West Ham United left back Aaron Cresswell has revealed what teammate Andriy Yarmolenko said to him when he stepped up to take his free-kick against Manchester United last month.
The England international curled a stunning effort past David De Gea in the Hammers’ 2-0 victory at the London Stadium towards the end of September.
However, Cresswell has revealed that the Ukrainian certainly wasn’t expecting him to score: “The funny thing was, I’d just had one about ten minutes before and it wasn’t a bad effort, to be fair, it was pretty close, and I stepped up to the second one and I had it in my head that I wanted to take it,” he told the club’s official website.
“Yarma came up and he’s a funny character and he looked at me and he said ‘Really! Are you going to take it?’ and we laughed about it. Anyway, I took it and luckily it went right in the top corner!”
It was a stunning effort from Cresswell, wasn’t it? He beat one of the finest goalkeepers in the world all ends up to put the gloss on a tremendous performance by Manuel Pellegrini’s side. However, Yarmolenko was clearly rather skeptical about his teammate’s ability to do what he did. The problem for Cresswell is that, while he has always been a decent deliverer of the football, he’s always had people ahead of him taking the free-kicks since he’s been in east London. The likes of Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic have always been there to step up ahead of Cresswell, and so there’s no real surprise that Yarmolenko was rather shocked that it was the left back taking the set piece against United. However, it all went swimmingly on this occasion, and so you imagine the former Borussia Dortmund man might keep his mouth shut the next time Cresswell strides up to a direct free-kick.