David Moyes hit out at the “terrible” defending which cost West Ham in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace

The Hammers were leading through a fine goal from Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus and heading for a fifth straight win in all competitions.

But West Ham’s Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos came bearing a gift early in the second half when his crazy, no-look, back-pass let Odsonne Edouard in to equalise.

Once again the Hammers’ inability to keep a clean sheet cost them – they have managed just one in the Premier League this season.

It was also the 16th time they have conceded a goal in the 15 minutes after half-time this calendar year.

Hammers boss Moyes said: “I’m aware of that. But it’s not as if we are having a pie at half-time and coming out feeling rubbish.

“It was a tough game for us, we scored a good goal early on but we didn’t perform well in the first half. It was a tight Premier League game.

“When the games are tight, you are hoping you can hang in, but to give away a goal the way we did, from our point of view, it was terrible.

“Probably the biggest thing was we couldn’t play with enough personality, we couldn’t get the atmosphere going, we needed to play better.

“I thought we were playing safe, wanted to take more risks and get the ball into the forward players. But Mo was fantastic, probably the best player on the pitch. His attacking was excellent today.”

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was relieved to see out a nervy finish as West Ham went in search of a late winner.

“For large periods I was really quite pleased with way we were defending and attacking. It was an even game,” he said.

“You have to go through the anxious last moments but that’s understandable, we’ve just lost two games to late goals.

“I could have done without that 10 minutes, but the team showed a lot of resilience and I could understand the anxiety. Had we lost another game to a late goal, it would have had massive consequences on the team’s confidence.”

Palace were without Eberechi Eze, who suffered an ankle injury last week, and Hodgson is unsure when his star forward will be back.

“The update is a bit up in the air,” he added. “Eze is seemingly of the opinion he is going to be over the injury quicker than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’, but the medical people think it could be longer.”

David Moyes was named as the new head coach of LaLiga side Real Sociedad, on this day in 2014.

Moyes, who was axed by Manchester United the previous April following a dismal first season in charge at Old Trafford, was handed a contract until June 2016 with the Spanish outfit.

Moyes left United just 10 months into a six-year deal after being named as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2013.

At the time of his departure, United – the defending champions – were seventh in the Premier League and 23 points behind leaders Liverpool.

The 20-time title winners had broken a host of unwanted records during his tenure, including failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in almost two decades.

Moyes, who served the third-shortest managerial stint in the club’s history, won 27, drew nine and lost 15 of his 51 games in charge.

The former Everton boss took over a Sociedad side who had moved out of the relegation zone a day earlier with a 2-1 home win over champions Atletico Madrid.

Following a goalless draw at Deportivo in his first match in charge, Moyes secured his maiden win with a 3-0 victory over Elche, courtesy of a hat-trick from Carlos Vela.

Sociedad also beat Barcelona 1-0 in January and finished 12th in the table, but Moyes was sacked on November 9, 2015 following a poor start to the following season.

Moyes was appointed Sunderland manager in July 2016 following the departure of Sam Allardyce, but the Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League and Moyes resigned a day after the season ended.

David Moyes was thrilled to get West Ham’s Europa League campaign back on track after Lucas Paqueta’s goal secured a 1-0 victory over Olympiacos.

The Brazil midfielder crashed in a second-half volley to keep the Hammers on top of Group A and to the brink of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Moyes’ side are also guaranteed European football after Christmas with the worst-case scenario a third-placed finish meaning a return to the Europa Conference League and a chance to defend the trophy they won last season.

They enjoyed a measure of revenge, too, having accused the Greek team of celebrating their 2-1 win in the reverse fixture two weeks ago as if they had won the Europa League itself.

Not only that, but West Ham have now won their last nine home games in Europe since the start of last season, one more than Manchester City.

“We were disappointed to lose our record of 17 unbeaten two weeks ago against Olympiacos, so it’s good to get back on track,” said Moyes.

“We’re top of the group, we still have two matches to play but at the moment I think this is the hardest group we’ve had, in our third year in it, and it’s proved to be the case. We’ve done the job tonight. It’s a great result for us.

“Europe has been great for this football club, we’ve had some great nights and long may they continue.”

Paqueta, the best player on the pitch, broke the deadlock in the 74th minute after Bowen’s square pass found James Ward-Prowse.

The former Southampton midfielder chipped the ball forward into the area for Paqueta to fire home on the volley.

The goal was initially ruled out by an assistant referee’s flag, but a VAR check showed the Brazilian was onside and referee Matej Jug, who had infuriated West Ham with some strange decisions all evening, got the biggest cheer of the night when he signalled a goal.

“I don’t think VAR needed to come to the rescue, it was onside, it was a goal,” added Moyes.

“We needed it because the game was very tight, there was very little in it.

