‘Anchovies’ defeat leaves a bitter taste for Hammers
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Defensive frailties and no punch up front for West Ham
West Ham United 0 Malaga 2
Sunday is usually a nice lunch followed by a nap in a favourite armchair, and there was little in the Hammers’ performance against La Liga rivals Malaga to prevent that tried and tested routine.
Manager Sam Allardyce was pleased with his players’ performance against hosts Shalke 04 last night, but he named a completely different team to the one which started on Saturday. Seventeen-year-old Reece Burke was handed a start at the heart of the defence alongside debutant Carl Jenkinson, with Mauro Zarate playing a lone role up front.
Malaga, ‘The Anchovies’, made the early running with Hammers on the back foot, indeed it was 10 minutes before Zarate laid a boot on the ball.
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The eastenders found themselves behind on 22 minutes, however. The ball fell to. Rescaldini from Cresswell’s clearance. The defender slipped on the turf, giving the Argentine time to plant a side-foot shot past Adrian.
Two minutes later and Malaga were 2-0 up. Luis Alberto, at the far post, took a touch, but still had time to plant his shot past Adrian.
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Hammers had a penalty appeal turned down on 26 minutes, claiming a handball, but their protests fell on deaf ears.
Three minutes later and, cruelly, Malaga were awarded a penalty. Jenkinson was penalised for a foul on Alberto, who took the spot-kick himself. The kick was poor and the Hammers keeper saved it with his left foot.
With Hammers playing deep there was little service to Zarate up front and it remained 2-0 at the break
The second half started with Josh Cullen replacing Mo Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te being pushed up the field to lend support to the attack. But, when Vaz Te did get the ball into the box, there was nobody there on the end of his crosses.
There was a bit of a scare on 61 minutes as Jenkinson went down and needed the physio. He was replaced by Amos Nasha as a precaution.
Adrian looked a bit shaky in the Hammers goal, spilling a few balls and with more luck the Spanish side could have been in front by more.
Matt Jarvis broke through against the run of play, but a poor touch when he was one on one with the keeper denied him a goal.
The referee blew for time exactly on 90 minutes and Malaga were crowned the winners of the Schalke tournament. For West Ham, there was not a huge amount to get excited about in terms of goals or chances.
West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Burke, Cresswell, Noble (c), Whitehead, Diame, Jarvis, Vaz Te, Zarate
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Kouyate, Lletget, Downing, Cullen, Lee, Nasha, Poyet, Potts, Fanimo.