West Ham 2-0 Rapid Vienna: Declan Rice and Said Benrahma on target in second straight Europa League win

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Declan Rice scored for the second successive Europa League match as West Ham defeated Rapid Vienna on Thursday night.

Rice’s first-half tap-in looked likely to be the only goal of an attritional contest - the Hammers’ first European group stage tie at the London Stadium - until Said Benrahma also struck in the final minute of stoppage time as David Moyes’ side followed up their opening win over Dinamo Zagreb to take control of Group H.

West Ham - who made seven changes from the Premier League win over Leeds, with only Rice, Benrahma, Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio keeping their places - could have been ahead inside six minutes, but Rice’s strong header from a Cresswell free-kick smashed against the post and Issa Diop scrambled the rebound wide.

Cresswell’s set-piece deliveries were causing Rapid Vienna all sorts of issues and Craig Dawson was the next to head against the woodwork following a corner.

But West Ham got the goal their efforts deserved shortly before the half-hour mark, when an excellent move saw Andriy Yarmolenko lob a pass out to Michail Antonio, who took a touch on his chest before unselfishly squaring the ball for Rice to tap home from inside the six-yard box.

It was a second goal in as many European ties for the England midfielder following his effort in Zagreb a fortnight ago.

There had already been objects thrown between both sets of supporters as tempers flared and there were ugly scenes after that Rice goal as a number of away fans rushed over the front of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand and appeared to try and get into the home end.

The key moment of a mostly sleepy second half in east London came when Rapid Vienna substitute and top scorer Marco Grull fell under pressure from Ben Johnson after a neat one-two just inside the West Ham box.

German referee Tobias Stieler immediately pointed to the penalty spot, but there was no contact and the award was rightly overturned following a VAR check and the referee being told to consult the pitchside monitor.

Jarrod Bowen was one of four substitutes introduced by Moyes in a bid to kill the game and he should have made it 2-0 with less than 10 minutes to go after being played in by a fabulous ball from fellow replacement Pablo Fornals, but he was checked by ex-Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer and ended up blasting high and wide on his weaker foot.

Rapid Vienna goalkeeper Paul Gartler also denied the lively Fornals, but West Ham did eventually wrap up victory in the final minute of five added on, with Benrahma providing a lovely curled finish into the bottom corner.

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