West Ham 1-0 Olympiacos: Lucas Paqueta finds the back of the net
West Ham 1-0 Olympiacos: Lucas Paqueta winner sees Hammers get revenge over Greeks to remain top of Europa League group
- West Ham beat Olympiacos 1-0 on Thursday to top their Europa League group
- Lucas Paqueta found the back of the net in the 73rd minute to secure the win
- DOMINIC KING: I don’t understand what football is anymore – It’s All Coming Up
Olympiacos released a statement warning their supporters what could not be brought to the London Stadium, from knives to knuckledusters, machetes to chains, fireworks to lasers.
Perhaps they should have added Lucas Paqueta to their long list of prohibited items, for he was at his most dangerous in this Europa League revenge mission for West Ham.
It was the 26-year-old Brazilian who plays like a boy on the playground that volleyed the hosts to victory, two weeks after losing to Olympiacos in Athens.
West Ham did not care for how their Greek opponents celebrated that 2-1 win. Naturally, then, VAR’s confirmation that their goal was good saw Paqueta lead the rush towards the away end. They jigged in front of the visiting supporters, soaking in their vengeance.
West Ham remain top of Group A with two games to go after this, and with the unpredictable playmaker that is Paqueta in the team, you can never know what will happen next.
West Ham beat Olympiacos 1-0 on Thursday evening to top their Europa League group
It was Lucas Paqueta who found the back of the net in the 73rd minute to secure the win
It was James Ward-Prowse’s ball into the box that caught the attention of most people
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David Moyes did not have to think hard on his pre-match team talk. It will have centred on their opponents’ corridor celebrations, outside of their changing room, at the Karaiskakis Stadium a fortnight ago. Moyes made six changes from the weakened team that lost that reverse fixture, bringing in Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen, among others.
West Ham XI: Fabiański, Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Kudus, Paquetá, Benrahma, Bowen
Olympiakos XI: Paschalakis; Rodinei, Porozo, Restos, Ortega; Alexandropoulos, Hezze, Camara; Podence, Jovetic, Fortounis
Said Benrahma started, too, though his standards have slipped of late. Supporters have hardly sang his name this season and two silly mistakes inside five minutes made you wonder if we were in for another one of those frustrating nights from the 28-year-old Algerian.
In the 13th minute, however, he picked up Paqueta’s pass and curled one towards the goal’s postage stamp, forcing Olympiacos goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis into a super diving save. From the following corner, Nayef Aguerd’s header could not beat Paschalakis.
There was deja vu in the 32nd minute when this same sequence was repeated. Again, Paqueta passed to Benrahma.
Again, he forced Paschalakis into a save, this time low to the left. Again, West Ham won a corner. Again, Aguerd’s header was not good enough to go in.
There was a lull inside the London Stadium when Daniel Podence, the winger on loan to Olympiacos from Wolves, fired a warning shot. It was sliced so wide that it was as troubling to Westfield Shopping Centre as the West Ham goal, but it was a reminder that the visitors could strike at any time.
However, David Moyes wasn’t be pleased with their performance in the first half of the game
He was seen calling for more intensity and aggression from the Hammers in the first half
Paqueta ended the first half being, well, Paqueta as he performed a few keepie uppies until chopped down by his marker. Sometimes the Samba star can frustrate the hell out of Moyes but my word, does he know how to keep us hooked on his every move.
With Freiburg beating Backa Topola elsewhere, West Ham were no longer top of the Europa League’s Group A in the live table. Bowen tried his best to liven up this affair, nutmegging his man before crossing for James Ward-Prowse as his attempt was collected by Paschalakis.
In the 73rd minute, West Ham were celebrating as Paqueta volleyed home Ward-Prowse’s ball over the top. Beautiful assist, beautiful finish, but the assistant’s flag was raised. VAR checked it and to the naked eye, it looked like Francisco Ortega was playing him on. Moyes had seen the replay himself and was sure of it. Then came confirmation: 1-0 to West Ham.
The entire team sprinted towards the away supporters. Revenge for their opponents’ overzealous celebrations two weeks ago? Absolutely, and West Ham loved it.
Said Benrahma started on Thursday evening even though his standards have slipped of late
After scoring the entire team sprinted towards the away supporters. Revenge for their opponents’ overzealous celebrations two weeks ago? Absolutely, and West Ham loved it
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