“He took the goal brilliantly tonight but there were lots of things I wanted him to do better. We’ve got room for improvement.”

It was a fourth assist in four European outings for Ward-Prowse, who was overlooked by England again earlier in the day, more than a year after his last call-up.

Paqueta pointedly went to the 3,000 travelling fans to celebrate, probably because the West Ham players were targeted by laser pens from Greek supporters in Athens.

West Ham survived a late scare when Mady Camara rattled a post but they held on to complete their European revenge mission.

What the papers say

David Moyes could remain at West Ham even if his contract as manager expires in the summer, it has been reported. According to the Daily Mail, the 60-year-old is being lined up by Hammers bosses for a job ‘upstairs’, although details of the exact role are not clear. Moyes has been in charge of the club since 2019, but there are reports his future as manager is in doubt following a run of four defeats in five games.

Bristol Live, via Sky Sports, says Liam Manning is closing in on becoming the new Bristol City manager. Manning’s Oxford are second in League One, but the opportunity to go up a division with Bristol City is believed to be too good for the 38-year-old to turn down.

And the Daily Mail reports Steven Gerrard‘s Al Ettifaq are gearing up for a spending spree across Europe as the side looks to dramatically improve their fortunes in the Saudi Pro League. Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson joined Al Ettifaq over the summer, while ex-Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is also on the books.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Bruno Fernandes: The Manchester United midfielder is wanted by several Saudi Pro League clubs, according to journalist Rudy Galetti.

Rayan Cherki: Football Insider reports the Lyon forward is on the radar at Manchester United and Newcastle.

David Moyes defended his team selection after West Ham’s unbeaten European record was reduced to ruins in Athens.

The Hammers came a cropper in the shadow of the Acropolis as they crashed 2-1 at Olympiacos, their first loss in continental competition in 18 matches.

Moyes, who led his side to the Europa Conference League title last season, made seven changes for their Europa League Group A clash in the Greek capital with one eye on Sunday’s visit of Everton.

But his tinkering backfired as a soft goal from Olympiacos captain Kostas Fortounis and an own goal from stand-in Hammers skipper Angelo Ogbonna brought their undefeated run to a halt despite Lucas Paqueta’s late volley.

“Look, we changed a lot of players tonight, we’ve got the Premier League coming up and we’ve got a League Cup game next week and we’d won the first two games in the group, which gave us leeway to make changes tonight,” Moyes told whufc.com.

“But maybe I have to recognise that while we didn’t win the Conference League games easily, as they were all tough games, coming to Olympiacos after winning away in Freiburg – which was a good result – this wasn’t a good result and wasn’t a good performance.

“In our heads we certainly had a bigger picture in our heads and that was going into Sunday.

“I don’t think anybody could say the team we started with wasn’t a good team and wasn’t a team capable of winning or performing.

“Many of them have been very good players for us over the years and still are.”

The local ‘ultras’ welcomed West Ham on to the pitch with a huge banner reading “tonight you dine in hell”, and the Hammers’ first-half display was certainly hard to stomach.

The hosts took the lead in the 34th minute when Fortounis launched an old-fashioned toe poke from the edge of the box which flew past the flat-footed Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal.

On the stroke of half-time the Hammers found themselves two behind when Ogbonna suffered his own personal Greek tragedy.

The Italian veteran stuck out a foot to block a cross from Brazilian full-back Rodinei, only to help it past Areola into his own net.

Moyes sent on Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio before the hour mark but the Brazilian’s strike, albeit spectacular, was all West Ham had to show for a late flurry.

Fortounis admitted his goal was a shade fortuitous. He told reporters: “To be honest, it all seems like a haze.

“I turned and ran towards goal, the ball was right in front of me and I couldn’t do anything else. It was literally a strike with the tip of my toe.”

West Ham’s unbeaten European record was reduced to ruins in Athens as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Olympiacos.

The Hammers came a cropper in the shadow of the Acropolis as they suffered a first loss in UEFA competitions in 18 matches.

David Moyes, who led his side to the Europa Conference League title last season, made seven changes for their Europa League Group A clash in the Greek capital.

But his selection backfired as a soft goal from Olympiacos captain Kostas Fortounis and an own goal from stand-in Hammers skipper Angelo Ogbonna brought their undefeated run to a halt despite Lucas Paqueta’s late reply.

A hostile reception for West Ham was guaranteed at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, with Olympiacos even issuing a warning to their supporters not to throw missiles or target players with laser pens.

That plea came after their match against fierce rivals Panathinaikos on Sunday had to be abandoned when a visiting player was hit by a firework hurled from the crowd.

With tensions high in Athens – Panathinaikos were also playing at home a few miles away – around 1,600 West Ham fans were bussed in from the city centre to the ground under a police escort to avoid any potential trouble.

