Half Time: Hammers 2 Freiburg 0


West Ham will need to drop either Edson Alvarez or another midfielder.

The slick moving Hammers were on top from the start and could have been ahead after five minutes when Paqueta thumped a shot against the bar from a wicked Kudus cross.

Making their first appearance in England the Bundesliga team were pushed onto the back foot and although there was little action in the opening 14 minutes, Kudus was again the star as he made a clever run to beat the offside trap and score from a beautiful ball forward from Alvaraz.

The two former Ajax men know each other’s  game well and it was a perfectly executed assist to give Kudus in seventh goal in claret and blue.

Six minutes later the Hammers thought they may have doubled the scoreline but Bowen’s wry smile demonstrated what we could all see – that he was marginally offside.

The German team’s only response was a low shot which Fabianski collected comfortably before Soucek lifted a ball over the top from a Coufal throw in.

But a second goal was on the cards and this time it was Alvarez receiving a ball from Paqueta who strode forward to find the net for his firs Irons goal, firing easily past the keeper.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon