Harrison Ashby and Emmanuel Longelo impressed as West Ham slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League.
West Ham United secured their place at the top of Group H in the UEFA Europa League despite a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday. The Hammers have finished the group stage campaign with 13 points and a direct berth to the knockout stages.
It was not the most clinical performances from David Moyes’ men, which was not a surprise at all as the former Manchester United boss had opted to start with a second string squad, resting a host of his key players. It allowed Dinamo Zagreb to apply the attacking pressure for the most part of the game. They looked very comfortable controlling the game, especially in the first half.
In fact, the Croats found the lead in the third minute of the game, thanks to a sublime strike from Mislav Orsic. West Ham, in response, lacked the creativity going forward and were nowhere near as dominant as the opponent.
The Hammers looked a bit more optimistic in the second half, trying hard to work the opposition goalkeeper. But in the end, it wasn’t enough to make a difference as Dinamo Zagreb came out as 1-0 victors and remain in the competition.
They are now set to face the third-placed teams from Champions League group stages in the playoff rounds in February. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rank the West Ham players in their disappointing defeat to Dinamo Zagreb this midweek.
Alphonse Areola: 6.5/10
Alphonse Areola was completely undone by Orsic’s sensational early strike, as he was deceived by the curve of the ball. The former PSG shot-stopper made amends by making a few good stops later in the game, but he was not worked too often despite the pressure from Dinamo Zagreb.
Harrison Ashby: 7.5/10
Harrison Ashby was among the most impressive youngsters for West Ham in this game. Operating as a right-back, the young Scot looked bright with his forays down the flanks, with one of his attempted crosses even taking Dominik Livakovic by surprise. He certainly deserves more opportunities going forward.
Harrison Ashby made more tackles (5) and more clearances (5) than any other West Ham player against Dinamo Zagreb.
While no player won more duels (7). 💪 pic.twitter.com/xJ16h0CmBY
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 9, 2021
Jamal Baptiste: 6.5/10
Jamal Baptiste was not among the best performers for West Ham in this fixture. But he did put a decent shift in defence, especially after Orsic’s opener. His tackles and work ethic made it a bit more difficult for Dinamo to test Areola in between the sticks.
Ajibola Joshua Alese: 6/10
It was not the best of performances from Aji Alese. He looked determined to help West Ham keep the clean sheet, but was undone by Orsic’s effort. More importantly, he wasn’t good enough in ground duels, losing all of his four contests. The youngster certainly needs to improve if he wants to make his professional breakthrough at West Ham anytime soon.
Emmanuel Longelo: 7.5/10
Emmanuel Longelo was one of the standout performers for West Ham on the night. The young fullback was quite busy on the left hand channel as he made some dangerous runs going forward and helped out his teammates in the final third. Longelo also looked very solid defensively, almost shutting out Stefan Ristovski.
Alex Kral: 6.5/10
Alex Kral was given the responsibility of screening the young West Ham defence. He didn’t disappoint either, putting in a responsible display in the middle of the park and covering a lot of ground.
Mark Noble: 5/10
Mark Noble was tasked with the job of providing the more creative spark in the side as well as stability in possession. But the veteran struggled to impose his presence in midfield and simply didn’t do enough to help West Ham dominate the proceedings.
Andriy Yarmolenko: 4/10
It was another underwhelming attacking display from Andriy Yarmolenko. The winger provided little to no creativity going forward, and his one-dimensional style of play made him a predictable presence on the flanks. He didn’t track back too often either, often leaving West Ham vulnerable on the far side.
17 year old Sonny Perkins shouting at 32 year old Andriy Yarmolenko to run and put in a shift off the ball. Says it all really.
— COYIrons (@COYIronscom) December 9, 2021
Pablo Fornals: 6/10
Pablo Fornals tried his best to make an impact in the final third. But he was unable to offer that spark going forward and was taken off at half-time by David Moyes.
Nikola Vlasic: 6.5/10
Playing against his former team, Nikola Vlasic showed glimpses of his talents on several occasions. But it wasn’t enough to help his team to get over the line or to create constant pressure on the Dinamo defenders.
Sonny Perkins: 6.5/10
Sonny Perkins looked bright, at times, with his back to goal and ability to play quick link-up in the final third. He wasn’t fortunate enough to be awarded any real goalscoring opportunity, but the forward put in a decent shift in the number nine slot.
Sonny Perkins was just 196 days old when Mark Noble made his West Ham United debut…
— West Ham United (@WestHam) December 9, 2021
Said Benrahma: 6.5/10
Said Benrahma replaced Fornals at the start of the second half. He certainly looked more dynamic than his teammates, but his performance was not enough to make a difference.
Keenan Appiah-Forson: N/A
A late replacement for Perkins. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Freddie Potts: N/A
A late replacement for Yarmolenko. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.