West Ham United player ratings v AEK Larnaca in Europa Conference League
West Ham United travelled to Cyprus on March 9 to take on AEK Larnaca in the Europa Conference League as they looked for some light relief from the Premier League.
David Moyes made seven changes to his side on the night, with the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta left on the bench, something which didn’t make too much difference.
Thankfully, Michail Antonio finally exploded back to his old self after issues this season with two sensational goals, which saw the Irons finally cruise to victory on the road.
West Ham Zone rated the players out of 10 below…
Alphonse Areola – 6
It was a nothing night for the Frenchman, who was very quiet with little to do. There was one moment where he was nearly left red-faced when not realising you can pick up passes from the knee, needing to be told by Aaron Cresswell to do just that.
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Aaron Cresswell – 7
Very energetic down the left-hand side with his work going forward as effective as always. Another aspect that may have gone under the radar was his pressing, even chasing the ball down all the way to the opposing keeper in the second-half – professional as ever.
Kurt Zouma – 8
Solid from the big defender, who was colossal in the opening 30 minutes where the Hammers started very slow, heading away numerous dangerous crosses into the box.
Nayef Aguerd – 6
The Moroccan had very little to do with Zouma alongside him seeming to be a magnet to a ball when commanding the area. Getting these consistent minutes under his belt after the injury worries is always positive and long may that continue for the silky defender.
Thilo Kehrer – 5
This right-back role doesn’t exactly scream somewhere that the German is comfortable, with his attacking play leaving much to be desired, even against a Cypriot side – something may need to change there.
Declan Rice – 7
Beaten numerous times by the bouncing ball in a strange performance where he was turned easily at certain points too. Just like every good player though, his bursts of skill were too much to handle, as he created the second goal for Antonio to smash home – he is simply irreplaceable.
Flynn Downes – 6
A quiet but effective night’s work for the former Swansea man, who didn’t grab any of the headlines. Soon enough with more football, he will need to add those bursts of speed both in defence and going forward, with the perfect example in Rice alongside him.
Pablo Fornals – 6
Despite little success in many of his actions, the Spaniard was everywhere it seemed. Fornals was very busy, with his defensive work and ability to get on the ball always handy for Moyes during his struggles.
Manuel Lanzini – 4
Despite all of his experience, this game seemed to swallow up Manu. Attacks appeared to go around him, not through him and those in similar areas simply took the spotlight away from him. In what has been a frustrating season, performances like this will only see that continue.
Said Benrahma – 8
Magical. The Algerian maestro is just mesmerising to watch with the ball at his feet, although there could still be more end product added to take him to that next level. He has done it at Brentford before, so more goals and assists are needed moving forward.
Michail Antonio – 9
Despite smashing in two wonderful goals, knowing Antonio and his attitude, he will be disappointed not to have left with more having hit the post too when going clear on goal. If this is the start of the old Mikey returning, that would be huge for our Premier League form, with his power clear to see again.
West Ham United Subs: Gianluca Scamacca – 4, Jarrod Bowen – 6, Tomas Soucek – 5, Lucas Paqueta & Maxwel Cornet – N/A