Slaven Bilic says Dimitri Payet's strike was a 'Lionel Messi goal'
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 01/10/16 8:23pm
Slaven Bilic believes Dimitri Payet scored a goal Lionel Messi would have been proud of as he earned West Ham a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.
Payet's excellent individual effort cancelled out Christhian Stuani's header as both clubs ended runs of defeats - four successively in West Ham's case.
Bilic was not happy to take just one point from a fixture but was at least encouraged by the response he got after last week's 3-0 home defeat to Southampton.
In particular, he had praise for Payet's contribution after he ran past five men before shooting beyond Victor Valdes.
Bilic said: "It was an unbelievable goal. It was a great goal which brought us back into the game and it's only a shame it wasn't a winning goal.
"It stands out. First of all, it was a goal that brought us back into the game and the way he scored the goal is quite amazing.
"It was such an individual goal with the highest class. I don't see those kinds of goals from many players.
"You see free-kicks, you see volleys, scissor kicks, all different types of goals, but this was like Messi's goals.
"In this situation, you need that class. You need a moment of class from your best player to lift the whole team up.
"It was a brilliant, brilliant moment of magic. But we can't rely on him doing that every week.
"The response from the whole team, of course, - and especially from him with his goal - was good and was positive. It's one of the positive things we have to take out from this game."
Bilic conceded he was more heartened by his team's performance than their result as they took their fourth point of the campaign.
He added: "Okay, we stopped that losing streak with a point but we were looking for three. To be fair, the guys did everything.
"They showed character, spirit and quality. That's what I asked from them, it's what I demanded from them and they have done it.
"It was not enough to win the game and at the moment we are not playing great football in terms of creating a lot of chances.
"We were looking for three points. We are not happy with a draw at home, with the greatest of respect to Middlesbrough.
"But we showed a lot of positive things and every point in the Premier League can be crucial in the end.
"It was a fighting game, a working game and although we are not happy with the result, there were a lot of positives in our performance."