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The subs win it for Hammers

The introduction of Lucas Paqueta and Gianluca Scamacca inspired West Ham to grind out a gritty 1-0 win over Anderlecht in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

The Hammers came up against stubborn resistance in Belgium as Anderlecht attempted to keep their unbeaten Conference League run going – they had previously beaten Silkeborg 1-0 and drawn 0-0 with FCSB.

Their defence has been miserly throughout the competition but they were undone by a piece of Brazilian magic, as Paqueta fed the ball through to Scamacca, and he swivelled to score into the bottom corner.

That goal came after 76 minutes of hard running, and occasionally frustrating possession.

Anderlecht made chances in the first half, as both Fabio Silva and Yari Verschaeren saw efforts blocked by the Hammers defence.

Mikey Antonio had a blaze at goal from range but he was quiet throughout prior to his substitution, which saw Scamacca introduced.

It was Said Benrahma who had the biggest first half chance, as Jarrod Bowen, so energetic down the right, wriggled away and squared for the Algerian. With the goal at his mercy, he somehow managed to blaze a shot over the bar.

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It was a desperate miss and rather summed the game up, as it devolved into a battle of attrition thereafter.

Flynn Downes was mightily impressive in midfield, but it was Paqueta who set Scamacca up for his goal.

On 83 minutes, Alphonse Areola produced a genuinely world-class save to deny Silva, who had headed at goal from just six yards out.

The Frenchman reached out his hand and somehow managed to deny the Portugal international.

Nine points from nine for the Hammers.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.

One comment on “The subs win it for Hammers

  1. That save itself should give Areola the chance as nr 1 goalkeeper. Downes impressed today, thought Lanzini had a good game as well. Paqueta having fun out there and an assist on the way, imagine what this guy is capable off! Our biggest weakness today was out left side (Johnson and Coufal), and you could see Fabio trying to take advantage of that in the 2nd half. A good and deserved win, our shape looking loads better in the last couple games.

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