Goalkeeper Adrian drew the plaudits from West Ham United fans despite the club’s 2-1 loss to Premier League table-toppers Manchester City on Sunday.
The Hammers, who reside 18th in the standings, pushed their illustrious opponents all the way in a tense clash at the Etihad Stadium.
With many writing off their chances before a ball had been kicked, the away side took a shock lead just before half-time when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was met by Angelo Ogbonna, who guided his header into the bottom corner of the net.
Nicolas Otamendi equalised for the hosts after the break, but it took until the final 10 minutes for Pep Guardiola’s men to find a winner, with David Silva on hand to volley home Kevin De Bruyne’s delicate chipped pass.
Although they came away with nothing from the clash, the Irons will be buoyed by what was a spirited performance, typified by Adrian between the sticks.
It was not the result that we wanted, but we have to be together,positive mind and keep working hard for next one on Saturday at home.
Great feeling to be back defending our goal in Premier League.
Thanks all fans for your support as always 💪🏻 #COYI #WestHamUnited pic.twitter.com/xAXoIshb1R
— Adrián San Miguel (@AdriSanMiguel) December 4, 2017
The Spaniard made a number of top-drawer saves to keep his side in with a chance in what was his first league appearance of the season.
Joe Hart’s arrival on loan from City over the summer has meant that Adrian has been restricted to outings in the League Cup, but there have been increasing calls for the England international to be dropped in recent weeks after a succession of unconvincing performances.
At Everton last Wednesday he was at fault for two of the goals in a 4-0 defeat that left the Hammers faithful in no doubt that the team was facing a relegation battle.
With Hart ineligible to play against his parent club, Adrian finally got his chance on Sunday and took it with a confident and commanding goalkeeping display.
West Ham supporters leapt to praise the former Real Betis star on Twitter, with the best of the reaction below:
tough week to take that. Big performance today unlucky to not get a point in the end. Has to be Rice and Adrian in the team all day from here surely COYI
— Tom Edwards (@Tom_Edwards1997) December 3, 2017
Adrian to start our next game. Was excellent today and organised our defence so well! Never stops talking 👍🏼 #COYI
— Richard Faasen (@RichFaasen) December 3, 2017
— coxy (@coxylc) December 3, 2017
— Durutti Degian (@durutti13) December 3, 2017
— West Ham Fanzone (@WestHamFZ) December 3, 2017
— WobblyKnee ⚒ (@DodgyPatella) December 3, 2017
The love for @AdriSanMiguel on here tonight proves that he's a class goalkeeper, he should be our number one, that West Ham fans are loyal and that he's beloved by our faithful. Thank you Adrian #COYI
— West Ham Rob (@TheRobTaylor32) December 3, 2017
Adrian is twice the player Hart is #coyi
— Em (@emilypert_) December 3, 2017
— Ellie Faye (@elliefaye1991) December 3, 2017
Thought Rice was brilliant today!! Adrian kept us in the game. Antonio had the touch of a baby elephant today, and arnie looked like what we needed him to today. We can build on this. Seasons not over. #KeepTheFaith #COYI
— St. Louis Hammers (@StLouisHammers) December 3, 2017
• Adrian was outstanding!
• Looked better in back 5.
• Decent performance from Rice again.
• Cresswell looked good as a centre-back.
• Masuaku skills and pace 👌👌👌
• Arnautovic is finally hitting the ground.#WHUFC #COYI
— West Ham News/Views (@WHUFC_News_6) December 3, 2017
I know we lost but I feel strangely more optimistic after that performance and Adrian must retain his place #coyi
— Peter Maurice (@hammabish) December 3, 2017
— Becky (@Beckyyclarke) December 3, 2017
Not going to moan at that performance…if only sakho could scored…man of match…ADRIAN!!
— coyi (@sirhammersessex) December 3, 2017
Great effort that Adrian was quality needs to keep his place Rice quality for such a big game #COYI
— Billy Wright (@BillyWright5) December 3, 2017