|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Mark Noble demands improvement after West Ham humbled at NZ Domzale
datePublished Thursday 28 July 2016 21.56 BST
Even with Andy Carroll at the spearhead of a strong lineup, Slaven Bilic’s side came off second best against a club making their first appearance in Europe. Bilic, who watched from the stands as he served the second game of his two-match touchline ban, saw Mark Noble equalise from the spot while the superb Matic Crnic scored both of Domzale’s goals.
Noble questioned the penalty that gave Domzale an early lead at Stozice Stadium but admitted the Slovenian minnows were worthy winners and demanded an improvement in the return leg next Thursday, which will be West Ham’s first match at the Olympic Stadium. “Playing at the Olympic Stadium is something to look forward to but obviously this result isn’t ideal,” said the captain, Noble. “It’s our first game there and we’ve got to be positive – I’m sure the fans will be behind us – and win the game.
“You’re going to miss a player like Dimitri Payet, of course, but that’s no excuse. We had a good enough team to come here and win but we didn’t do that. These games are tough but we didn’t play well. They played well and deserved it.”
West Ham, who avoided a 3-1 final scoreline only when Adrián made a brilliant late double save, gave debuts to Havard Nordtveit and Sofiane Feghouli, but any pre-season optimism evaporated when they fell behind inside the opening 11 minutes. Nordtveit handled the ball in the area when a shot appeared to strike the underside of an outstretched arm and Crnic rifled home the penalty that gave Adrian little chance.
Domzale’s lead did not last long as Axel Maraval clattered into Winston Read from behind, sending the defender sprawling, and Noble equalised in kind.
Chances fell at both ends with Crnic missing the best of them when he nodded wide a superb cross from point-blank range. He made amends four minutes into the second half when Michail Antonio was caught out of position, enabling Crnic to charge into the area and slot a low shot past Adrián without a single tackle being attempted.
It was awful defending from West Ham, who exited the Europa League at the same stage last season, and they were unable to stamp their authority on the second half with the reflexes of Adrián saving their blushes at the end.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS
Domzale: Maraval 5.5; Brachi 6, Horic 7, Dobrovoljc 6, Balkovec 7; Alvir 6 (Repas 77), Horvat 6, Majer 6 (Vetrih 85); Morel 6, Mance 6.5, Crnic 8 (Juninho 90)
Subs not used: Milic, Vuk, Sirok, Blazic
Goals: Crnic 11 (pen), 49
Manager: Luka Elsner
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrian 6; Antonio 4.5 (Quina 80), Nordtveit 5, Reid 6, Byram 6; Obiang 6, Kouyate 6; Feghouli 6.5, Noble 6.5, Valencia 5.5; Carroll 6
Subs not used: Randolph, Burke, Oxford, Page, Cullen, Fletcher
Goal: Noble 18 (pen)
Manager: Slaven Bilic 5
Referee: Mete Kalkavan 7 (Turkey)
Man of the Match: Crnic