Nasri is relieved to be back after ban
FOOTBALL: Samir Nasri was thrilled to be back on a football pitch after making his debut for West Ham.
The French midfielder was a surprise starter against Birmingham in the FA Cup, his first match since November 2017 following a doping ban.
But at times it looked as though the former Arsenal and Manchester City playmaker had never been away as he bossed the midfield for just under an hour before being substituted.
Marko Arnautovic headed West Ham into the lead before he was substituted early on, and his replacement Andy Carroll sealed a 2-0 win in stoppage time, but it was the performance of Nasri which stood out.
“I’m happy to get my first minutes in the West Ham shirt, but most important was the team performance and winning 2-0, keeping a clean sheet,” the 31-year-old said.
“I felt good, honestly I thought I would struggle a little more with the rhythm as my last game was 13 months ago.”