West Ham United were let off the hook late on as they held out for a 3-2 win over Danish outfit Silkeborg in the Europa Conference League.
West Ham continued to build upon their strong start in the UEFA Europa Conference League as they extended their unbeaten continental run with a 3-2 victory over Silkeborg at JYSK Park. The Hammers made life difficult for themselves but eventually came out on top to make it two wins from two in Group B of the Europa Conference League.
Silkeborg took a shock lead after just five minutes into the game as Kasper Kusk was found on the edge of the area and he coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner. Eight minutes later, the Hammers responded through a Manuel Lanzini penalty after Maxwel Cornet was pulled back in the box.
Gianluca Scamacca then flipped the tables around to put West Ham in front with a powerful strike from the edge of the area midway through the first half before Craig Dawson added a third late on in the first half from a corner.
David Moyes’s side had the better clear-cut chances, but it was far from a plain sailing. The hosts dominated possession, and West Ham’s defensive lapses set up a tense finale when Soren Tengstedt scored on the rebound from Tonni Adamsen’s strike to pull the game back to 3-2, but the Hammers eventually held on to retain their perfect start to the group stages. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Moyes’s men.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 15, 2022
Alphonse Areola: 5.5/10
Areola had very little to do all evening, and it would have been frustrating to have conceded just minutes into the game, even though there was nothing he could do to prevent it. The same can be said of the second when he saved the initial effort before Tengstedt slammed in on the rebound.
He survived a major scare when he ran straight into an opposition player who made no attempt to obstruct his path, and the following scrap was headed home by Nicklas Helenius. It was a real let-off from the Hammers with the game hanging precariously at 2-1, but thankfully the referee blew his whistle for a foul on the goalkeeper. But the former PSG shot-stopper made amends with an important goal-bound save to deny Tengstedt ten minutes from time.
Thilo Kehrer: 6/10
Started on the right side of the back three, Kehrer had very little defending to do for the majority of the game, and his distribution only involved simple passes to the midfielders or full-backs. He started in a sluggish manner, and Silkeborg had more success early on down his side, but he showed his composure as the game progressed, and had a solid outing.
Craig Dawson: 6.5/10
It’s always difficult to judge because it was his first game back from injury, and he looked very shaky and rusty defensively. Could have done better to block Kusk’s opening goal. However, he went on to score himself in what turned out to be the decisive winner.
Aaron Cresswell: 7/10
Cresswell took some quality set-pieces during the game, including a teasing delivery from a corner for Dawson’s bullet header, while he also gave a good account of himself on the defensive side of things.
Vladimir Coufal: 5/10
An up and down evening for the Czech Republic international, who just can’t seem to rediscover his best form. He got into some good crossing positions only to stop and check back or give the ball away cheaply. Should have closed the opponent down better when they were trying to deliver crosses from the wide areas, which caused all sorts of problems for West Ham defenders.
Manuel Lanzini: 7/10
Lanzini was influential in the game as he was really neat in possession and showed so much attacking intent with his exhilarating forward runs, but drifts in and out of the game far too often lately. He scored from the penalty spot.
Declan Rice: 7/10
"Craig, we're delighted he's with us, and the fans love him as well!"
West Ham captain Declan Rice gives his thoughts on his side's win, the artificial pitch and his favourite goal! 😏
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 15, 2022
Rice is easily West Ham’s most important player this season, and it was telling that when the captain was taken off, the panic stations began to creep up late on for West Ham as they started losing out on more midfield battles and second balls. He made three tackles, completed 95% of his passes (61/64), won all three of his ground duels, played three long balls, and never dribbled past during the game.
Emerson Palmieri: 6.5/10
The Brazilian was moved up the pitch to left wing-back in the formation change. He showed plenty of endeavor going forward and had his bright moments, particularly with darting runs at the back post, while he also came close with a shot from distance that won the corner that resulted in Dawson’s goal.
Lucas Paqueta: 6.5/10
To say Paqueta is a luxury player is one of the worst takes from the mainstream media. The Brazilian pressed the hell out of the opposition defenders and also completed two tackles. Offensively, he made a lot of brilliant runs and some slick, subtle passing to boot.
He showed one moment of class with a canny flick in the move for Emerson’s long-range attempt. While he is still far from his best, his chemistry with his teammates is improving, and it won’t be long until he starts knitting up attacking moves for Moyes’s side.
Maxwel Cornet: 8/10
Cornet was the visitors’ best player on the pitch and showed what he is all about with a sensational display. He caused a lot of problems for the Silkeborg defenders and was slaloming his way out of challenges for fun. Cornet was dragged down in the penalty area to give West Ham the chance to get back into the tie early on with a spot kick that Lanzini converted.
Maxwell Cornet in Europe:
• 4 Games
• 3 Assists
• 2 Penalties won
Player 👏🏻⚒️ pic.twitter.com/F2orW0HXtX
— West Ham Transfers (@westhamtransfer) September 15, 2022
The 25-year-old pressed efficiently and was incisive with his pass to create Scamacca’s goal to put West Ham ahead. There was no goal for the dazzling Ivory Coast international, but he was, without a doubt, the man of the match.
Gianluca Scamacca: 7/10
Despite a poor showing against FCSB, Scamacca was tasked with leading the line, and he passed the test with flying colours. He showed some excellent forward play, linking, holding the ball up, laying off, and spraying out wide. The Italian international added to his tally in the Europa Conference League to hand his side the lead midway through the first half with a fantastic finish from the edge of the area after being found by Cornet’s pass.
Said Benrahma: 5/10
Benrahma was subbed on just after the hour mark, and he led the line in place of Scamacca but failed to produce anything of real note.
Jarrod Bowen: 5/10
Bowen received his second international call-up on Thursday despite a sluggish start to the Premier League season. He replaced Paqueta for the final half an hour or so and had one notable opening but could not put power on his header. He was caught in possession in the build-up for the hosts’ second goal.
Tomas Soucek: 6/10
Soucek returned from a foot injury to replace Rice in the triple substitution, partnering Lanzini in the middle of the park. However, he had little influence on the game’s flow in the midfield as West Ham struggled without Rice’s mobility and drive on the pitch.
Pablo Fornals: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Conor Coventry: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.