Bilic hails cup hero Payet as ‘up there’ with Real’s Mo­dric

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FA CUP -

WEST HAM man­ager Slaven Bilic likened play­maker Dim­itri Payet to Real Madrid’s Luka Mo­dric af­ter the French­man in­spired their 5-1 FA Cup win at Black­burn.

Rovers, who played the last 35 min­utes with 10 men af­ter Chris Tay­lor’s send­ing-off, took the lead from Ben Mar­shall’s fifth goal in the last six matches, but Vic­tor Moses’ first goal since Septem­ber 19 – cour­tesy of an er­ror by goal­keeper Ja­son Steele – and an ex­quis­ite Payet free-kick turned things around be­fore the break.

Em­manuel Emenike added two in the se­cond half and, af­ter Cheikhou Kouy­ate had been dis­missed, Payet fit­tingly fin­ished things off with a bril­liant in­di­vid­ual ef­fort.

“I haven’t seen bet­ter play­ers than that. He is also do­ing the dirty work and on the ball he is up there with Luka Mo­dric from the play­ers I have trained so far,” said Bilic, who coached Mo­dric at in­ter­na­tional level for Croa­tia.

Black­burn man­ager Paul Lambert said: “Up un­til the se­cond goal I thought we were do­ing re­ally well. We got the goal and made a fist of it.

“The first goal was the cen­tre of the goal and Ja­son nine times out of 10 would have saved it. He has been ex­cel­lent for us this sea­son, but he will know he should have done bet­ter. The se­cond goal is a ter­rific free-kick.

“In the se­cond half we started well and then Tay­lor gets the send­ing-off and that changes the game.”

Crys­tal Palace ended Tot­ten­ham’s hopes of the tre­ble with an un­ex­pected 1-0 win at White Hart Lane that took them into the FA Cup quar­ter-fi­nals.

An un­likely goal on a rare start for Martin Kelly proved enough to se­cure a vic­tory that will lift the mood that had been set­tling at Palace and in­flict a rare dis­ap­point­ing note on Spurs’ so-far promis­ing sea­son. Read­ing v Crys­tal Palace, Ever­ton v Chelsea, Arse­nal or Hull v Wat­ford, Shrews­bury or Manch­ester United v West Ham.

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