West Ham 2-1 Anderlecht- Hammers qualify for next round

Two fine goals from Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen helped West Ham maintain their 100% record in the Conference League as they beat Belgian side Anderlecht 2-1 at the London Stadium. The Hammers had a couple of nervy moments at the end following Sebastiano Esposito’s 89th minute spot kick, but held on to claim three important points.


David Moyes made several changes to the side that had beaten Fulham in the league over the weekend, and fielded five at the back, with Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Ben Johnson playing in the centre of defence. Unfortunately, Italian Ogbonna was injured midway through the first half and replaced by Craig Dawson, who himself had to be withdrawn 15 minutes towards the end.

As it stands, West Ham are one of only two teams with a 100% record in the group stages (Villarreal are the other) and have already booked their spot in the next round of the competition. A look at the markets available at in2bet.com.cy shows some pretty tasty odds for the Hammers going all the way in this UECL. A single point from their next two games against Silkeborg and Steaua will be enough to confirm West Ham’s progress as leaders, and will also grant them direct entry into the Round of 16 instead of having to go through the playoffs, where the group runners up have to play teams dropping down from the Europa League.

WHU lineup vs RSCA

The opening goal here came on 14 minutes, with Said Benrahma producing a lovely free kick to put the hosts ahead. It was Benrahma who had won the free kick in the first place, with Amadou Diawara fouling him near the edge of the box, and it was therefore somewhat fitting that the Algerian himself stepped up to find the back of the net.

Anderlecht didn’t cover themselves in glory for the second goal- their defending was very poor, with three players initially allowing Emerson a free run down the left-hand touchline, and then nobody covering Jarrod Bowen, with the winger allowed both time and space to smash one past Van Combrugge in the RSCA goal after receiving Emerson’s pass on the edge of the area.

The game slowed down after Lucas Paqueta’s substitution, with West Ham happy with the points in the bag. Anderlecht were a much-improved side, especially in the second half, and pulled one back through a penalty- albeit a soft one at that, with Esposito sending Areola the wrong way after Ben Johnson’s foul.

West Ham 12 Points After 4 Games

A clean sheet would’ve been more preferable to Moyes, but his charges did manage to get the job done. Anderlecht have been very ordinary in the Belgian league recently, and West Ham were deserved winners, just as they had been in the previous MD3 clash.

David Moyes’ side have now won four a in row across all competitions, and will square off against Southampton this weekend. Anderlecht, who are 9th in the league, have a tough fixture against rivals Club Brugge, who sealed qualification from a tough UCL group (Porto, Atleti, Leverkusen) earlier this week.

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