Europa League
Olympiacos 2-1 West Ham United 

Thursday, 26th October 2023
by James Haley

An outstanding Olympiacos ended the hopeless Hammers' unbeaten record in Europe.

West Ham started the game brightly when Pablo Fornals and Emerson linked up down the left side. Fornals had a shot but it was tame and the keeper, Alexandros Paschalakis, claimed it with relative ease.

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But the game would soon swing in favour of the Greeks as Olympiacos?EUR(TM) attacking midfielder, Sotiris Alexandropoulos, drove at the Hammers defence and fired a shot at Areola. Worrying signs as it was far too easy for him to dribble into the box.

It was only a matter of time before Olympiacos would score, and the goal came when Kostas Fortounis glided past Said Benrahma and James Ward-Prowse and toe-poked the ball into the bottom left corner from distance. Poor defending all round, and the Hammers were left with a mountain to climb.

The Irons would try to come back when a long throw from German international Thilo Kehrer found Mohamed Kudus, but the Ghanian fired over from inside the box.

Disaster struck when Brazilian right-back Rodinei?EUR(TM)s cross was mishit by Angelo Ogbonna, who turned the ball into the back of his own net. The height of the mountain was doubled and West Ham went into the dressing room at half time 2-0 down.

David Moyes made the decision not to make any substitutions at half time, which was baffling to some pundits and fans watching at home as well as in the ground.

There were however encouraging signs at the start of the second half as Ward-Prowse fired narrowly wide from a free kick and Danny Ings just over after an Emerson cross. Meanwhile, at the other end, a clever Ward-Prowse flick prevented a tap-in for Ayoub El Kaabi.

Olympiacos then started to take control of the game as West Ham committed more men forward. A scintillating shot from Alexandropoulos left Areola scrambling, followed by a save from the French goalkeeper after a mistake from substitute Lucas Paqueta at the other end.

Olympiacos started to frustrate West Ham by managing the game and making timely substitutions which led to Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta and Angelo Ogbonna all picking up needless yellow cards.

But West Ham were given a lifeline when a volley was thumped home from just outside of the box from Paqueta. A goal-of-the-season contender, but would it give West Ham momentum going into
injury time?

The answer was no and, in fact, Fortounis was unfortunate not to make it 3-1 when his curled shot narrowly went wide of the post.

Olympiacos did well at the end to close the game out at the end and West Ham were ultimately second best on the night, as the game finished 2-1.

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Player Ratings

Alphonse Areola
Considering he must have been a last-minute inclusion, Areola played very well and was probably the shining light in a team of darkness.

Thilo Kehrer
Constantly getting caught out of position which is a trend we see with him at right back. When going forward, the German linked up poorly with Mohamed Kudus and no chances came from that side.

Emerson Palmieri
The only player down the left-hand that provided any sort of attacking input. We will miss him on Sunday.

Konstantinos Mavropanos
Inconsistent passing and struggled to deal with the pace of Daniel Podence. Poor on his return to his home country.

Angelo Ogbonna
Looks like a player nearing retirement, made mistakes that failed to be capitalised upon and mis-hit his clearance and scored the own goal - which is poor for a player of his experience.

James Ward-Prowse
Can't believe I'm writing this but... poor delivery from corners. Is Moyes telling him to put it at the front post? Because it's definitely not working. This deeper role does not suit him and he needs to be further forward.

Tomas Soucek
Anonymous throughout the game but when he did get on the ball he looked uncomfortable and sluggish.

Pablo Fornals
Anonymous throughout the game. The only good moment for him was when he linked up with Emerson. Looked visibly upset when he was substituted for Antonio.

Said Benrahma
Benrahma was possibly the worst player on the pitch. Losing the ball in encouraging positions, making poor decisions to shoot and generally not making any impact on the game as a whole.

Mohammed Kudus
Looked bright but ultimately had no support from his right back, central midfielder or striker and was marked out of the game by Olympiacos who had touted him as the danger man.

Danny Ings
Failed to make the three chances he was given count and didn't really provide an option for any of the creative players.


Lucas Paqueta
(Replaced Fornals 58) Rating would be a lot lower if he didn't score that spectacular goal as he gave the ball away on three occasions when West Ham were building attacks.

Michail Antonio
(Replaced Ings 58) Put in the cross which led to Paqueta's goal but still looked clumsy on the ball.

Jarrod Bowen
(Replaced Benrahma 58) Didn't really do much when he was on the pitch.

Edson Alvarez
(Replaced Ward-Prowse 72) Came on to secure the backline and did just that.

Maxwel Cornet
(Replaced Kudus 72) Looked sharp and quick when he came on which is more to be said than any of the players who started. Could be a starting option for the next game.

Joseph Anang
Did not play.

Aaron Cresswell
Did not play.

Ben Johnson
Other unused subs: Kurt Zouma, Divin Mubama

Nayef Aguerd
Other unused subs: Kurt Zouma, Divin Mubama

Match Facts

West Ham United: Alphonse Areola, Thilo Kehrer, Emerson Palmieri, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Angelo Ogbonna, James Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals, Said Benrahma, Mohammed Kudus, Danny Ings.

Goals: Lucas Paqueta 87                  .

Booked: Lucas Paqueta 0 Emerson Palmieri 0 Michail Antonio 76 Angelo Ogbonna 88    .

Sent off: None.

Olympiacos: Paschalakis, Rodinei (Quini 75), Porozo, Retsos, Ortega, Alexandropoulous (Masouras 85), Camara, Hezze, Podence (Solbakken 85), El Kaabi (Scarpa 90+5), Fortounis (Jovetic 90+5).

Subs not used: Tzolakis, Papadoudis, El-Arabi, Vrousas, Joao Carvalho, Pep Biel.

Goals: Fortounis (33), Ogbonna (og 45+1).

Booked: Retsos, Alexandropoulous, Camara, Masouras (90+4).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Andris Treimanis.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Alphonse Areola.