Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 West Ham: Antonio and Rice ensure memorable Europe return for Hammers

By Sports Desk September 16, 2021

Michail Antonio and Declan Rice struck in each half to secure a 2-0 win for West Ham against Dinamo Zagreb in Thursday's Europa League opener.

Antonio opened the scoring as he capitalised on Kevin Theophile-Catherine's poor pass to finish into an empty net, before Rice doubled the lead five minutes after the break.

Luka Ivanusec almost beat Lukasz Fabianksi, who did not make a save all game, but that was Dinamo's only opportunity as West Ham secured their first win in European competition since 1999 to top Group H.

In contrast, Dinamo will be disappointed with their efforts at the Maksimir Stadium as their 13-match undefeated run in the group stage of the competition ended abruptly.

The visitors boasted almost 70 per cent possession inside the opening 15 minutes but, barring a barrage of corners, Aaron Cresswell's inaccurate long-range effort was their only half-chance.

However, Antonio made West Ham's dominance pay as he profited from Theophile-Catherine's concentration lapse to round Dominik Livakovic and score the Hammers' first goal in Europe since 1999.

Ryan Fredericks was then denied by the Dinamo goalkeeper's feet before Nikola Vlasic fired narrowly wide on the stroke of half-time.

Dinamo looked to respond immediately in the second half, with Bruno Petkovic blasting narrowly wide but it was Rice who added a second, driving forward before powering a left-footed strike through the legs of Livakovic.

Ivanusec tried to pull one back, dancing around Kurt Zouma prior to curling towards the bottom-right corner, only to see his effort trickle wide as Fabianski passed the hour-mark without making a save.

With David Moyes' men dominant, Pablo Fornals looked for a third with a low attempt but found Livakovic's hands as the visitors cruised to a memorable return to European football.

Related items

  • Lakers to retire Gasol's number 16 jersey Lakers to retire Gasol's number 16 jersey

    The Los Angeles Lakers will honour Spanish legend Pau Gasol when they retire his number 16 jersey next year.

    A ceremony will take place on March 7, 2023 when the Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Gasol played for the Lakers between 2008 and 2014, having arrived from Memphis, appearing in three NBA Finals and winning two championships alongside Kobe Bryant.

    Three of his six All-Star appearances came during his time in Los Angeles, before he left for the Chicago Bulls in 2014.

    After time with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks, Gasol returned to Europe for a second spell with Barcelona, where his career had begun, before retiring in October last year at the age of 41.

    Following the announcement, Gasol took to Twitter to thank his former franchise, writing: "Beyond thankful and honoured!!!"

    Gasol had an average of 17.7 points per game during his time with the Lakers, as well 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks in 429 appearances.

    He will join a number of legends, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant and Magic Johnson, in having his jersey retired by the Lakers.

  • Rodgers: Fofana not for sale Rodgers: Fofana not for sale

    Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has reiterated that defender Wesley Fofana is "not for sale" as Chelsea reportedly remain keen to secure his services.

    The 21-year-old centre-back has been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge after missing out on Jules Kounde, who joined Barcelona.

    The Foxes are said to have rejected two bids from Chelsea and it has been suggested that a world-record fee for a defender may be required to prise him away from the King Power Stadium.

    That record currently stands at £80million, which Leicester received from Manchester United for the signature of Harry Maguire.

    Fofana has played in Leicester's opening two league games of the Premier League season, and Rodgers expects him to stay at the club.

    "The idea is that he’s still very much a Leicester City player," Rodgers told reporters. "I’ve said a number of times that he’s not for sale.

    "The club have made that clear so unless anything changes, I would expect him to be here."

    Fofana is one of a number of players linked with a move away from Leicester, with midfielders Youri Tielemans and James Maddison linked with Arsenal and Newcastle United respectively.

  • 'It's right to stay in my place' – Conte confident he will be on touchline against Wolves 'It's right to stay in my place' – Conte confident he will be on touchline against Wolves

    Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte believes he should be allowed on the touchline against Wolves after being charged by the FA for his behaviour against Chelsea.

    The charge came after he was involved in multiple incidents with Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel during and after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

    An altercation after the final whistle led to both Tuchel and Conte receiving red cards, and the subsequent FA charges mean it is unclear whether both will be allowed on the sidelines for their respective Premier League fixtures this upcoming weekend.

    Conte though believes he should be allowed in the dugout against Wolves, though, telling reporters during his pre-match press conference: "I hope so. It's right, it's right to stay in my place.

    "Then I repeat for sure after this type of situation you can learn a lot but at the same time I think from my situation I was good to keep calm and [I] didn't have an excessive reaction."

    Spurs sit fourth in the Premier League with four points from their opening two games, but will be without key defender Cristian Romero for Saturday's meeting with Wolves due to injury.

    "About Cristian, he had a little problem during the game against Chelsea in the final part of the game," Conte said.

    "It's a little problem and after the game he started to feel a bit of pain in his adductor [muscle]. We checked him.

    "The player wanted to give availability but in this situation we have a lot of games to play, it would be stupid to take risk. For this reason he is not available for Wolves."

    Spurs have beefed up their squad in this transfer window with Richarlison, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Clement Lenglet, Fraser Forster and Djed Spence arriving.

    This week, Destiny Udogie signed from Udinese, though the defender will remain with the Serie A club for the rest of the 2022-23 season.

    Tottenham's focus will now be on trimming their squad, with Tanguy Ndombele set to complete a switch to Napoli, while Giovani Lo Celso has rejoined Villarreal on loan, though Conte did not rule out the possibility of further additions.

    He added: "If someone goes away then for sure another player has to come. Especially if some players want to go and play regularly and it's difficult to keep them here."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.