Rapid Vienna vs West Ham Europa League final score, result and match report

West Ham qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League with one game to go after a 2-0 win at Rapid Vienna.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble in the first half saw David Moyes’ side take first place in Group H.

It was an important victory for the Hammers, as they are now directly qualified for the round of 16 after avoiding a play-off in February against a side exiting the Champions League.

Moyes was even able to make eight changes on his own, leaving Declan Rice and Michail Antonio to rest, while doing the job comfortably.

With Vienna in a new coronavirus lockdown, the game was played out in an empty stadium, with a quick inability to call on their loud fans to lift them up, and West Ham was just too classy.

They almost got off to a perfect start when Arthur Masuaku pushed a low cross into the box so Jarrod Bowen slipped right off after five minutes.

Nikola Vlasic and Yarmolenko both narrowly shot in a bright opening from the visitors.

The only moment of slight alarm came when Kelvin Arase got into shooting position, and his effort was saved by substitute goalie Alphonse Areola en route to a fifth clean sheet in six appearances for the Hammers.

Their dominance was finally revealed six minutes before half-time when Vlasic crossed from the left and Yarmolenko was left with a simple header back through the goal.

It was a first Hammers goal since January for the Ukraine international, who has only played 52 minutes in the Premier League this season.

Yarmolenko played a big part in the second goal in the first half stoppage after transforming Rapid’s skipper Maximilian Hofmann into the box and was knocked down.

Captain Noble, a man visibly delighted with this European adventure for his 18th and final season at the club, was not mistaken on the spot.

After the break, Bowen’s quick feet in the box made up three defenders, but his shot was direct on Rapid goalkeeper Paul Gartler.

Gartler also denied Tomas Soucek before Bowen’s follow-up was stuck on the line.

Teenage forward Sonny Perkins came in to replace his Hammers debut and almost scored it with a goal when he met Vladimir Coufal’s cross with a nice header, but Gartler made a superb reflex save and West Ham had to settle for two.

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