David Moyes celebrated a job well done after West Ham waltzed into the last 16 of the Europa League with a game to spare by beating Rapid Vienna 2-0.
First-half goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble in Austria wrapped up top spot in Group H for Moyes’ side.
The Hammers go straight through to the knockout stage having avoided a play-off in February against a team dropping down from the Champions League.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) November 25, 2021
“Job done, yeah,” said Moyes. “We did a professional job tonight and throughout the group stage we’ve done a good job.
“It’s great credit to the players for the way they have gone about the job for a group relatively new to Europe.
“It’s something I’ve not taken in yet. I knew we could get the job done but I think tonight we have not played as well as we have done, but we did enough to get us through.
“It’s probably a good sign that I’m not totally pleased with the way we played but we’ve won relatively comfortably.”
Despite Moyes making eight changes, resting the likes of Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, West Ham dominated the match.
They took the lead six minutes before half-time when Nikola Vlasic crossed from the left and Yarmolenko was left with a simple header back across goal.
It was a first Hammers goal since January for the Ukraine international, who has played only 52 minutes in the Premier League this season.
Yarmolenko had a big hand in the second goal in first-half stoppage time after he turned Rapid skipper Maximilian Hofmann in the area and was brought down.
Captain Noble, a man clearly relishing this European adventure in his 18th and final season at the club, made no mistake from the spot.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) November 25, 2021
“Mark’s made such a contribution throughout the years at West Ham and it’s his final year as everyone knows, and he’s contributing still,” added Moyes.
“He’s a valuable member of the team and I always thought he would be needed with all the extra games. And he’s certainly helped us out.”
West Ham’s evening was almost capped by a debut goal from 17-year-old substitute Sonny Perkins, whose header produced a fine reflex save from Rapid keeper Paul Gartler.
“I’ve given quite a few 17-year-olds a debut,” said Moyes. “And one or two 16-year-olds. I think it’s really good.
“He’s really disappointed he didn’t score the header. But our under-23s are doing well and they are beginning to knock on the door.”