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Moyes defends West Ham team selection after 2-1 loss to Olympiacos

West Ham United manager David Moyes defended his team selection after they suffered their first loss in European competition in 18 matches. 

The reigning Europa Conference League champions suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against Olympiacos in their Europa League Group A clash in Athens.

Moyes made seven changes to his starting XI for the European encounter, with one eye on their Premier League clash against Everton on Sunday. 

His tinkering backfired as the Greek side seized the opportunity to exploit West Ham’s makeshift side.

The match saw Olympiacos captain Kostas Fortounis open the scoring with an easy goal, and an own goal from stand-in skipper Angelo Ogbonna added to West Ham’s woes. 

Lucas Paqueta managed to pull one back with a late strike, but it wasn’t enough to salvage the match.

Speaking about his decision to make changes to the team, Moyes explained (via The Athletic): “Look, we changed a lot of players tonight.

“We’ve got the Premier League coming up, and we’ve got a League Cup game next week, and we’d won the first two games in the group, which gave us leeway to make changes tonight.

“Maybe I have to recognise that while we didn’t win the Conference League games easily, as they were all tough games, coming to Olympiacos after winning away in Freiburg, this wasn’t a good result and wasn’t a good performance.”

“I don’t think anybody could say the team we started with wasn’t a good team and wasn’t a team capable of winning or performing. 

“Many of them have been very good players for us over the years and still are.”

The loss will undoubtedly lead to discussions among fans and pundits, questioning Moyes’ choices as West Ham seek to bounce back from this setback. 

The Hammers still lead the group with six points, level with Freiburg with Olympiacos in third place with four points. 

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