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Samir Nasri delighted with West Ham winning debut after 13 months out

Samir Nasri delighted with West Ham winning debut after 13 months out
© Reuters
The French midfielder was a surprise starter against Birmingham in the FA Cup.

Samir Nasri was thrilled to be back on a football pitch after making his debut for West Ham.

The French midfielder was a surprise starter against Birmingham in the FA Cup, his first match since November 2017 following a doping ban.

But at times it looked as though the former Arsenal and Manchester City playmaker had never been away as he bossed the midfield for just under an hour before being substituted.

Marko Arnautovic headed West Ham into the lead before he was substituted early on, and his replacement Andy Carroll sealed a 2-0 win in stoppage time, but it was the performance of Nasri which stood out.

"I'm happy to get my first minutes in the West Ham shirt, but most important was the team performance and winning 2-0, keeping a clean sheet," he told whufc.com.

"I felt good, honestly I thought I would struggle a little more with the rhythm as my last game was 13 months ago.

"I'm just relieved that everything is now behind me and happy about those first 58 minutes. It was good and I'm just looking forward to the next game."

Nasri, 31, will now be in contention to face his former club Arsenal at the London Stadium next Saturday.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "I was very happy in the way he played.

"He is a player that gives you time with the ball, he has such good technique that the ball is always around him.

"He now will be considered in different games. Next is Arsenal – we don't know if he will start or be on the bench but now he demonstrated that he is back and he will continue to improve his performances in every game he plays."

Almost 55,000 fans were in attendance, an impressive turn-out for a midday cup tie, and a noisy away following of 5,000 made their presence felt.

"I'm proud of the performance," said Blues manager Garry Monk. "We wanted to give the fans something to shout about and I hope they are proud with the effort the lads put in."


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Marko Arnautovic looks unhappy to be subbed off by West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini on January 5, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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