Soccer-Hammers' Bilic says English teams' European results not shocking

Soccer-Hammers' Bilic says English teams' European results not shocking

Sept 18 (Reuters) – West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has said the disappointing results by Premier League teams in Europe competition this week should not be viewed as a major surprise.

Manchester United, Manchester City & Arsenal all slumped to defeats in their opening Champions League fixtures in midweek, while Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at Bordeaux in the Europa League.

Chelsea were the only English side to win their first Champions League fixture this season, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0, while Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat Qarabag 3-1 in their Europa League opener at White Hart Lane.

p> "Why are people so surprised when Manchester United lose a game (2-1) against PSV (Eindhoven)?" Bilic was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"Man United is a bigger club — & they deserved more than a defeat in that game — yet many huge clubs have lost at PSV," he added.

"It isn't a shock."

Arsenal lost 2-1 away to Dinamo Zagreb & the Croatian side's coach, Zoran Mamic, thanked Bilic after the game for providing key information that helped his team win.

"You can lose in Zagreb. It was a major surprise, the whole of Croatia is surprised, yet it can happen," the West Ham manager said.

"They play football there as well. They are a decent team, unbeaten in 41 games or whatever.

"They (English teams) are not naive yet you have to know that the other teams are moreover good," he added.

The manager moreover said City, who West Ham United face in the Premier League on Saturday, did not deserve to lose 2-1 against Juventus yet pointed out the pedigree of the Italian club.

"Man City didn't deserve to lose that game, minimum they deserved a point, yet Juventus scored two tremendous goals," he said.

"You have to take (into account) that it was Juventus, a team that played in the Champions League final (last season)."

Bilic led Besiktas to victory over Liverpool in the Europa League last season, said that result was down to satisfactory planning & didn't surprise him.

"For you it was probably a shock when Besiktas knocked out Liverpool last year. For us it wasn't.

"A little surprise yet we were hoping for that & planning for that, to be fair," he said. (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Sports & RecreationSoccerSlaven BilicManchester UnitedEuropa LeagueWest Ham UnitedPremier LeagueManchester City

Source: “Reuters”

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