West Ham player ratings vs Genk: Said Benrahma superb, Michail Antonio quiet, Tomas Soucek clanger

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·4-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tomas Soucek’s late own goal meant West Ham will have to wait to book their place in the knockout stages after Said Benrahma’s superb double had looked to have sealed their progression.

David Moyes, marking his 1000th game in management, had to fire his side up after a sloppy start but two fine Benrahma goals had them on the brink of the knockout phase when Soucek turned the ball into his own net.

The Hammers were off it from the start and fell behind inside five minutes when Issa Diop lost Joseph Paintsil, who latched onto a wonderful ball from Junya Ito and fired at goal. Alphonse Areola got a hand to his effort but tipped it onto the inside of the post and in.

David Moyes’ side were sloppy in midfield and lucky not to fall further behind before rallying late in the first half. Said Benrahma and Declan Rice were both denied by last ditch defending to keep the hosts ahead at the break.

Moyes didn’t wait long to change things after the interval with Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen all introduced before the hour mark. A minute after their introduction the Hammers were level, though it was those who were on from the start who found the leveller.

Benrahma started the move, receiving the ball from Declan Rice in the centre circle and playing a cute ball to Manuel Lanzini before charging forward. Lanzini fed Vladimir Coufal, whose first time cross found Benrahma once more with the Algerian firing low and hard under goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt.

Benrahma continued to probe for a winner and found it in spectacular style inside the final 10 minutes. The Algerian lifted the ball around Mujahid Sadick before racing around the other side of the defender, charged towards goal and finished between the goalkeeper’s legs.

West Ham fans were toasting their qualification for the knockout stages before an error from Soucek snatched it out of their hands. Substitute Angelo Preciado was played in behind by Ito and his cross was turned in off Soucek’s head.

Here is how Jack Rosser rated the Hammers...

Alphonse Areola - 7

Made some important first-half saves to keep the score down while those in front of him were all over the place.

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(Getty Images)

Vladimir Coufal - 6

Made his first start after injury and grew into the game, fired one effort wide with his weaker foot.

Craig Dawson - 6

A real threat in the air from set-pieces and after early issues kept a lid on the towering Paul Onuachu.

Issa Diop - 6

At fault for the goal but recovered well enough following that early error.

Aaron Cresswell - 6

A couple of impressive set-piece deliveries and drove forward throughout the second-half in pursuit of a winner.

Mark Noble - 5

Cut a frustrated figure as he struggled to compete with the Genk midfield. Better towards the end of the first-half but always going to be taken off.

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(Getty Images)

Declan Rice - 7

Extremely frustrated with how things were going in the first-half but cooled after the break and helped gain control of the game.

Said Benrahma - 8

Should have scored before the break but more than made up for it after with desire to get forward and a fine finish for the leveller and an inspired solo goal to win it. His best performance for West Ham.

Manuel Lanzini - 7

Tidy and impressive play on the ball after the break. Did well to find Coufal in the build up to the goal.

Arthur Masuaku - 5

Struggled in possession and seemed to get in the way of teammates on a number of occasions.

Michail Antonio - 5

A surprise to see him start and a night to forget for Antonio. Limited chances but wasted those which came his way with sloppy footwork.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Substitutes

Jarrod Bowen - 6

Showed more energy in leading the line than Antonio but had little in the way of chances.

Tomas Soucek - 5

Helped Rice take control of the game after Noble’s struggles in the first half but headed into his own net to deny the Hammers qualification to the knockout stages here.

Pablo Fornals - 6

Brought far more composure to the forward play in place of Masuaku.

Alex Kral - N/A

Subs not used: Fabianski, Zouma, Ogbonna, Fredericks, Johnson, Randolph, Chesters, Baptiste.

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