West Ham secured a place in the quarter finals of European competition for the 2nd successive season with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over AEK Larnaca at London Stadium.
The result took the aggregate scoreline to 6-0, demonstrating a showing of dominance and class by our Hammers over the Cypriot club, which sees David Moyes’ side in the semi-final draw later today.
There was a sense from the off last night that if West Ham were able to get the first goal of the 2nd leg, then the tie would all-but be put to bed – and just 20 minutes in that goal landed.
Gianluca Scamacca, on a rare start under Moyes, fired in from the edge of the area, much to the delight of all to see the Italian get back amongst the goals in the hope it will boost his confidence.
Credit to the visitors though, who at this point were 3-0 down overall and facing elimination, didn’t throw in the towel as they pushed to get themselves back in the game.
West Ham however showed superiority, playing some excellent football, with Manuel Lanzini and Lucas Paqueta in particular producing eye-catching moments.
The second half saw our Hammers put the match and tie to bed in swift fashion, with Jarrod Bowen notching 2 goals in the space of a minute – with his second being a beautifully weighted header from an Aaron Cresswell delivery.
Then it was a special moment for Divin Mubama, who at just 18 years old, scored his first senior goal for the club to cap off a memorable night and have West Ham dreaming of European glory as the 100% record in the competition was maintained in style.
Speaking after the match, our man-in-the-know ExWHUEmployee was delighted to see our Hammers progress and hopes that the result can act as a catalyst for our huge game against Southampton, although Ex did question the decision to take Scamacca off when he did.
“Whilst the quality of opposition was poor you still have to do a professional job and we did that,” said the ITK after the game. “At no point were we under any threat and it will be a good confidence booster for some of our players today.
“I thought Lanzini had a very good controlling game in midfield and it was great for Scamacca to get some minutes in – but I was surprised Moyes didn’t give him more to get another goal and build the confidence further.”