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West Ham Win 2-0 at Larnaca in the Europa League

Moyes made seven changes from his Brighton side but still found West Ham under pressure in a tight first half against the Cypriot minnows.

Said Benrahma made the breakthrough, twisting and turning down the left to cross for Michail Antonio to head home. The striker could have completed a hat trick shortly after halftime but sent his shot wide.

1. Said Benrahma

West Ham have won nine of their first 10 Europa League games this season and, at home to Larnaca, will aim to continue the run. A victory could provide them with the impetus they need in the Premier League as they lie just two points ahead of the bottom three.

Moyes made seven changes from the Brighton loss, with Antonio coming back into the side after a hamstring injury that appeared to strain his calf in the second half. Antonio earned himself a place in history by scoring twice in one-half: nodding home Declan Rice’s cross in the 36th minute before curling in an incredible left-footed shot for an early 2-0 lead for his team.

From the moment they took the lead, The Hammers were in control. Antonio should have done better shortly after the break but his left-footed shot struck the post. Nonetheless, it was an impressive performance in what promises to be an exciting second leg next week.

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2. Declan Rice

West Ham have struggled in the Premier League, but their trip to Cyprus saw them record their best ever Europa League result with Michail Antonio scoring twice. Now nine wins from nine in Europe’s third tier, West Ham now awaits Aston Villa in the quarter-finals next week.

Antonio has been reported as refusing to sign a new contract at Chelsea, raising questions about his future. On the plus side, Chelsea are believed to be interested in signing him. Antonio has been an integral part of this season’s campaign and will likely remain an important member of the squad if Moyes stays put.

He scored an exquisite goal to put West Ham 1-0 up, before Declan Rice delivered a breathtaking second goal from a weighted pass for Antonio to fire home an absolute beauty. It was the kind of European experience that will do him plenty of good and boost his confidence ahead of their Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

3. Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio scored a first-half double to give West Ham United an impressive 2-0 victory against AEK Larnaca at the AEK Arena in Cyprus, giving them a commanding lead going into next week’s return leg. It is their ninth consecutive victory in Europe’s third tier and puts them within touching distance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Moyes fielded a strong squad, including several regulars – including Declan Rice – as the Hammers aim for another ECL quarterfinal appearance. There was also an unexpected addition in centre back pairing Kurt Zouma and Sergio Aguerd who started together for the first time this season in an international fixture.

West Ham made it difficult to start the match with a series of early corners, Rafa Lopes hitting one over the bar and Gustavo Ledes shooting wide from close range. But after half an hour had elapsed, West Ham finally broke through thanks to Said Benrahma’s floated cross that was nodded home by Antonio.

4. Marko Arnautovic

West Ham may have had a slow start to their ECL campaign, but two first-half goals from Michail Antonio gave them an easy 2-0 victory at Larnaca. With this first-leg win, West Ham now hold a commanding advantage going into next week’s second leg against Barcelona.

The Hammers have won seven of their last eight matches in Europe’s third tier and will look to make it 10 when they host Ukrainian outfit Dnipro-1 at home on Thursday night. Unfortunately, two of their most important players – Lukasz Fabianski (fractured cheekbone/eye socket) and Vladimir Coufal (heel injury) – will miss this match due to injury.

Arnautovic, who had been linked with Manchester United this summer, has decided to stay put at Bologna despite his family’s wishes to return home. The Austrian is currently leading the club’s goalscoring charts with eight goals in 16 league matches this season.

Source: اهم مباريات اليوم

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