Lens 0 Irons 0
By Hughie Southon
West Ham struggled rather than battled their way to a goal-less draw rarely looking like a team ready to take on manchester City in the opening game Of the season.
It wasn’t until the last 16 minutes that the Irons looked anything like an attacking force and Jarrod Bowen was unlucky to hit the underside of the cross bar from a great piece of invention by Conor Coventry who appeared as a second half sub..
But by and large – although Lanzini made a difference when arriving in the second half – we looked lethargic in attitude and ability for a game in which the French always looked the most likely to score.
We were without new signing Gianluca Scamacca who remained at Rush Green to work on his fitness while Mikey, Aaroon Cresswell are carrying minor knocks and Issa Diop is ill.
Angelo Ogbonna meanwhile is continuing his comeback from injury by playing for the under 21s at Dagenham and Redbridge.
Beyond a Benrahma shot comfortably held by keeper Samba and a Fornals free kick which came close to producing an own goal; there was little to excite Hammers fans in the first half.
The players went off at the interval looking unhappy with themselves for a 45 minutes which could have seen us well behind but for those two fine saves and some poor finishing from Lens.
The Irons were again very much second best in a first half of few chances -the best of which drew two fine saves from Lukasz Fabianski early on
The French outfit looked sharp in comparison to the laboured Hammers whose pre-season continued to leave much to be desired.
Zouma had a poor afternoon – twice presenting chances to forward midfielders and predictanly Rice and Bowen were the best looking of the Hammers.
IRONS: Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Dawson, Johnson, Rice (c), Soucek, Benrahma, Fornals, Masuaku, Bowen
Subs: Areola Coventry, Lanzini, Vlasic,