Alphonse Areola was delighted with West Ham’s performance against Liverpool and was eager to confirm that they’ve still got hope.

Since the turn of the year, West Ham have been lacklustre in the large majority of their games. They’ve only won 4 of their last 22 in all competitions yet, somehow, they’re still in the race for European football. Recent losses have taken it out of their hands, but their performance against Liverpool was much improved.

It may not have been the prettiest at times, but there was a lot to be happy with and some great individual performances. One of which came from the returning Alphonse Areola who was happy to be back between the sticks, and even happier with the character his side showed.

“We managed to fight very well,” he told the official site. “We conceded two goals we could have avoided, but the quality in front of us was high and we managed to tie and be competitive.”

“It feels great to be back. Honestly I don’t feel my legs anymore, but I’ll recover well, get straight in the ice bath and be back and ready for the next game.”

“We have three finals to go. We don’t have pressure, we live with it. The most important thing now is that we have that game in our legs and mind. We’ll recover well and push again.”

“We made him [Alisson] work today. He’s done his job, but it’s encouraging for us for the next games. After the Palace game we were really down because of the performance, but now we managed to recover well. We didn’t come back with three points but we’re still here and we’ll keep pushing.”

Unfortunately, the referee had a questionable game at best, with both teams being left frustrated with his decisions. One of the more confusing moments came when Gakpo tried to steal the ball after the referee seemingly didn’t call for a foul on Areola, just to be met by the whistle. Thankfully, the Frenchman has been able to provide some clarification on what exactly happened.

“He stood on my foot and I felt my toe straight away,” Areola explained. “So I looked at the ref and from what I understood he said to put it on the floor. So I put it on the floor and put my hand down to pull my socks up and I heard the crowd shouting.”

“Then the ref came to me and we managed to do what we had to do. We were ready for that game which was the important thing, and we showed we’re not done in the season and that we’re here to compete.”

Although the dream is not completely dead, the likelihood of West Ham getting their fourth consecutive season of European football seems extremely slim. They now require the teams around them to drop points, while they realistically would have to beat Chelsea, Luton and Manchester City  – highly improbable. However, improbable is infinitely better than impossible and if they are to pull off a miracle then there is no doubt Areola’s heroics will have a massive part to play in doing so.