Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble made the difference as West Ham United beat Rapid Wien 2-0 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

In what turned out to be a drab affair, for the most part, West Ham United dominated the proceedings with ease. However, clear-cut chances came few and far between, especially for Rapid Wien, who only forced regulation saves from Alphonse Areola.

West Ham did not create a raft of chances either but grabbed a deserved lead in the 39th minute when Andriy Yarmolenko was at hand to nod in a lobbed ball by Nikola Vlasic. Yarmolenko was involved again moments ahead of half-time, as he was bundled down by Rapid Wien captain Maximilian Hofmann inside the box.

Mark Noble stepped up to take the resulting penalty and made no error in converting from the spot, making it 2-0 heading into the break. West Ham remained in control but did not carve out too many openings after the interval, although Jarrod Bowen and debutant Sonny Perkins did come close with their efforts.

Nevertheless, it was a comfortable evening for West Ham, who clinched top spot in Group H of the UEFA Europa League with a game to spare. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over David Moyes’s men.

Alphonse Areola: 6/10

Making his customary start in goal in a UEFA Europa League game, Areola enjoyed a quiet evening, with Rapid Wien only forcing three straightforward saves out of him. Nonetheless, he will be glad to have kept another clean sheet in the process.

Vladimir Coufal: 6/10

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It was a game of hits and misses for Coufal, who posed a fair bit of threat during his forays down the right flank but was also wasteful in possession at times, losing the ball on 20 occasions. The Czech full-back was not worked too much in the defensive phases and did his bit to help keep the clean sheet.

Craig Dawson: 6/10

Issa Diop was the busier of the two West Ham defenders, but Dawson was also solid when called into action. The 31-year-old was also proficient on the ball, losing possession only five times, and was professional on the whole.

Issa Diop: 7/10

Diop was a solid customer at the heart of the West Ham defence, making numerous clearances while being imperious in the air. In addition, he misplaced just one pass all game, facilitating efficient build-up from the back.

Arthur Masuaku: 7/10

It was a strong performance by Masuaku, who put in the hard yards at both the ends of the pitch. The 28-year-old won nine duels, completed a couple of key passes and also made three interceptions. This was the kind of display he needed to regain some of his lost confidence.

Mark Noble: 8/10

Noble was the man who majorly helped assert control on the proceedings for West Ham, as he completed 91 per cent of his attempted passes while also opening up play with pinpoint long passes. The West Ham captain was at hand to convert a penalty on the stroke of half-time, which essentially sealed the win over Rapid Wien.

Tomas Soucek: 6/10

It was a largely uneventful evening for Soucek, who helped keep a tight lid on Rapid Wien in the game while linking up with those in front of him in a safe manner. The Czech midfielder did not need to go over the top with his performance either, with West Ham cruising through the proceedings.

Andriy Yarmolenko: 8/10

In fairness, Yarmolenko deserved a much lower rating, as he was one of the poorer performers in the game for West Ham. However, the Ukrainian forward gets the joint-highest rating because he was so critical in earning his side all three points, having ghosted in to head in the opener before winning the penalty that Noble converted. Otherwise, he was utterly wasteful and sloppy.

Manuel Lanzini: 7/10

It was a solid performance by Lanzini, who took his opportunity well and pulled the strings smartly from the central areas. The Argentine also played two key passes while retaining a pass completion rate of 90 per cent in the process. Job well done.

Nikola Vlasic: 7/10

Vlasic was stationed on the left side of the West Ham attack instead of his favoured no. 10 role in the game. However, he still managed to be a creative spark, playing a couple of key passes while laying on the assist for Yarmolenko. He would have also celebrated a goal had Said Benrahma seen him in clear space instead of shooting.

Jarrod Bowen: 6/10

It was a frustrating evening for Bowen, who did fairly well in deputising for Michail Antonio as the centre-forward. The Englishman came close to scoring on a couple of occasions and was denied off the line brilliantly by Filip Stojkovic. On another day, he could have celebrated a brace at the very least.


Pablo Fornals: 6/10

With West Ham comfortably ahead, Fornals tried to keep things simple in his cameo and helped the visitors see the game out without much of a fuss.

Said Benrahma: 6/10

A bright spark, Benrahma helped liven up the final quarter of the game. However, he inexplicably backed himself to shoot when he could have squared the ball to Vlasic for an easy goal. Still, it was a solid cameo by the Algerian playmaker.

Alex Kral: 7/10

A bundle of energy upon his introduction, Kral showed some imagination on the ball while still retaining a healthy passing rate of 88 per cent. He also put in the hard yards defensively, winning two ground duels while completing an interception.

Ryan Fredericks: N/A

On for Masuaku, Fredericks helped see the game out.

Sonny Perkins: N/A

Making his senior debut for West Ham, Perkins nearly scored his maiden goal only to be denied by a superb save by Paul Gartler.

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