Manuel Pellegrini hailed Sebastien Haller as more than a striker and praised the goalscorer’s work ethic as West Ham eased to a 2-0 win over Norwich.
Haller scored twice in the Hammers’ win at Watford last weekend and had to wait until only the 24th minute to strike again to put his team ahead at the London Stadium.
The hosts continued to dominate in the second half as Andriy Yarmolenko hit his first goal since September 2018, volleying past Tim Krul to give his side their first home win of the season and their third consecutive victory in all competitions.
Pellegrini said: “I think that Sebastien is not just a striker, you saw his performance and today he is always working, supporting the back to prepare combinations with the midfield players and not just a player that scores goals.
“But a striker always needs goals and a goal for him is very very important and he’s just starting.
“This is a new league for him but I think that every game he will continue improving.”
When asked about Yarmolenko, the Chilean manager said: “For Andriy, this is also a player that has a lot of goals in his career, (I am) happy for him because he deserves this happiness after so long (an) injury but he never complains, he works hard and he recovers.
“He’s a very important player for us.”
Canaries boss Daniel Farke was critical of VAR after the game, citing the challenge by Haller on Christoph Zimmermann, which the manager believed changed the game.
Zimmermann was making his first Premier League appearance for Norwich and had just returned from a knee injury, before the challenge where he sustained an ankle problem.
On the decision, Farke said: “If I’m really honest, I’m a big friend of VAR, but for me this game is a perfect role model and a perfect example that VAR doesn’t work always and it makes football not 100 percent fair.
“We will speak about a few individual scenes and mistakes that we could have done better but I also got the feeling that a few moments, and we were not responsible for these moments, also cost us this game.”
He added: “My feeling was we were dominating the first 20 minutes, we controlled possession.
“I’m not sitting here claiming for something and asking for red cards, but one thing is for sure.
“There was a tackle against one of my centre-backs and the ball was three yards away, there was no red card, no yellow card, not even a free-kick and the outcome was my centre-back was injured in this scene.”
Farke went on to say that the incident changed the outcome of the match because Zimmermann did not come off immediately, and the defender was a yard behind Arthur Masuaku minutes later when he squared the ball for Haller to tap into the net.
Farke also added that Zimmermann was on his way to hospital for a scan on the injury.
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