West Ham United secured the top spot in Group H of the Europa League with another convincing win over Rapid Wien on Thursday evening.
David Moyes’ side also advanced into knockout stages thanks to goals from rarely-seen attacker Andriy Yarmolenko and club captain Mark Noble, who on the night, arguably stole the show in Austria.
Not only did he make amends for his miss against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup earlier this season, but he was heavily involved throughout the 90 minutes on the pitch, at both ends of the pitch.
Indeed, SofaScore graded him the best player for either side with a match rating of 7.9, some 0.5 better than his teammates. He also registered a whopping 108 touches, the most on the pitch, comfortably.
With this possession, Noble provided nine more passes than any other player (85), too, with an impressive accuracy of 90% and whilst none of these were key chances created, he did deliver 11 successful long balls from 12 attempts.
He was spraying balls from deep and certainly helping to start each and every attack on the night.
The Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser claimed in his post-match ratings that it was a ‘controlling and composed’ display from the long-serving Hammers captain. He added: ‘Vocal throughout and a fantastic penalty for his first proper Europa League goal.’
He may be retiring at the end of the season but on tonight’s evidence, he certainly has a lot to give and if the likes of Declan Rice or Tomas Soucek did ever get badly injured, then they will be in safe hands.
As a result, the £50k-per-week was the star of the match for Moyes and the Irons.
AND in other news, ExWHUemployee drops big transfer claim ahead of the January transfer window…