Rapid Wien 0-2 West Ham: Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble send hammers through to knockouts as group winners
Europa League, Allianz Stadion: Rapid Wien 0, West Ham 2 (Yarmolenko 40, Noble 45+2’).
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - NOVEMBER 25: Mark Noble of West Ham United shakes hands with teammate Sonny Perkins following the UEFA Europa League group H match between Rapid Wien and West Ham United at Allianz Stadion on November 25, 2021 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo
West Ham took the lead through Andriy Yarmolenko five minutes before the break. He latched on to an impressive Nikola Vlasic cross to head the Hammers in front.
David Moyes’ side deservedly doubled their lead at the end of the first period. Yarmolenko was involved once again as he drew a foul from Maximilian Hofmann to win a penalty, which was dispatched by Mark Noble.
West Ham were clearly not settling for 2-0 and came out of the blocks just as fast in the second half. They had a number of golden chances to extend their lead early on, Bowen had two efforts saved and one cleared off the line, summing up a frustrating evening for the 24-year-old.
Raid Wien hardly troubled the visitor’s in the second half, whose win confirms their status as winners of Group H.
This could have gone to a number of West Ham players who delivered a professional performance of getting the job of winning Group H done with a game to spare. Arthur Masuaku, Vladimir Coufal and Craig Dawson were all faultless, but the man the made the difference was Andriy Yarmolenko.
The Ukrainian posed a constant threat for West Ham down the right flank, linking up well with right-back Coufal. He didn’t have his most impressive opening half-an-hour, but his continuous determination paid off when he climbed highest to head a pin-point Vladic cross beyond the keeper, putting the Hammers ahead.
TALKING POINT - WEST HAM INTO ROUND OF 16
The Hammers’ win in Vienna confirms their spot at Group H winners, booking their place in the round of 16 and vitally skipping a play-off game where some dangerous knocked out Champions League sides will be lurking.
West Ham are undefeated in Europe this season, and winning the group with a game to spare against Dinamo Zagreb will allow David Moyes to experiment and hand out European minutes to those less experienced players, like Sonny Perkins, which could prove to be vital in the latter stages of the competition.
Rapid Wien's Slovenian midfielder Dejan Petrovic (L) and West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek vie for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group H football match Rapid Vienna v West Ham in Vienna on November 25, 2021.
6’ CHANCE! Great chance for Bowen, Arthur Masuaka plays an inviting ball into the box but Bowen couldn't quite connect with the ball which trickles wide.
21’ Good effort from Fountas! Left-back Martin Moormann gets high up the pitch and cuts a ball back for the Wien striker, whose shot is a dangerous one but just over the bar. Warning for the Hammers!
22’ Yarmolenko fires over! West Ham utilise both flanks in this move as well as they have all game so far, but when the ball was cut back for Yarmolenko to strike, it was always travelling over the crossbar.
27’ Chance Wien! Kelvin Arase breaks away down the left and cuts inside on his right foot in the penalty box, but his effort is straight at Areloa who is untroubled.
39’ GOAL! Rapid Wien 0-1 West Ham (Yarmolenko) - West Ham lead, Yarmolenko on target! Vlasic played in a fantastic ball from the left-hand side which Yarmolenko rose highest to latch on to and head West Ham into the lead.
West Ham United's Ukrainian striker Andriy Yarmolenko (C) heads the ball past Rapid Wien's Austrian goalkeeper Paul Gartler (L) and Rapid Wien's Austrian defender Martin Moormann to score the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group H football mat
Image credit: Getty Images
45’ PENALTY WEST HAM! Yarmolenko is fouled and West Ham have an opportunity to double their lead before half-time!
45’+1’ GOAL! Rapid Wien 0-2 West Ham (Noble) - Noble steps up... and plants it in the top right-hand corner. 2-0 West Ham!
56’ GREAT CHANCE! Bowen has two brilliant chances to extend West Ham's lead. He was slipped through down the right side of the area for the first, but his effort was palmed away. The visitor's kept possession, Bowen received it once again on the left and cleverly weaved his way in between two players before getting another shot away, which was saved.
60’ CHANCE! Another two chances squandered by the Hammers! First Soucek had his one-on-one effort saved before the rebound found Bowen, whose shot was blocked on the line! West Ham should be cruising.
73’ CHANCE! Rapid Wien come close to pulling one back! Arase drives down the right flank and plays a ball in towards Fountas, whose strike it off target.
78’ Almost an instant impact from Perkins! Coufal whips in a cross that finds the youngster completely free in the Wien box, but his header was tipped over the bar. It was a good effort considering the cross was an inch behind him.
Sonny Perkins is the second-youngest player at 17 years and 288 days to make an appearance for West Ham in a major European competition after Bobby Barnes (17y & 275d) against Real Madrid Castilla in the Cup Winners' Cup back in September 1980. (Source: Opta)