West Ham Utd 3-1 Backa Topola

  • by Staff Writer
  • Friday, 22nd September 2023

West Ham were forced to come from behind before securing a win in their opening fixture of this season's European campaign.

David Moyes' side, featuring nine changes to the team beaten 3-1 by Manchester City in Stratford last weekend suffered a shock when falling behind just two minutes into the second half after the opening 45 minutes had produced a blank.

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However three goals in 16 minutes eventually saw West Ham - supported by a radically-dimished 40,000 crowd, partly the result of the inclement weather and partly the result of the club's pricing policy - claim a winning start in their second attempt at the Europa League.

The game was almost the exact opposite of Saturday's 3-1 reversal against the Citizens, with West Ham enjoying the bulk of possession but initially failing to break down a resolute defence.

And when Petar Slanic took advantage of a slip by skipper Angelo Ogbonna before driving towards goal and finishing beyond the advancing Alphonse Areola, it looked as if a shock may be on the cards.

However the increasingly nervous Hammers fans, who had battled through an English monsoon to get to the London Olympic Stadium finally saw their fears allayed in the 66th minute.

A deep Said Benrahma cross to the far post was deflected into his own net by the unfortunate Nemanja Petrovic, under the watchful eye of Mo Kudus who was making his first start in a claret and blue shirt.

Hammers fans had barely finished parity being restored when Kudus grabbed his first goal for the club, heading home a corner from James Ward-Prowse. It was the midfielder's FOURTH assist since moving from Southampton.

And with just eight minutes of normal time remaining, second half substitute Tomas Soucek put the icing on the cake by converting yet another corner with a near post header, securing a 3-1 win.

* The other game in Group A saw SC Freiburg defeat Olympiacos 3-2 at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus. The Germans led twice but has to rely on an 86th minute Maximilian Philipp striker to secure a win.

West Ham travel to Freiburg for their next Europa League test, on Thursday 5 October.

West Ham Utd: Fabiański, Kehrer, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Emerson 46), Paquetá (Cornet 86), Ward-Prowse, Fornals (Antonio 61), Benrahma, Kudus, Ings (Souček 76)

Subs not used: Areola, Anang, Coufal, Johnson, Zouma, Aguerd, Coventry, Mubama

Booked: Kehrer

Goals: Petrović (og 66), Kudus (70), Souček (82)

FK TSC Bačka Topola: Simić, Cvetković, Antonić, Đorđević (Krstić 70), Petrović (Rakonjac 81), Radin, Đakovac (Ćirković 81), Stojić, Kuveljić (Vulić 81), Stanić, Jovanović (Mirchevski 90+2)

Subs not used: Ilić (GK), Jorgić (GK), Milovanović, Pantović, Vlalukin, Sós

Booked: Kuveljić

Goals: Stanić (47)

Referee: Filip Glova (Slovakia)

Attendance: 41,374

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