West Ham 2-0 Rapid Vienna: Declan Rice and Said Benrahma secure Hammers’ Europa League win


Anyone who dismisses Declan Rice’s goal as a ‘tap-in’ is overlooking the run he made, from deep midfield and into the box, to get on the end of Michail Antonio’s assist.

The last West Ham player to score at home in the main draw of a European competition was Frank Lampard. In September 1999, against Croatian side Osijek in the UEFA Cup.

This was Lampardian itself, the type of run that players who want to rack up numbers for club and country make. The 22-year-old England international scored for the second successive Europa League game and afterwards spoke of his desire to do this, each and every week. 

West Ham ran out comfortable 1-0 winners against Rapid Vienna in their Europa League match

West Ham ran out comfortable 1-0 winners against Rapid Vienna in their Europa League match

Declan Rice (No 41) swept the ball home from a Michail Antonio cross to put West Ham 1-0 up

The England midfielder scored his second Europa League goal for West Ham in as many games

Said Benrahma then put the tie to bed with a second goal deep into second half stoppage time

Said Benrahma then put the tie to bed with a second goal deep into second half stoppage time

It’s pretty easy, this European lark. At least that’s the way West Ham are making it seem in Group H. It’s two wins from two and they have only allowed their opponents a single shot on target across 180 minutes – a speculative 30-yard effort at the London Stadium last night.

‘It’s becoming a nice feeling,’ said Rice, who also scored against Dinamo Zagreb. ‘I wish it could be every week. I said (to Mark Noble) that I was going to try and bomb on a bit tonight. I said to him I would score. If you don’t make the runs you won’t get a chance.’

The Rapid Vienna ‘ultras’ tried to ruin the fun, with some storming towards the home end after Rice’s opener. At full time, they continued to cause problems, with riot police required. A few West Ham fans didn’t help as they stayed behind to antagonise their rivals. 

A massive night at the packed London Stadium saw West Ham host their first European home game for 15 years

A massive night at the packed London Stadium saw West Ham host their first European home game for 15 years

West Ham nearly took an early lead but Declan Rice’s header agonisingly bounced off the post

The Hammers hit the woodwork once again as Craig Dawson's header also rattled the post

The Hammers hit the woodwork once again as Craig Dawson’s header also rattled the post

MATCH FACTS

WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell, Rice, Noble (Soucek 62), Yarmolenko (Fornals 76), Benrahma, Vlasic (Lanzini 62), Antonio (Bowen 63); 

Subs not used: Fabianski, Zouma, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Kral, Randolph, Alese, Baptiste

Scorers: Rice (29), Benrahma (90+4)

Booked: Diop

RAPID VIENNA (4-2-3-1): Gartler, Ullmann (Auer 74), Wimmer, Greiml (Kitagawa 62), Aiwu, Petrovic (Ljubicic 81), Grahovac, Arase, Knasmuellner, Fountas (Stojkovic 62), Kara (Gruell 62)

Subs not used: Ballo, Schick, Hofmann, Unger, Hedl

Scorers: NONE 

Booked: Grahovac, Greiml 

West Ham are top of their group after successive victories

West Ham are top of their group after successive victories

Ultimately these sorry individuals weren’t successful in spoiling West Ham’s party as Said Benrahma confirmed the win in stoppage time. Manager David Moyes said: ‘We want to be a club in Europe, here regular, and because of that we want to behave correctly. We want to be invited into these competitions, as a club who can travel into Europe and everybody welcomes us. I was aware of some things being thrown.’

Word among the Austrian journalists before kick off last night was this would, most likely, end in embarrassment for the team they were here to cover. Nine games into the start of the Austrian Bundesliga season, Vienna are joint-bottom after losses to clubs who won’t register much recognition in England, like Admira Wacker Modling and Rheindorf Altach.

Because of a relegation six-pointer this Sunday against Swarovski Tirol – the other team bottom of the Austrian table – Vienna even dropped their best player, Marco Grull, to the bench.

Still, their supporters were here in their numbers, loud and proud and topless and tipsy. Some of them seemingly more interested in winding up the home fans than the match itself, mind.

Those who were watching the game saw West Ham start on top. They were inches from opening the scoring inside seven minutes when Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick was headed on to the post by Rice. A corner from Cresswell then saw the woodwork deny West Ham again, after a determined run by Craig Dawson.

Yet West Ham would have the lead before the half-hour mark. It started with Antonio chesting down the ball brilliantly after a pass by Andriy Yarmolenko. He then squared it to Rice.

The midfielder ran to the corner for a knee slide. Some Vienna supporters took this as an opportunity to spill out of their pen and charge towards the home contingent, hungry for violence. 

A feisty atmosphere saw West Ham and Rapid Vienna fans clash after Rice scored the opener

A feisty atmosphere saw West Ham and Rapid Vienna fans clash after Rice scored the opener 

Mark Noble (left) captained the West Ham team on his 550th appearance for the club

Mark Noble (left) captained the West Ham team on his 550th appearance for the club

West Ham saw a penalty given against Ben Johnson (right) overturned after a VAR review

West Ham saw a penalty given against Ben Johnson (right) overturned after a VAR review

One even picked up a photographer’s steel chair and tried to use it as a weapon. Thankfully, he was tackled by quick-thinking stewards before any damage was done.

At half time, Sir Geoff Hurst spoke to the crowd. A statue of West Ham’s favourite sons who won the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup had been erected outside of the London Stadium, showing Hurst and Martin Peters holding up Bobby Moore on their shoulders. West Ham’s players would not have to venture far, therefore, to see what being victorious in Europe can do for you. Win and you can become a club legend.

There was almost a plot-twist in the 70th minute when Ben Johnson challenged Grull for the ball. Referee Tobias Stieler pointed to the penalty spot but several angles seemed to show the Vienna attacker tripping himself up.Stieler visited his pitch-side monitor and reversed his original decision. No spot-kick. Still 1-0.

The hosts had not created much in the second half, in truth. Moyes made several changes to try to regain some sense of authority against a side struggling so significantly in Austria.

In stoppage time, the win was sealed. Benrahma cut inside on to his right foot and found the corner, capping another enjoyable European night for West Ham.