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West Ham's fine Europa League start continues, Rangers' campaign finally comes to life

The Hammers have made a perfect start.

David Moyes, West Ham manager.
David Moyes, West Ham manager.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

WEST HAM CONTINUED their European cruise with a thumping 3-0 win over Belgian side Genk, while Rangers’ campaign burst into life with an ultimately convincing 2-0 win over Brondby at Ibrox.

Goals from Craig Dawson, Issa Diop and Jarrod Bowen made it three wins out of three for the Hammers in their maiden Europa League group campaign and kept them firmly on course for the knockout stages.

West Ham are already six points clear at the top of Group H and could even secure qualification as group winners in their next match, in Genk in a fortnight, with two games to spare.

Unlike Sunday’s opponents Tottenham, who left their entire starting XI at home for their unsuccessful continental trip to Vitesse Arnhem, Hammers boss David Moyes kept the likes of Bowen, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Aaron Cresswell in his line-up.

Moyes is clearly eager to secure qualification as quickly as possible, although he took no risks with striker Michail Antonio, having rested him completely ahead of the London derby.

Bowen missed a golden opportunity on the half hour when he kicked at thin air in front of goal from Ben Johnson’s inviting low cross, and Dawson headed over from a corner.

Yet West Ham had a lucky escape when goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was beaten to a cross by Genk’s towering striker Paul Onuachu, whose header looped just wide.

Bowen failed to get on the end of another low cross, this time from Cresswell, before West Ham broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time.

Cresswell swung in a corner and centre-half Dawson rose highest to steer the ball home off his shoulder.

West Ham have become set-piece specialists under Moyes and they were at it again at the start of the second half, Dawson’s defensive partner Diop heading home at the near post from Cresswell’s free-kick.

Moments later the hosts stole possession near the halfway line and Bowen galloped forward before firing home a fine solo goal to wrap up the victory.

After opening Group A defeats to Lyon and Sparta Prague, meanwhile, the pressure was on Scottish champions Rangers, but they took the lead in the 18th minute when defender Leon Balogun headed his first goal in Light Blue from a James Tavernier corner.

Striker Kemar Roofe added a second on the half-hour mark after his close-range finish was confirmed onside by VAR and although there were no more goals the Scottish champions ran out deserved winners.

After beating Sparta Prague 4-3 away, French side Lyon have nine points from nine, Sparta are on four points with Rangers now on three ahead of the return game against Brondby on November 4.

Europa League results 

Group A 

  • Rangers 2-0 Brondby 
  • Sparta Prague 3-4 Lyon 

Group B 

  • PSV 1-2 Monaco 
  • Sturm Graz 0-1 Real Sociedad 

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Group C 

  • Napoli 3-0 Legia Warsaw 

Group D 

  • Fenerbahce 2-2 Royal Antwerp 
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Olympiacos 

Group E 

  • Lazio 0-0 Marseille 
  • Locomotiv Moscow 0-1 Galatasaray 

Group F 

  • FC Midtjylland 1-1 Crevna Zvezda 
  • Ludogorets 0-1 Braga

Group G 

  • Real Betis 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen 

Group H 

  • Rapid Vienna 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb 
  • West Ham 3-0 Genk 

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