Nasri is re­lieved to be back af­ter ban

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

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.”

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