|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Pablo Zabaleta goal breaks Gillingham resistance as West Ham progress
Ed Aarons at Priestfield
Date Published Sun 5 Jan 2020 21.49 GMT
Pablo Zabaleta was West Ham’s unlikely hero as the substitute’s second-half goal saw off a spirited Gillingham side to record a second successive victory for David Moyes since his return.
The Argentina defender was part of the Manchester City team in 2011 that ended a trophy drought that had lasted more than three decades before being sent off in the shock 2013 FA Cup final defeat by Wigan so it is fair to say the 34-year-old has seen both sides of this famous competition.
After an uncomfortable evening against opponents who were 39 places below them in the league pyramid, it was Zabaleta who settled West Ham’s nerves 16 minutes from time before his fellow substitute Pablo Fornals added a second in injury-time.
“We played with the respect the competition deserves,” said Zabaleta. “We take it very seriously, which is why I’m so pleased with the team.”
His manager clearly concurred, even mentioning that this season marks the 40th anniversary of West Ham’s last FA Cup triumph. “I’ve been in one final before and I would love to get to another one,” Moyes said. “We know the supporters would love to have a cup run but the Premier League is always at the forefront of our minds.”
The seriousness with which he is treating this competition was illustrated by making only three changes from the side that beat Bournemouth 4-0 in his first match since replacing Manuel Pellegrini. Issa Diop’s return meant a switch to a three-man defence as their manager returned to a formation that served him well during his first spell in charge.
The Gillingham manager, Steve Evans, grew up playing for Celtic Boys Club alongside Moyes and had kept in touch with his former team-mate as the pair have racked up the years in management. The 57-year-old’s appointment at the end of last season means he has managed almost 1,000 games in English football, having previously guided non-league Crawley Town to the fifth round of the competition in 2010 when they were beaten by Manchester United.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Bonham 5; Fuller 5.5 (Ndjoli 86), Ehmer 5.5, Tucker 5.5, Ogilivie 5; Jones 6, O'Keefe 6, O'Connor 6 (Marshall 79), Lee 6; Hanlan 6.5, Jakubiak 5.5 (Charles-Cook 79).
Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Willock, Pringle.
Manager: Steve Evans 6
West Ham (5-3-2): Fabianski 6; Fredericks 5.5 (Zabaleta 43, 7), Diop 6, Balbuena 6, Ogbonna 6, Masuaku 6.5; Lanzini 7, Rice 6.5, Snodgrass 6.5 (Fornals 70, 7); Anderson 7.5 (Sanchez 90+5); Haller 6.
Subs not used: Roberto, Reid, Ajeti, Holland.
Goals: Zabaleta 74, Fornals 90+4
Manager: David Moyes 6.5
Referee: Andrew Madley
Star man: Felipe Anderson