West Ham United News: Gianluca Scamacca scored his first West Ham goal yesterday night against Denmark’s Viborg while charging around like a Viking.
The £30.5 million forward guided the Hammers to victory in this Europa Conference League playoff first leg, demonstrating that he will be a major threat in the Premier League. Jarrod Bowen scored in the second half after Scamacca’s early header, while the Danes’ Jacob Bonde goal gave the hosts a little scare.
However, substitute Michail Antonio added a third goal to give the Hammers a commanding lead to bring to Jutland on Thursday. West Ham’s season has begun after opening-round league losses to Manchester City and Forest.
Additionally, new center-back Thilo Kehrer made his London Stadium debut off the bench, adding to the positive energy there.
West Ham United News: Low-key affair
Compared to West Ham’s stunning loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semifinals in May, it was a less dramatic return to European competition. Billy McKinlay, David Moyes’ assistant, was in command on the touchline as David Moyes served his one-match suspension for kicking a ball at a ballboy from the stands.
Aaron Cresswell was also suspended due to his red card, while captain Declan Rice was suspended for accusing the official of “corruption.”
The Hammers made seven changes from the Forest loss over the weekend, with Maxwell Cornet making his debut and Angelo Ogbonna captaining the team after returning from an ACL injury.
Ibrahim Said of Nigeria and Alassana Jatta of Gambia were absent from Viborg’s first appearance in Europe in almost 20 years because they were unable to enter the UK with valid visas.
In the half-empty London Stadium, a hardcore of boisterous, topless Vitborg supporters were cheering on the side, which included former Leeds forward Jay-Roy Gort.
Scamacca, hero of the night
But the person who made the most impression that night was the tattooed Scamacca. His debut start for the Hammers lasted only 24 minutes until he rose to head in a Cornet cross.
The direct goal danger posed by the former Sassuolo striker was not the only factor. The Colosseum would have been fit for the Romans to kill a high ball stone dead with one piece of control.
After 64 minutes, Bowen scored from 25 yards, seemingly breaking the game. Bonde, however, cut the deficit in half after the Hammers made three substitutions when he rose over Vladimir Coufal to head in at the far post.
With 12 seconds left, though, Said Benrahma’s aggressive running set up Antonio for a straightforward tap-in.