Antonio at the double for happy Hammers

Brian Jeeves

AEK Larnaca v West Ham United – UEFA Europa Conference League, Round of Sixteen first leg – AEK Arena – Georgios Karapatakis, Larnaca, Cyprus – Report

AEK Larnaca 0-2 West Ham United

Michail Antonio’s impressive first-half double ensured West Ham United a comfortable first-leg advantage over Cypriot title contenders, AEK Larnaca as they looked to secure a place in the last eight of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Antonio headed the East Londoners in front midway through the opening period, following a pin-point centre from Said Benrahma.

And it was two-nil in first-half stoppage time. Antonio exquisitely curled the ball around AEK defender, Tomovic and keeper Piric, from fully twenty-five yards. The ball – postage stamp – hit the top corner of the Cypriots’ net.

The Hammers’ number nine was a whisker away from a perfect hat trick when his left-footed effort struck the foot of an upright. 

West Ham United returns to Premier League action on Sunday, March 12 when Aston Villa visits the London Stadium (2pm).

AEK Larnaca: Pirić, Casas (Faraj 58′), Miličević, Tomović, Englezou (Capt), Mamas (Altman 58′), Ledes, Sanjurjo, Rosales (Christoforou 87′), Jakoliš (Tričkovski 77′), Lopes (Nikolić 58′) Subs not used: Toumpas (GK), Stylianidis (GK), Gonzalez, Naoum, H. Andreou

West Ham United: Areola, Kehrer, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell, Rice (Capt) (Souček 60′), Lanzini (Paquetá 77′), Downes, Fornals (Cornet 82′), Benrahma (Bowen 60′), Antonio (Scamacca 60′) Subs not used: Hegyi (GK), Anang (GK), Johnson, Emerson, Ogbonna, Ings

Referee: Espen Eskås (Nor)

Assistants: Jan Erik Engan and Isaak Elias Bashevkin (both Nor)

Fourth Official: Kristoffer Hagenes (Nor)

Video Assistant Referee: Rob Dieperink (Ned)

Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Jeroen Manschot (Ned)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk