In the fifth round of the Europa League, SK Rapid Wien lost 2-0 in a ghost match against West Ham United. The East Londoners lived up to their role as favorites and beat the somewhat discouraged Hütteldorfer with a brace at the end of the first half.
At the start of his international coaching debut, Steffen Hofmann surprised the Rapid side with his starting lineup: the interim coach has left top scorer Ercan Kara and Marco Grüll on the bench for the time being. “They are not so fresh at the moment that we want to bring them back from the start,” said the 41-year-old player of his selection on ServusTV before the match. Instead, Koya Kitagawa was preferred in the forward for the first time this season, but remained mostly pale. Because the game was torn apart by the guests from east London from the start and in the 6th minute, it was extremely dangerous in the quick 16 when Bowen put a Stangler right under Kofler’s surface.
The game then turned out to be less exciting, West Ham controlled the game without much risk, and Rapid also tried to stabilize the remaining defense with the ball. It wasn’t until the 21st minute that the home side were able to write offensive stats for the first time, when Fountas with a nice long-range shot only lightly shot the goal.
Then David Moyes’ team moved up a gear and scored a brace in the dying minutes of the first half: Yarmolenko can enter from the left in the 38th minute after a nice cross and stoppage time , captain Marc Noble uses a humorless penalty to make it 2-0 in the right corner of the cross. Previously, Hofmann had unmistakably hit forward Yarmolenko in the heel.
West Ham reigns, Gartler excels
After the break, both teams raised their visors and the hoped-for rally finally came. West Ham could have bagged several times, but ultimately fell through because of goalkeeper Gartler. The goalie therefore parried Bowen after a remarkable solo at close range. A few minutes later, the English got the next big chance after Stojkovic’s construction failed, but Gartler was able to distinguish again.
Hofmann then sent Grüll and Kara onto the pitch at the Rapid quarter-hour, but the substitutions did not bring the expected effects on the offense – only Fountas came to a dangerous conclusion in the 73rd minute, but fell away. slightly away from the goal. Instead, West Ham took the lead, which meant the Rapids’ chances of winning the next goal were steadily draining until the final whistle. “We have to go with more determination and in the end it was a deserved defeat. We didn’t play our pace and didn’t use our chances,” said Max Hofmann, summing up the game.
Despite a sorry 2-0 loss, Hütteldorfer still have hope: since Genk and Dinamo Zagreb have separated 1: 1, Rapid still have one final against Genk for third place in the group and therefore the ticket to the Conference League. “We have to put it all in, everyone has to grow beyond their limits so that we can get into the Conference League. We are going to do it and hopefully get there,” said young Moormann optimistically.
SK Rapid Vienna 0-2 West Ham United
doors: Yarmolenko (40th), Noble (45 + 2, penalty)