Silkeborg IF 2-3 West Ham United
UEFA Europa Conference League Group B, JYSK park, Thursday 15 September 2022
Manuel Lanzini, Gianluca Scamacca and Craig Dawson were on target as West Ham United extended our winning start to our UEFA Europa Conference League Group B campaign with a 3-2 success at Silkeborg.
The Hammers had to come from behind after Kasper Kusk netted in a rapid opening for the Danish hosts, but we were in command by half-time thanks to that triple strike.
Lanzini netted the leveller from the penalty spot, before Scamacca’s rocket and Dawson’s header made it 3-1.
The second half did not live up to the excitement of the first, and Søren Tengstedt halved the lead in the closing stages, but the Hammers held out for the points.
David Moyes and Thilo Kehrer both spoke in their pre-match press conference of their desire to build on the positive momentum of the previous week’s Group B opening win over FCSB, but the Hammers had to first deal with the blow of falling behind to an early Silkeborg goal.
It was a slick move from the hosts which created the space for Kusk’s fifth minute strike, as Lukas Engel crossed low into the box from the left for his teammate to finish assuredly first time into the bottom left corner.
The home side’s support were buoyed by their early lead and they almost had more to cheer five minutes later as Tengstedt advanced into a dangerous area and nudged the ball to his left, where Anders Klynge was arriving from full-back. His shot flew across the face of the goal, however.
West Ham soon got to grips with the contest, though – with the award of a penalty in the 13th minute helping them on their way. Tobias Salquist’s shove on Maxwel Cornet was enough for referee Fabio Verissimo to point to the spot, and Lanzini did the rest, beating Nicolai Larsen’s dive to find the left-hand corner.
The opening stages were full of action and it wasn’t long before the Hammers were in front. 25 minutes were on the clock when the hosts were caught in possession when trying to play out from the back.
Cornet moved the ball on to Scamacca, and his 20-yard finish was emphatic, the Italian rifling into the roof of the net to notch his third goal of the European campaign already.
Emerson was getting forward with regularity down the left-hand side, and he forced Larsen into a sharp stop with a low effort from the edge of the box, before Dawson made it 3-1 seven minutes before the break.
It was trademark Dawson too, as Aaron Cresswell – on his 300th Hammers appearance – delivered a right-wing corner to the near post area, where the No15 gave Larsen no chance with his header.
From a sticky beginning, the visitors were now in a position of control, although they did allow the second period to meander somewhat with not much to report until Silkeborg pulled one back out of nothing 15 minutes from time.
The Hammers were forced to retreat from their own corner, and the hosts took advantage, with Tengstedt finishing from close range after Alphonse Areola had saved from Tonni Adamsen.
Adamsen went close to a leveller himself six minutes later, turning neatly on the edge of the box to fashion space for a shot, but Areola came to the rescue with a strong reaction stop.
Ultimately, the visitors’ three-goal blast in the opening period proved enough to secure victory as we made it a perfect two wins from two in the group stage.
Silkeborg IF: Larsen, Sonne, Salquist, Felix, Engel (Klitten 46), Þórðarson, Brink, Klynge (Kaalund 62), Tengstedt, Kusk (Jørgensen 62), Helenius © (Adamsen 62)
Subs: Hedvall (GK), Østrøm, Mattsson, Dahl, Oggesen, Calisir, Busch
Goals: Kusk 5, Tengstedt 75
Booked: Salquist, Klynge
West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Dawson, Kehrer, Cresswell, Emerson, Lanzini (Coventry 90+3), Rice © (Souček 63), Lucas Paquetá (Benrahma 63), Cornet (Fornals 86), Scamacca (Bowen 63)
Subs: Fabiański (GK), Randolph (GK), Zouma, Ogbonna, Downes, Antonio
Goals: Lanzini pen 13, Scamacca 25, Dawson 38
Referee: Fabio Verissimo (POR)