West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has hailed their "almost perfect" performance in securing a 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday night (26 October) as the Hammers reached the quarter-final of the EFL Cup, where they will face Manchester United.
The Croatian boss was especially pleased with Edimilson Fernandes, as the 20-year-old summer signing scored his first goal for the club in his third starting appearance of the campaign.
Cheikhou Kouyate put the Hammers ahead after 11 minutes in to the game through a fantastic header, before Fernandes doubled the lead just after half-time. Gary Cahill scored the consolation for a much-changed Chelsea in the injury time but couldn't avoid his side's elimination from the cup.
"We played really good tonight. It was a great atmosphere, a cup game, night game, London derby, and Chelsea are a great team who have hit great form recently," Bilic said in the press conference.
"We had a game plan and the guys executed it almost perfectly. We were great in the first half and really good in the second half and when we had to defend, we defended in numbers and we were good at keeping the ball. In transition we hurt them and could have scored more. It was a great win and a great performance and it was good to beat Chelsea."
Meanwhile, Bilic singled out young Fernandes for praise after he completed an impressive performance with a decisive goal for West Ham. The Hammer signed the Swiss youngster from FC Sion during the summer transfer window as a prospect for the future but the boss admitted he didn't expect him to make such an impact with the first-team so early
"He is very young and he's relatively unknown in England," Bilic added. "I would be lying if I said I expected him to break into the side so quickly. He presents himself very well in training and he is a very talented player who needs to keep working hard. He has got everything; stamina, he has got technique and skill and a good football brain and he should bring us a him a lot of qualities."
Shortly after the game, West Ham learnt that they will face Manchester United in the EFL quarter-finals after Jose Mourinho's side beat Manchester City. Bilic is aware of the size of the challenge but believes his side can also beat the Red Devils should they play as the did against Chelsea on Wednesday night.
"You never know in a cup. We approached this competition with great ambition, that was obvious. If we play like this, we are capable of progressing," the boss said. "This is not only important for the competition but also for the Premier League. It gives you more confidence. We will be a little bit tired on the training ground, but then it's going to be buzzing and from that we will be less tired.
"Now we have most our players back fit, we can do it, as a unit and a team. Now we have three wins on the spin. It's always going to be ups and downs but we need to focus like we have done. I'm very optimistic of course."