West Ham manager David Moyes made a Europa League vow, while Declan Rice admitted he told a “special” team-mate he knew he’d score tonight.
West Ham continued their perfect return to European football with a 2-0 victory at home to Rapid Vienna. Rice again showed he is far more than just a holding midfielder when opening he scoring on the half-hour mark.
The contest remained in the balance until the final moments before Said Benrahma notched deep into injury time to ease the nerves.
The victory puts the Hammers three points clear in Group H after Dinamo Zagreb sunk Genk 3-0 in the corresponding fixture.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Moyes said: “Pleased we won but we did not play as well as we would have liked. We made a few changes but we are in a lot of competitions and we have to make it work for the whole squad.
“It was a really good goal and pleased for Declan Rice. He is doing that more, driving forward and getting into the box.
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“The minute the referee gave the penalty, I thought it must have been. I was disappointed initially that Ben Johnson had dangled his leg out but when the referee got called over he does not touch him at all. Thankfully it was not given.
“I want to try and be in Europe after Christmas by finishing one or two so we want to win the group if we can. We are not going to let up, we are enjoying it and won’t be letting it go easy but I have to manage Premier League games too.
“We are capable of handling it and the squad we have can handle it too. It will be tough but I hope we can manage it.”
Rice called his shot to “special” team-mate
West Ham goalscorer Rice also spoke to the press, telling BT Sport: “It was amazing. As players we knew how big tonight actually was. We had to win as well.
“We want to top this group. That is all we want to do. We will take it a game at a time. It is a good night for us and the fans, who have waited a long time to see this.
“When I knew I was playing with Nobes (Mark Noble) I said that I was going to try and bomb on a bit tonight. I said to him I would score.
“When the situation came I saw there was a bit of space to run into and if you don’t make the runs you won’t get a chance. To score again, it is becoming a nice feeling. I wish it could be every week.
“Nobes is special. I have spent six seasons with him. First two as a kid and four with the first team. I have learned so much from him.
“To play next to him, see what he is like as a person and a man. There is no one better to learn from. I am going to cherish every game I get to play next to him this season.”