West Ham United 2-3 Juventus
Sunday, 7th August 2016
by Staff Writer
West Ham succumbed to defeat in their final match of pre-season against Italian champions Juventus at the Olympic Stadium this afternoon.Slaven Bilic's side went down 3-2 to a late Simone Zaza effort at the end of a lively encounter in front of a full house of 54,000 - despite having previously fought back from two goals behind after a slow start.
And key to West Ham's recovery was striker Andy Carroll, who looked in fine form as his two headers cancelled out first half goals for the visitors.
Juve opened the scoring on 18 minutes, no more than 30 seconds after Enner Valencia had beaten Gianluigi Buffon but not the woodwork. A quick counter attack resulted in Mario Mandzukic nodding a deep cross back towards Dybala, who finished with ease.
Still reeling from conceding that one, West Ham found themselves in double trouble less than three minutes later. This time the energetic Dybala fed Mandzukic with a low pass and the Croatian international fired home from inside the box.
There were no more goals prior to the half time interval but it took West Ham just five minutes to halve the deficit in the second half. Sam Byram, playing at left back again, centred for Carroll; his header was initially saved but bundled over the line by the striker, following up.
Just as Juve scored two quick goals in the first period, Caroll repeated the feat when he made it 2-2 on 52 minutes. Mark Noble's free kick was firmly planted in the back of the net by the #9, who rose above three defenders to get to the ball first.
But the visitors were to have the last word with just eight minutes remaining. Simone Zaza, who was left a bit of a laughing stock after his missed penalty in Euro 16 latched on to a long through ball to fire beyond Adrian and win the Betway Cup for Juventus.
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Player RatingsDarren Randolph
Rarely called into action but more than capable when asked to do so. A nice easy start to the season for one of the RoI's Euro 16 heroes.
Looked accomplished at full back tonight, as he had very little defending to do. Sterner tests will follow for Antonio, as will the inevitable qeustions regarding his suitability for the role.
Sam endured a torried time in the first leg so it was pleasing to see him put in a solid performance tonight in an unfamiliar position.
Calm, assured and willing to put the boot in when required - just what you want from a centre half.
Another youngster to shine on the big night. The Ox was an able partner to the more experienced Reid but also capable of turning defence into attack with some delightful flighted dellveries.
Another player making his debut, the Norwegian had a fairly quiet first half but came alive in the second. He also showed some lovely footwork as the game reached its closing stages; another impressive start.
A classy performance from a very important player. Payet and Noble drew the plaudits last season but it was Kouyate that kept the midfield ticking over. Tonight he takes the acclaim for two goals that steered West Ham into the next round of the competition.
Solid and combative as per usual, his most notable contribution was the superb delivery for Feghouli's goal. Should be a shoo-in for Allarduce's next squad, at this rate.
The big man put himself about well and played an important role in both of Kouyate's goals. He still seems a little of the pace, thought that's not unusual at this stage of the season.
An impressive start for the winger, who may well have taken the Man of the Match award were it not for Kouyate's two-goal haul. He ran at Domzale's defence all night and was finally rewarded with a goal that sealed the win.
Whilst you can certainly question the ability, there can be no doubt that Valencia gave 100 per cent for West Ham tonight - the sort of attitude his former striker partner would do well to take note of.
Long linked with a move away from the club but given a positive reception upon his introduction by the crowd. Another who seems determined to work through his difficulties.
A nice little two-minute caneo to introduce him to the West Ham family.
See above, just for half the time...
Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Match FactsWest Ham United: Darren Randolph, Michail Antonio, Sam Byram, Winston Reid, Reece Oxford, Havard Nordtveit, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, Sofiane Feghouli, Enner Valencia.
Goals: Cheikhou Kouyate 8 Cheikhou Kouyate 22 Sofiane Feghouli 81 .
Booked: Michail Antonio Sofiane Feghouli Enner Valencia .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Juventus: Marava, Brachi, Dobrovoljc, Horic, Balkovec, Morel, Horvat, Majer, Crnic, Alvir, Mance.
Subs not used: Milic, Vetrih, Repas, Blazic.
Booked: Crnic, Balkovec, Horic.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Fredy Fautrel.
Man of the Match: Cheikhou Kouyate.