West Ham's new signings impress as they help side to victory over Viborg FF

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Gianluca Scamacca celebrates after scoring West Ham's opener - GETTY IMAGES
Gianluca Scamacca celebrates after scoring West Ham's opener - GETTY IMAGES

West Ham 3-1 Viborg FF

For West Ham United manager David Moyes, watching from the London Stadium stands as he serves his European ban, it was a sign of things to come from his new £50 million attacking duo. A first assist for £17.5m signing Maxwel Cornet, and a first goal for Gianluca Scamacca, their £30.5m centre-forward.

Moyes can only hope that these were the first significant contributions of many from his new additions, who were — at times — too good for Danish side Viborg FF in this play-off for the Europa Conference League.

When the West Ham manager, suspended as a result of his red card in last season’s Europa League semi-final, envisaged his new players combining in the final third, it would presumably have been in this manner: Cornet providing the accurate delivery from wide, and Scamacca using his considerable frame to attack it in the box.

If this opener was an example of the gradual evolution of West Ham’s team this summer, then their second and third goals were rather more familiar. Jarrod Bowen struck 18 times last year and his first of this campaign was a superb, driven shot from range. Michail Antonio also got off the mark, tapping home Said Benrahma’s low cross in the second half.

Bowen got his first goal of the season with this driven shot from distance - ACTION IMAGES
Bowen got his first goal of the season with this driven shot from distance - ACTION IMAGES

That is not to say that West Ham had it all their own way here, or that Moyes would have been overly impressed by his team’s all-round performance ahead of next week’s second leg. The Danish visitors, currently fifth in their domestic league, struck in the second half through Jacob Bonde’s back-post header, and might have scored again a few minutes later.

“We are not dead and buried,” said Viborg manager Jacob Friis. “Maybe the hole has been dug, but we are not in it yet.”

There is plenty of room for improvement, then, as West Ham look to find their stride after a slow start to the season. It has been an eventful summer off the pitch, with Moyes adding five new players so far, and it will take some time for them all to click. The European campaign could help in that regard, especially if this night serves as the launching point for Scamacca.

“We all know strikers are judged on goals,” said Billy McKinlay, West Ham’s first-team coach. “To get off the mark really quickly, in new surroundings, is a big thing for a centre-forward. There is plenty more to come from him.”

Match details

West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Areola 6; Ashby 6, Johnson 6, Ogbonna 6 (Kehrer 66), Coufal 6; Coventry 6 (Downes 84), Soucek 6; Bowen 7 (Benrahma 66), Lanzini 6 (Fornals 45), Cornet 8; Scamacca 7 (Antonio 67)

Viborg (4-3-3): Lund 5; Anyembe 5 (Gaaei 34), Burgy 6, Zaletel 5 Sorensen 6; Bonde 7 (Thorsen 87), Gronning 6, Leemans 6 (Sondergaard 66); Zamburek 6 (Berger 87), Grot 6, Lonwijk 5 (Mortimer 66)

Booked: Sondergaard

Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)