined to have crossed the line through the help of goalline technology. Dimitri Payet tied things up in the 57th minute with an extraordinary individual effort where he dribbled past several Middlesbrough players before scoring. Manager Slaven Bilic was pleased with the performance, but was hoping to get all three points.
“OK, we have stopped the losing streak with a point, but of course we were looking for three points,” Bilic said.
“To be fair the guys showed character, they showed the spirit and they showed quality. That’s what I asked, what I demanded from them, and they did it.
“It was not enough to win the game – at the moment we are not playing great football in terms of creating lots of chances, but it was a game where we had to fight and work hard.
“Although we are not happy with the result, there were a lot of positives were our performance.”
Bilic is hoping that Payet’s stunning goal in the second half can inspire the team to turn things around.
“It was an unbelievable goal, and it’s only a shame that it was not a winning goal. The response from the whole team, and especially from him with his goal, was good.
“It was positive, and that’s one of the things that we have to take out of this game. We were looking for three points, and we’re not happy with a draw at home, with the greatest respect for Middlesbrough, but we got a point and every point in the Premier League can be crucial.
“The goal stands out. First of all it was a goal that brought us back in the game and second the way he scored the goal is quite amazing.
“In this situation you need that moment of class from the best players to lift the whole team up. That’s why they are the best players.”