West Ham 4-0 AEK Larnaca: Gianluca Scamacca back on goalscoring list as Conference League journey resumes

In a Premier League season that hasn’t faltered because it never managed to even get into it, continental competition has provided the struggling Hammers with some much-needed solace.

They may face a relegation battle but Moyes’ side have now won all ten games they have played in Europe this season.

On that pleasant Thursday night, Moyes made six changes in a half-filled London stadium – and his side’s fortunes were duly changed from their boring 1-1 draw with Aston Villa here on Sunday.

It could have been a dismal international break for West Ham had they left the Europa Conference League tonight. They led Cypriot club AEK Larnaca – who have never won a league title – 2-0 after a clinical if tedious win in the Mediterranean last week.

The most controversial of the six changes at Moyes was the inclusion of Gianluca Scamacca, the Italian striker who signed for £35million in the summer, making him the fourth-most expensive signing in West Ham history.

Moyes has not started Scamacca since January and said this week his ‘physical stats’ needed improvement, suggesting the Italian’s work performance had left a lot to be desired.

Scamacca took his chance, came into play in the 54 minutes he played and linked the game brilliantly.

He scored West Ham’s first of four goals on the night as he beat Mikel Gonzalez and shot through goalkeeper Kenan Piric. It was his first goal since early January and there was clear relief on the face of an Italy international who according to Roberto Mancini needs to play more club football.

Jarrod Bowen was West Ham’s talisman last year with 18 goals in all competitions. He’s lost his lead for most of this season but this was an excellent performance from him.

Divin Mubama capped a great evening for West Ham by scoring the last goal

/ Getty Images

He swept home the rebound as Scamacca forced Piric to make a save in the second half. He then threw a superb header from Aaron Creswell’s corner over the falling keeper.

West Ham were now 3-0 up, 5-0 up on aggregate and going on. Larnaca offered precious little and were down to ten men before the break when VAR turned over a yellow card and ensured referee Georgi Kabakov of Bulgaria gave the careless Gus Ledes the red for his gross foul on the superb Pablo Fornals.

And 18-year-old substitute Divin Mubama capped the perfect evening for Moyes as he intelligently flicked home and scored his first career goal.

It marked the beginning of Mubama’s journey. West Ham’s journey in Europe continues.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/west-ham-vs-aek-larnaca-europa-conference-league-result-2023-b1067972.html West Ham 4-0 AEK Larnaca: Gianluca Scamacca back on goalscoring list as Conference League journey resumes


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