West Ham manager David Moyes has been left red-faced after his recent comments on Mark Noble’s penalty-taking prowess came back to bite him on Sunday.
Moyes made the bold call to bring Noble off the bench in injury-time to take a penalty against Manchester United with the score at 2-1 to the away side.
Noble had an impressive record from the spot in the Premier League having netted 27 times from 32 attempts for an 84 per cent conversion rate.
The odds were in his favour, given United goalkeeper David de Gea had not saved a spot-kick in the Premier League since October 2014, despite facing 21 attempts.
Yet the Spanish keeper guessed right at the London Stadium, keeping out Noble’s shot to earn United a 2-1 win and open up Moyes to criticism.
The disappointment for Moyes may well be tinged with embarrassment, given the glowing way in which he spoke about Noble’s penalty-taking just last month.
"It's a pity the Premier League isn't like American football where we could bring Mark off the bench just to take a penalty as he's our specialist,” he said after Michail Antonio missed a penalty in the 4-2 win over Newcastle.
"He's incredible and he keeps telling me he's got one of the best records in Europe for conversion rates."
That conversion rate has taken a hit and now stands at 27 in 33 attempts, but Moyes was adamant that he had made the right decision in bringing Noble on for Jarrod Bowen in the 94th minute after Luke Shaw was adjudged to have handballed in the box.
"Look at his record, his record is very good,” Moyes told Sky Sports.
Did David Moyes make the right call by bringing Mark Noble on? Have your say in the comments section below.
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"I had time to think about it. I think I would have been more disappointed if I hadn't made the decision than if I did.
“You make them and it just didn't quite work today. If I hadn't made the decision I would have been annoyed with myself."
The penalty save provided a dramatic end to the match in east London which had seesawed all afternoon.
The Hammers went ahead when Said Benrahma’s shot went in via a deflection before Cristiano Ronaldo equalised from close range.
Former West Ham loanee Jesse Lingard scored what turned out to be the winner with a brilliant curling effort into the top corner before Shaw’s handball set up the dramatic finale.
The two teams will now face each other again on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup third round at Old Trafford.
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