West Ham cruised to a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in their first ever Europa League group stage game, thanks to goals from Michail Antonio and Declan Rice.
After a dominant opening to the game, West Ham deservedly took the lead through Antonio in the 21st minute. The striker latched onto a calamitously bad back-pass from Kevin Theophile-Catherine, before sliding the ball into an empty net.
West Ham continued to dominate throughout the rest of the first half, and should really have gone into the break two goals to the good via Ryan Fredericks – but the full-back saw his shot well saved by Dominik Livakovic.
At the start of the second half West Ham finally got their second, courtesy of a wonderful lung-bursting run and then side-footed finish from Declan Rice.
After going two behind Zagreb finally started to show some signs of life, with Mislav Orsic dragging an effort on goal narrowly wide of the post.
Here’s how the players rated.
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 5/10 – Was he on? He didn’t need to be.
Ryan Fredericks (RB) – 7/10 – Missed a decent chance to make it 2-0, but ran the flank well all night.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – 6/10 – Didn’t have too much to do, but looked solid nonetheless.
Issa Diop (CB) – 6/10 – Decent outing for the centre-back.
Aaron Cresswell (LB) – 7/10 – A live wire down the left flank.
Declan Rice (CM) – 8/10 – Wonderful goal to kill the game off at the start of the second half.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 7/10 – Had a field day against his old club.
Manuel Lanzini (CAM) – 6/10 – Picked up clever pockets of space in front of the Dinamo Zagreb defence.
Nikola Vlasic (RW) – 6/10 – Very positive first start for the Croatian.
Michail Antonio (ST) – 9/10 – Opened the scoring in the first half, latching onto a defensive howler from Kevin Theophile-Catherine, and then was bloody brilliant after that.
Pablo Fornals (LW) – 7/10 – Looked too good to even play at Europa League level at times on Thursday. Quality player.
Said Benrahma – N/A
Jarrod Bowen – N/A
Mark Noble – N/A
Arthur Masuaku – N/A
Andriy Yarmolenko – N/A