Slaven Bilic was left with “mixed emotions” after West Ham came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw at Watford.
The Hammers boss saw his side fall behind to a Troy Deeney penalty after only three minutes, but Andre Ayew climbed off the bench to snatch a point.
In an eventful early-evening encounter, Bilic was infuriated that West Ham were not awarded a second-half spot-kick for an almost identical incident to the one which gave Watford the lead.
They also had to hold out for the final five minutes with 10 men after their best player, Michail Antonio, was sent off for handball.
“I’m so pleased with the way we played, especially in the second half, but I’m not happy with the way we started the game, so it’s mixed emotions,” said Bilic.
“We reacted good in the first half, and the second half was one of our best performances and we definitely deserved the point. In my point of view we deserved to win.”
Mauro Zarate had an immediate impact against his former side after he was sent sprawling to the turf by Cheikhou Kouyate, with Deeney doing the honours from the spot.
Bilic was fined for throwing a television microphone in frustration after West Ham conceded a late equaliser against West Brom last time out.
So perhaps sensibly, the TV company did not leave any in his vicinity at Vicarage Road as in the second half the Croatian was furious when Kouyate was wrestled to the ground by M’Baye Niang in the area, only for referee Craig Pawson to wave play on.
But Bilic added: “I spoke with the ref after the game and there are no hard feelings.
“If I was Watford manager I would say there’s was a penalty. As West Ham manager I say he went down easily. But we are both right. And the second one was very similar.”
The leveller arrived in bizarre fashion in the 73rd minute when Antonio’s shot clipped the near post, rolled along the goal-line and back out off the far post.
Fortunately for the Hammers record signing Ayew was lurking and sidefooted in his second goal for the club.
Antonio, who had been booked in the first half, blotted his copybook by deliberately handling the ball after he had been tackled to be shown a second yellow card.
Sadly it was also a bittersweet evening for Zarate, who required lengthy treatment and oxygen before departing on a stretcher in first-half stoppage time.
The Argentinian looked to be already struggling with a knock when he collapsed to the ground after twisting his knee.
“We will check it and we will probably know how serious it is tomorrow,” said manager Walter Mazzarri. “He was in a lot of pain, and he was in tears, but we hope it’s not too bad.
“I saw he was not completely okay, after the first knock he felt something, but he kept telling me too wait. He wanted to stay on the pitch. So there were two occasions when he hurt his knee.
“On the performance we deserved to go ahead, but we had injuries and we are committing too many mistakes, yet even at the end we could have won the game.”