By Peter Lynch

18th May, 2023 | 10:00pm

Nayef Aguerd faultless, Jarrod Bowen makes no impact - West Ham player ratings v AZ Alkmaar

West Ham secured a spot in the Europa Conference League final following their 1-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar in the semi-final second leg on Thursday (18 May).

The Hammers are now into the final after winning the tie 3-1 on aggregate after the English outfit secured a 2-1 victory in the first leg at the London Stadium last Thursday (11 May).

Here West Ham Zone rates the players out of ten for the draw that helped the Hammers secure a Europa Conference League final spot.

Alphonse Areola – 8

Handed his usual start in Europe by David Moyes, Areola stayed sharp between the sticks against a dynamic and attacking AZ Alkmaar side, with the goalkeeper making three top saves [SofaScore].

Thilo Kehrer – 7

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Filling in for the injured Vladimir Coufal, Kehrer produced a solid display at right-back against a dangerous AZ Alkmaar attacking line. The defender completed four of his five attempted long balls.

Kurt Zouma – 6

Was kept busy in central defence and managed to put in another commanding shift at the back, with the Hammers ace making three clearances.

Nayef Aguerd – 9 (Man of the Match)

A really top display from Aguerd who is seemingly getting better and better with every match he plays for West Ham. The centre-back shone on and off the ball, winning nine of his 11 duels, as well as making a match-high four clearances in a mammoth display.

Aaron Cresswell – 6

Wasn’t overly involved in the match in an attacking sense, but that was the plan from Moyes, with Cresswell remaining sturdy at the back. The defender also kept the ball well, and won four of his five ground duels.

Declan Rice – 7

Yet another accomplished and mature performance from the midfielder, who shielded his defenders expertly before setting up counter attack after counter attack. The England star kept things ticking over superbly with a 91% passing accuracy.

Tomas Soucek – 7

Constantly battled it out with the AZ midfielders as his defensive abilities shone through, with the formidable Czech international winning nine of his 12 duels.

Jarrod Bowen – 4

An uncharacteristic quiet evening from the Hammers winger, who to be fair has not exactly reached the standards that he has previously set in a West Ham shirt. The attacker struggled to get in the game and didn’t hold onto the ball well, with just a 38% passing accuracy.

Lucas Paqueta – 8

Another superb display from the silky Brazilian, who dazzled with his footwork when allowed to roam free in the final third. The attacker completed five of his nine dribbles on the night, as well as curling a fine effort onto the post in the first half.

Said Benrahma – 6

Like Bowen, Benrahma couldn’t make an impact in the final third, with the winger drowned out by AZ Alkmaar players, who were made aware of his clear ability in the first leg. He had a few shots at goal, and successfully completed his two dribble attempts.

Michail Antonio – 7

Despite once again playing the lone striker role, Antonio held the ball up expertly and brought his teammates into play on the counter, with the forward winning five of his nine ground duels.

Pablo Fornals – (on for Benrahma, 75′) – 8

Didn’t see much of the ball on his brief time on the pitch, having just six touches, but showed superb composure to break free in the dying seconds of the game to score a stunning solo goal.

Danny Ings – (on for Antonio, 84′) – N/A

Flynn Downes – (on for Paqueta, 90′) – N/A