A stoppage-time stunner from the returning Andy Carroll earned the Hammers a point against the Potters, smashing home a volley from a Cresswell cross to deny Paul Lambert what would have been a vital win in Stoke’s fight against the drop. But that was pretty much the only delivery that the left-back got right all night at the London Stadium.
Cresswell’s set-pieces were unusually wide of the mark and, in truth, he hardly stood out despite putting the last-gasp chance on a plate for Carroll on the striker’s first appearance since he was linked with a move to Chelsea in January.
But, as the West Ham supporters on Twitter were at pains to point out, Declan Rice was possibly the best player on the pitch; certainly of anyone wearing claret and blue.
The 19-year-old put in another commanding and composed performance alongside Italy international Angelo Ogbonna, one week after his eye-catching display in the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
And the London Stadium faithful seem to feel that Rice was far more deserving of a new mantelpiece ornament than Cresswell.
Never— Aaron Bayfield (@abayfieldwhu) April 17, 2018
Rice was by far the best defender— Bradley Cullen (@MrBradleyCullen) April 17, 2018
Declan Rice!!— Kev Hammer (@Kev_WestHam41) April 17, 2018
@_DeclanRice all day long motm. Turning out to be the new sir bobby of moore— PerrySirBobbyMoore (@whuismyreligion) April 17, 2018
No disrespect to Cresswell but Ogbonna & Rice were a level above anyone else on that pitch.— Hayden Evz (@HaydenEvz) April 17, 2018
While he did a top job @_DeclanRice was by far thr best player out there last night. Honesty never felt so at ease having attacking players in the box, you just know he's going to get in between them or he's going to block any shots. One of the best at the club right now— Chris (@chriscod1993) April 17, 2018
Are u kidding me !!!! his delivery of a deadball is awful his reading of the game at left sided CH is awful and stokes goal started from our LHS where he was suppose to be .......— Darren Skingle (@DRS_Engineering) April 17, 2018
ur having a— michael trott (@trott83) April 17, 2018
Laugh not been good since he got an England cap