Declan Rice was the star of the show as West Ham United beat Rapid Wien 2-0 in the UEFA Europa League to strengthen their grip at the top of Group H.
West Ham made a positive start to the contest and could have been ahead just eight minutes in but Declan Rice saw his header bounce off the goalframe and bounce out. Around 20 minutes later, the Hammers were denied by the woodwork yet again as Craig Dawson’s headed effort hit the post. However, they did manage to break the deadlock in the 27th minute, with Rice finding the back of the net from close range.
There were not many chances coming for either West Ham or Rapid Wien from that point on. However, the Austrians thought they had been given a great chance to make their way back into the game when they were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute, but it was rightly chalked off by the referee after consultation with VAR and the pitchside monitor.
Substitute Jarrod Bowen then had a huge chance to put the game to bed but he blazed his effort into the skies after rounding the Rapid Wien goalkeeper. The miss did not come to haunt David Moyes’ men, though, as they held on to their narrow lead before Said Benrahma added a second in stoppage time to make it two wins in two for the Hammers in Europe.
Here are our player ratings for the West Ham United stars as they stay at the top of Group H after the win at London Stadium on Thursday night.
Alphonse Areola: 6/10
Pretty much a spectator for large parts of the game with Rapid Wien hardly threatening the West Ham goal. Kept it simple with the ball at his feet and showed good command in the box when needed to.
Ben Johnson: 6/10
Solid at the back and purposeful going forward, the youngster provided a decent outlet down the right flank getting up in support of Andriy Yarmolenko. Seemed to have given away a penalty in the second half, but saw it rightly get overturned.
Craig Dawson: 7/10
Reinstated to the starting XI, the veteran defender was a solid presence at the back, dealing with whatever came in his path with ease. Made a number of important blocks and came close to scoring at the other end, only to see his effort hit the post.
3/10/20 – Craig Dawson not in Watford’s squad for Championship game at Reading.
30/9/21 – Craig Dawson the standout performer in a UEFA Europa League group stage game for West Ham United.
What a turnaround in less than a year 🤩 pic.twitter.com/H1az0v8RKi
— ⚒ Jack Himself ⚒ (@jt_gambardella) September 30, 2021
Issa Diop: 6/10
Decent enough in defence, even though there were a few nervy moments. Booked in the second half for a shoddy challenge. Did not pose the same threat as Dawson in the opposition box, but did his primary duties fairly well.
Aaron Cresswell: 7/10
Not troubled defensively on the night but was not able to make overlapping runs on a constant basis. But his delivery from set-pieces was top-notch throughout as he sent in some tasty crosses into the box and should have had at least one assist to show for.
Declan Rice: 8/10
Came close to giving West Ham the lead within ten minutes but saw his header bounce off the woodwork. Tucked the ball away nicely after being played in by Michail Antonio in the 29th minute to make it 1-0. Drove forward with the ball regularly while doing what was needed when not in possession effectively. Cut above the rest on the night.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 25, 2021
Mark Noble: 6/10
Started off a bit shaky but grew into the game with time. His defensive outlook allowed Rice to make those driving pushes forward on a regular basis. Kept things ticking along nicely before being taken off.
Andriy Yarmolenko: 6/10
Not his most effective display as he struggled to get into the game on a consistent basis. However, played a key role in the opening goal with a fine pass to release Antonio who in turn set Rice up. Tracked back well when needed.
Nikola Vlasic: 6/10
Still bedding into his new environment and it showed. Got into decent positions on a number of occasions but the final ball or shot was not coming. Put in the hard yards off the ball throughout.
Said Benrahma: 7/10
Started out on the left and looked to run at the defence whenever he got on the ball, although to little effect. Improved after moving centrally when he started seeing more of the ball. Did well to score the second goal of the night late in the contest.
Saïd Benrahma’s 21/22 season so far [all comps]:
👕 8 games played
⚽️ 4 goals
🅰️ 2 assists
Another goal today. 🇩🇿 pic.twitter.com/xOf7bCHA6B
— Dan Woffenden (@danwoff98) September 30, 2021
Michail Antonio: 6.5/10
Lively as usual at the top, with his running causing problems to the Rapid Wien regularly. Did well to square the ball to Rice for the opening goal. Given an early rest considering his importance to the side.
Jarrod Bowen: 6/10
On for Antonio a little after the hour mark. Added more spark and energy at the top, but missed a great chance to score, firing over the bar after having beaten the opposition goalkeeper. Assisted the second goal.
Manuel Lanzini: 5/10
Replaced Vlasic for the final half-hour or so. Failed to make any impact.
Tomas Soucek: 6/10
Sent on in place of Noble. Made the midfield more solid to help West Ham hold their narrow lead.
Pablo Fornals: 6/10
Replaced Yarmolenko in the last fifteen minutes. Lively. Had a shot saved and created the chance for Bowen.