Rapid Vienna 0-2 West Ham Utd

  • by Staff Writer
  • Thursday, 25th November 2021

West Ham are through to the last 16 of the Europa League after strolling to victory in Vienna.

A toothless Rapid provided little in the way of opposition for David Moyes' side who secured the win they needed to win the group through first half goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble.

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The Hammers should've taken the lead as early as the sixth minute when a perfect delivery from Arthur Masuaku found Jarrod Bowen, deputising for Michail Antonio, in acres of space. Unfortunately Bowen was unable to connect fully and sent his shot inches wide of the target.

Some alert defending in the 24th minute prevented Tomas Soucek from turning a cross into an empty net, with the Czech stationed at the far post. But the Hammers finally made the breakthrough that seemed inevitable five minutes ahead of the half time interval when Niko Vlasic's perfectly-weighted centre from the left was nodded home by Man of the Match Andriy Yarmolenko.

The Ukrainian then played a major part in West Ham's second goal, which arrived in the second minute of added-on time at the end of the first half. Mark Noble's low delivery found Yarmo inside the area and as he turned sharply, he had his legs taken from beneath him by Max Hofmann.

The decision by Russian referee was 'penalty' and there were few arguments from the hosts, before Noble stepped up to score his first goal (in regulation time) for the Hammers this year by directing his spot kick into the top right corner.

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West Ham should've extended their lead after the break but failed to make the most of several excellent chances. Bowen, again, failed to beat the Rapid 'keeper after dribbling around three players inside the area on 56 minutes before Yarmolenko set up Soucek with a clever pass that the Czech failed to convert.

A series of substitutions on both sides saw the Austrians come back into the game and they produced several shots without ever seriously testing stand-in stopper Alphonse Areola.

17-year-old Sonny Perkins, on fire for the Under 23s with five goals in his last six outings made his first team introduction with 14 minutes remaining and nearly scored with his first touch but his header was tipped over by Vienna 'keeper Gartler from point blank range.

And that was to be West Ham's final notable attack of the game as they sat out the last quarter-of-an-hour to secure a fourth clean sheet, a fourth win and passage through to March's knock-out stage of the Europa League. An easier win David Moyes could not have hoped for.

West Ham Utd: Areola, Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku (Fredericks 77), Noble, Soucek (Kral 65), Lanzini (Fornals 65), Vlasic (Perkins 77), Yarmolenko, Bowen (Benrahma 65)

Subs not used: Randolph, Cresswell, Zouma, Johnson, Rice, Alese, Chesters

Goals: Yarmolenko (40), Noble (45+2)

Rapid Vienna: Gartler, Hofmann, Aiwu, Moorman, Petrovic, Ljubicic (Grahovac 90), Arase (Ballo 75), Knasmullner (GrĂ¼ll 59), Fountas (Strunz 90), Kitagawa (Kara 59)

Subs not used: Hedl, Orgler, Schick, Auer, Ullmann, Dijakovic, Sulzbacher

Referee: Sergey Ivanov

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