West Ham

David Moyes says Mark Noble showed 'big giant balls' by taking Man Utd penalty

Toby Cudworth
Mark Noble bounced back by leading West Ham to victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday
Mark Noble bounced back by leading West Ham to victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

David Moyes says captain Mark Noble showed "big giant balls" when he came off the bench to take West Ham's injury-time penalty against Manchester United - which was dramatically saved by David de Gea.

The 34-year-old had been given a watching brief for the pair's Premier League encounter at the London Stadium on Sunday, which had seen Said Benrahma's first-half goal cancelled out by strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and former West Ham loanee Jesse Lingard.

The Hammers were heading for a first defeat since May when they were given the opportunity to snatch a point by referee Martin Atkinson, who penalised Luke Shaw for handling Andriy Yarmolenko's cross in stoppage time.

Noble was swiftly called up from the bench and replaced Jarrod Bowen so that he could take the penalty kick. But his effort - and first touch of the game - was palmed away by De Gea, handing United all three points and a 2-1 win while condemning West Ham to their first defeat of the season.

Moyes says he has no regrets about his decision to bring Noble on and praised the character - and manhood - of his captain when asked in his press conference ahead of the game against Leeds about Noble's positive response to the miss - which saw him lead the Hammers to a 1-0 Carabao Cup win at Old Trafford on Wednesday, courtesy of Manuel Lanzini's first-half goal.

"I think it would be more insulting if we questioned Mark Noble's character, I think Mark Noble's character is certainly not in question," Moyes said.

"He's got big giant balls and he took it on. He's taken on some massive, massive situations [in the past], I didn't have to think again."

Moyes also stated his admiration for Noble taking 'ownership' of the situation, and referred those who criticised him to his reliability for West Ham over many, many years - adding that he still has an important role to play for the club.

David De Gea, Mark Noble
Noble's penalty was sensationally saved by David de Gea / Julian Finney/Getty Images

"I've said to supporters and I've said to you, Mark Noble has very, very, very rarely let us down in any games he's played. Very, very rarely," Moyes continued.

"I know it's his last year but I genuinely think that if he wanted to go on and play longer, I think he could. I've always felt that the early part of this season might be important, that we're going to need him - whether it be in Europe or cup games or we'll need him as backup in the league games. This was always the sort of idea.

"But as long as we can keep him fit and keep him in a good place I think he'll always be an influential player for us."

Noble is likely to be among the substitutes when West Ham take on Leeds at Elland Road, making way for regular starting duo Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.