Hammers in pole position for Europa push

Brian Jeeves
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West Ham United v KRC Genk – UEFA Europa League Group H – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 3-0 KRC Genk

Impressive West Ham United are in pole position to qualify for the next stage of the UEFA Europa League after easing to a 3-0 victory over KRC Genk at the London Stadium.

David Moyes made six changes to the side that started Sunday’s Premier League victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

Having already seen off Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna, David Moyes was understandably buoyant ahead of the Belgians visit: “We’re really enjoying the European nights,” he enthused.

“We’re a really happy Club at the moment. Everyone’s enjoying the league games, Europe and the Carabao Cup, so I have to say I’m really enjoying the European experience.”

Theo Bongonda’s early efforts to spoil the party were dampened by an assistants’ flag. The Genk winger nodding in from close range after orchestrator, Junya Ito had darted from an off-side position. The home side survived another scare moments later – Alphonse Areola racing from his goal to deny the busy Bongonda another opportunity.

Tentatively, West Ham responded. Tomas Soucek – battered and bruised from that Goodison encounter – saw his goalbound header clawed away by Genk stopper, Maarten Vandevoordt, this after Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice had fashioned an opening. Meanwhile, Bowen and Aaron Cresswell fluffed their lines following a free-flowing move down the right, involving Andriy Yarmolenko, Rice and Soucek.

The home side were building a little more momentum. Craig Dawson’s headed over from another troublesome Bowen flag-kick. However, Areola was almost left red-faced after being caught in noman’s land as Paul Onuachu’s looping header drifted just the wrong side of an upright.

Vandevoordt stuck out a glove top deny Bowen after Cresswell had centred. But in first-half stoppage-time, West Ham snatched the lead. Dawson rose the highest to meet Cresswell’s corner – Bryan Heynen and Vandevoordt unable to divert from underneath the bar.

Yarmolenko blazed over shortly after the restart. But with their next meaningful foray forward, Cresswell provided another delicious dead-ball delivery – Issa Diop powerfully heading the Hammers second of the evening.

And it was swiftly three – Bowen is a popular figure with the West Ham supporters. The former Hull City man drove forward after receiving the ball from Manuel Lanzini, then thumped through the beleaguered Vandevoordt to all but kill the contest.

Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice celebrate West Ham’s third goal against KRC Genk at the London Stadium (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Genk substitute. Ike Ugbo headed wide from close range, under pressure from Dawson. But West Ham was out of sight and on another planet, without having exhorted themselves beyond second gear.

West Ham United return to Premier League action on Sunday, October 24 when Tottenham Hotspur visit the London Stadium (2pm).

West Ham United: Alphonse Areola, Aaron Cresswell (Ryan Fredericks 67), Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini (Daniel Chesters 89′), Nikola Vlasic (Pablo Fornals 82′), Craig Dawson, Jarrod Bowen (Said Benrahma 82′), Issa Diop, Tomas Soucek, Ben Johnson, Declan Rice (Capt) (Mark Noble 67’) Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski (GK), Darren Randolph (GK), Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku, Harrison Ashby,

Booked: None
Goals: Craig Dawson 45+1’, Issa Diop 57’, Jarrod Bowen 58’

KRC Genk: Maarten Vandevoordt, Gerado Arteaga, Junya Ito (Luca Oyen 82′) , Bryan Heynen, Theo Bongonda (Mike Tresor 73’), Patrik Hrosovsky, Paul Onuachu (Ike Ugbo 73’), Jhon Lucumi, Kristian Thorstvedt (Bastien Toma 82′), Carlos Cuesta (Mujaid Sadick 46’), Angelo Preciado Subs not used: Vic Chambers (GK), Tobe Leysen (GK), Mark McKenzie, Jay-Dee Geusens, Carel Eiting, Joseph Paintsil, Andras Nemeth

Booked: None
Goals: None

Referee: Donatas Rumsas
Assistants: Aleksandr Radius and Dovydas Sužiedėlis
Fourth Official: Robertas Valikonis
Video Assistant Referee: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea
Assistants Video Referee: Massimiliano Irrati
UEFA Delegate: Ciprian Paraschiv


Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk