West Ham player ratings vs AEK Larnaca: Antonio produces moments of quality; Benrahma justifies fans’ love
Michail Antonio produced the magic moments as West Ham downed AEK Larnaca in the Europa Conference League.
Thursday’s last-16 first leg in Cyprus was decided by two fine first-half strikes from the Hammers forward. Said Benrahma also imrpessed after his substitution against Brighton sparked fans’ anger against David Moyes, who successfully guided his side through a tricky trip across Europe.
Here’s how David Moyes’ side rated at the AEK Arena…
Alphonse Areola 6
Scarcely worked as home side’s pressure built through corners, rather than shots. A bit flappy at one or two.
Thilo Kehrer 6
Steady enough and made superb late block. With Vladimir Coufal injured, will hope to start against Aston Villa after Ben Johnson’s horror-show at Brighton. Booked.
Kurt Zouma 6
Return to the side for first time since mid-January a big boost. Made a couple of important clearances.
Nayef Aguerd 6
A clean sheet after starting alongside Zouma in a pair for the first time. Moyes will hope the partnership finally becomes a fixture of his defence.
Aaron Cresswell 6
Has fallen out of favour with poor performances following the World Cup restart. Not always at ease but made important back-post header late on.
Declan Rice 6
Got roasted down the right for early Larnaca opening but played much of his comfortable hour in second gear.
Flynn Downes 6
The usual tenacious display but booking means he will miss the home leg in seven days’ time.
Pablo Fornals 7
Always probing and almost teed up back-post chance for Gianluca Scamacca moments after Italian’s arrival.
Manuel Lanzini 6
Opportunities have been increasingly hard to come by this season but showed some nice touches.
Said Benrahma 7
Cut-back to deliver fine cross for Antonio’s opener, then set up chance with which forward hit the post.
Calm as you like! 😜
Antonio snaps West Ham in the lead with this casual header! 🤩#UECL pic.twitter.com/YrpvT73yAF
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2023
Michail Antonio 8
Was genuinely having a poor first-half but turned it around with a brilliantly taken header and then stunning finish from just outside the box. Struggling with injury when replaced.
Jarrod Bowen (Benrahma 60’) 6
Shot just wide with first involvement, though flag would’ve ruled out effort.
Tomas Soucek (Rice 60’) 6
On to give Rice a half-hour breather ahead of Villa.
Gianluca Scamacca (Antonio 60’) 5
Marquee summer signing suddenly looks like third-choice but Moyes decision to start Antonio was justified. Not much of an impact.
Lucas Paqueta (Lanzini 77’) 5
Should’ve sealed the tie when sent through late on.
Maxwel Cornet (Fornals 82’) 6
First appearance since October 1 after troubling calf issue. Set up Paqueta’s chance with sharp turn and pass.
Unused: Hegyi, Anang, Johnson, Ogbonna, Emerson, Ings