Areola makes a save

Four things we loved about our win over Silkeborg

1. Aguerd's impressive debut

Nayef Aguerd, who has been out of action since he sustained an ankle injury in a pre-season friendly against Rangers in Scotland on 19 July, was one of nine changes from our 2-0 Premier League win over AFC Bournemouth for Thursday's visit Silkeborg IF.

The Moroccan, who played just over 75 minutes in east London before he was replaced by Thilo Kehrer, produced a few delightful moments on the ball – including a delicious pass across 40 yards to pick out Vladimír Coufal.

His defensive qualities also came to the fore, with his reading of the game, deceptive pace and strength all evident as he consistently kept the Danish side at arm's length.

A composed figure at the heart of the back three alongside Angelo Ogbonna and Ben Johnson, Aguerd received a standing ovation from the Claret and Blue Army, and you could see why manager David Moyes has been so eager to have his summer signing from Stade Rennais available.

The 26-year-old was part of a strong defensive showing that secured a third clean sheet of UEFA Europa Conference League group-stage - surely not the last the No27 will keep in a Claret and Blue shirt. 

Aguerd v Silkeborg

2. Manu's money from 12 yards

Manuel Lanzini. Penalties. Silkeborg.

On his 18th European appereance for the Irons, the No10 made it two spot-kicks in two matches against the Danish side at London Stadium.

Having netted the Hammers’ first goal in our 3-2 victory in the away fixture at JYSK park last month, Lanzini stepped up from 12 yards and did likewise at London Stadium.

The Argentina midfielder dispatched his penalty on 24 minutes, placing the ball into the bottom right corner for his 31st goal in Claret and Blue and seventh successful spot-kick in eight attempts for the Club.

Manuel Lanzini scores against Silkeborg at London Stadium

3. Top of the group... again!

West Ham United are now the only side in the UECL with a 100% record – with our victory over Silkeborg IF making it five wins from five matches in the Europa Conference League group stage.

A fifth straight triumph – and seventh consecutive win in Europe this season – was secured thanks to a Manuel Lanzini penalty midway through the first half, awarded after a foul by SIF goalkeeper Nicolai Larsen on Michail Antonio.

While the Hammers needed just a point to secure top spot, three meant David Moyes' side now have the opportunity to become the first team in the competition's two-year history to collect a perfect 18 points out of 18 in the group stage.

LASK of Austria managed 16 last season, but the Irons can eclipse that and set a UECL record by beating FCSB in Bucharest next Thursday evening.

Whatever happens in Romania, as group winners, Moyes' men progress directly to the round of 16, which will take place on 9 and 16 March 2023.

Lanzini celebrates

4. Areola's acrobatics

Just as he did away to RSC Anderlecht, another incredible stop from Alphonse Areola goalkeeper secured the Hammers a clean sheet and a UECL victory.

As the visitors pushed for a second-half equaliser, Silkeborg tested the French goalkeeper twice and Areola was equal to both efforts, first going low to his right to hold Anders Klynge's low drive, then spectacularly tipping Søren Tengstedt's rasping effort over the crossbar.

It is now seven wins out of seven for the No13 in Europe, with three clean sheets and a host of highlight-reel saves to reflect upon!


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