Hammers took a big step towards the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League Cup with an 'easy peasey' first-leg victory at AEK Larnaca.
The Home team caused some early problems but West Ham grew in confidence and started to resemble a team that had topped their group and were unbeaten in the competition. It was a question of when, not if, Hammers were going to score. An unmarked Antonio expertly headed Said Benrahma's superb left-wing delivery into the right corner on the 36th minute to open the scoring.
With the side that is struggling in the Premier League side searching for a second, Pablo Fornals drove wide of the left post moments before Antonio doubled the lead on the stroke of half time when he collected a pass on the edge of the area and expertly curled his effort around his marker into the top-right corner.
The side have now won all nine of their matches in the competition this term and they deserved the victory, with Antonio almost adding a third after the break when he drove a low effort which ricocheted against the right-hand post.
David Moyes had the 'luxury' of taking off Declan Rice and others ahead of the Villa game, with the added bonus of an appearance from Cornet who only played for a brief while but managed to create a golden opportunity for Pacqueta who had chimself ome on for the closing minutes.
Incidentally, what is it with West Ham and corners this season? A further 14 conceded tonight, but at no cost!
All in all a great performance against albeit 'lesser opposition', not quite job one, but a good lead to take home.
Speaking of leads, Gianluca Scamacca looked and played like a big Labrador that had just been let of its lead, he hustled and bustled but generally just ran into the opposition conceding needless free kicks. The young Italian desperately needs more game in order to return to being the bright eyed smiling character he was when he first arrived at the club, hopefully he will get back to what he was, one of Italy's hotest young prospects!
Success breeds success, perhaps the win will remind the team that they are actually decent players, DESPITE WHAT THEY ARE SOMETIMES TOLD! - Ed