West Ham 1-0 Silkeborg: Hammers maintain perfect record in Europa Conference League and seal place in last-16 as Manuel Lanzini’s first-half penalty sees off plucky visitors
- West Ham sealed a place in the last 16 of the Europa Conference League
- The 1-0 victory maintained their 100% winning record in Europe this season
- Lanzini scored from the spot after Antonio had been brought down by the keeper
Confirmation that West Ham will finish top of their group and a promising debut from £30million defender Nayef Aguerd. All in all, this was a good night’s work for David Moyes.
West Ham needed to avoid defeat by Danish side Silkeborg to move directly into the Europa Conference League’s round of 16. There was no drama. No twists. Nothing close to what Tottenham experienced 24 hours earlier in their own European tie.
Just a straightforward win in which Manuel Lanzini scored from the penalty spot in the first half and Aguerd featured for 75 minutes, four months after signing from Rennes.
Manuel Lanzini scored as West Ham sealed a place in last 16 of the Europa Conference League
West Ham (3-4-1-2): Areola 7.5; Johnson 7, Aguerd 8 (Kehrer 76), Ogbonna 7; Coufal 7, Coventry 7 (Rice 83), Lanzini 7, Emerson 7; Fornals 6.5 (Downes 68, 6); Benrahma 6.5 (Scamacca 68, 6), Antonio 6.5 (Soucek 83)
Subs (not used): Randolph, Hegyi, Cresswell, Zouma, Forson, Potts
Scorers: Lanzini (24 pen)
Booked: Coventry, Scamacca, Soucek
Manager: David Moyes 7
Silkeborg: Larsen, Ostrom, Salquist, Felix, Klitten, Thordarson, Gojani (Oggesen 46),Klynge (Kaalund 69), Tengstedt (Lind 84), Jorgensen (Kusk 46), Helenius (Adamsen 68).
Subs Not Used: Mattsson, Hedvall, Anders Dahl, Calisir, Engel, Andresen, Busch.
Ref: Joni Hyytia (Finland).
Fit again after damaging his ankle in pre-season, the 26-year-old started at the centre of West Ham’s back three. He looked safe and, importantly for Moyes, fast when needed in foot races.
Better sides than Silkeborg will test his skillset, particularly in the Premier League, but this was a smooth introduction for Aguerd after such a lengthy lay-off.
This result was important to Moyes as it saves West Ham from the unwanted two-legged play-off that comes with finishing second in their group. Conscious of their silly schedule, the manager did not want two more games shoehorned in.
It was with their fixture list in mind that he made nine changes. Flynn Downes was one of those dropped to the bench with the 23-year-old likely to start in the Premier League at Manchester United on Sunday, his recent midfield performances making him difficult to ignore.
Lanzini scored from the spot after Michail Antonio had been brought down by the keeper
Despite Moyes’s changes, there was more than enough quality for West Ham to win here.
In the 12th minute, Michail Antonio broke behind, cut back on to his preferred right foot and was denied finding the far corner by the feet of Silkeborg goalkeeper Nicolai Larsen.
A minute later, Vladimir Coufal’s deep cross found Aguerd, whose volley flew into the side-netting.
Defender Nayef Aguerd made his long-awaited debut after recovering from injury
Conor Coventry the 22-year-old academy graduate, narrowly missed out on his first West Ham goal when given a chance to shoot from 20 yards.
In the 23rd minute, Said Benrahma’s ball in behind for Antonio ended with Larsen charging out and colliding with West Ham’s striker. The visitors’ protests were in vain with VAR not in operation.
Referee Joni Hyytia awarded the penalty and Manuel Lanzini stepped up to make it 1-0, finding the bottom right corner despite the goalkeeper guessing correctly.
Benrahma should have added a second goal before the break but his header crept wide.
West Ham had chances to kill off the game but they could not find a way past Nicolai Larsen
Silkeborg had won their last two Europa Conference League games 5-0, both against FCSB of Romania, and Anders Klynge forced a smart save out of Alphonse Areola in the 54th minute.
Areola was needed again in the 56th minute when Soren Tengstedt fired a fierce shot at his goal. These were warning signs for West Ham that Silkeborg weren’t here for a participation badge.
West Ham had chances to kill this game but didn’t take them, with Benrahma out of luck in front of goal. One shot from him after 62 minutes was blocked when the net was begging to be rippled.
Silkeborg put pressure on West Ham in the final stages but Lanzini’s goal proved enough to ensure they top Group B. Into the Europa Conference League’s round of 16 they go.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article