The local ‘ultras’ did not disappoint, with a huge banner reading “tonight you dine in hell” welcoming the visitors on to the pitch amid a cauldron of noise.

Moyes would certainly have found West Ham’s first-half display hard to stomach.

The hosts took the lead in the 34th minute when Fortounis turned away from Emerson Palmieri, James Ward-Prowse and Pablo Fornals far too easily, 25 yards out.

Fortounis launched an old-fashioned toe poke from the edge of the box which flew past the flat-footed Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal.

On the stroke of half-time the Hammers found themselves two behind when Ogbonna suffered his own personal Greek tragedy.

The Italian veteran stuck out a foot to block a cross from Brazilian full-back Rodinei, only to help it past Areola into his own net.

Moyes will have been having a bad case of deja vu; his ill-fated spell in charge of Manchester United included a 2-0 defeat at the same stadium  in 2014.

West Ham did at least come out in the second half with more purpose, but a low cross from Emerson was scooped over the crossbar by Danny Ings.

Moyes made a triple substitution before the hour mark with Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio entering the fray.

Paqueta halved the deficit with a stunning volley from the edge of the box with four minutes left, but despite a late flurry they could not find an equaliser.

A victory would have all but secured West Ham’s passage into the knockout stages but now they find themselves with work to do, lying level with Freiburg at the top of the group with Olympiacos two points behind.

David Moyes has urged West Ham and Olympiacos supporters to behave themselves when the teams meet in Greece in the Europa League.

Tensions are high in Athens after Olympiacos’ league match with rivals Panathinaikos on Sunday had to be abandoned after an opposition player was hit by a firecracker.

Olympiacos have subsequently issued a warning to their supporters against throwing missiles and using laser pointers, which has become big problem in Greek football.

Meanwhile, West Ham fans were banned from their last European outing in Freiburg due to missile throwing during the Europa Conference League final victory over Fiorentina in June.

Hammers boss Moyes said at his pre-match press conference: “They’ve got great support here, fantastic enthusiasm, and it’s fantastic to come to a football city where the football really matters.

“You want the passion and the atmosphere but we also want good behaviour from our supporters and Olympiacos supporters.

“It’s a big game, but it’s important that everyone works together and end up having a good night.

“I think all we want is a good football game. You have to support your team well. You’re not doing your club any favours if you’re getting stadium bans or your team is getting thrown out of Europe.

“You have to be well behaved and we want the supporters to be that.”

Thursday’s match gives West Ham the chance to bounce back from Sunday’s painful 4-1 defeat at Aston Villa.

Greek defender Dinos Mavropanos said: “For the game against Aston Villa, it was a bad day against a good team.

“But our schedule is really busy so we needed to learn from it and start to focus on this game. We’ve been doing that. We’re here, we’ve worked hard and we’re looking forward to the match.”

Vladimir Coufal has not travelled due to a knock but fellow full-backs Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell are back in the squad after spells out.

David Moyes paid a warm tribute to “wonderful man” Bill Kenwright following the death of his former chairman at Everton.

Everton announced on Tuesday that Kenwright had died aged 78 following a battle with cancer.

Moyes and Kenwright formed a close bond during the Scot’s 11-year spell as manager at Goodison Park between 2002 and 2013.

“It’s incredibly sad news,” Moyes said at his pre-match press conference ahead of West Ham’s Europa League clash with Olympiacos.

“He was a wonderful man, he gave me a big opportunity in my career, taking me when I was a young manager in the lower leagues and gave me a job in the Premier League.

“Brilliantly supportive. I couldn’t have had a better chairman, as a young coach.

“When I look at modern football nowadays, how difficult it is for any young managers to make their way, Bill Kenwright was great to work with.

“We had great times over 11 years with him and we had some successful moments together. He’ll be sadly missed.”

On Wednesday morning current manager Sean Dyche and club captain Seamus Coleman laid flowers at the statue of Dixie Dean outside Goodison Park, where the Everton squad were holding a training session.

All players and staff observed a minute’s silence before the session and Kenwright’s image was shown on the stadium’s screens.

In a statement on the club website, Dyche said: “It’s a very sad time for everyone at Everton Football Club to lose our chairman, someone who has been such an amazing servant to the club in so many ways.

“His influence in bringing me to Everton in the first place was important and I have nothing but gratitude and respect for his unwavering support of myself, the staff and our players.

“It was a pleasure to share the moment of reaching our objective last season with him – a moment I know he felt so strongly about after such an arduous season, on and off the pitch…

“He was an incredible professional, in terms of what he did with Everton and also what he achieved in the theatre industry. Spending time with him and learning about his family, you couldn’t help but be taken by his passion.”

Dyche was told of the news midway through Tuesday’s training and called an immediate halt to the session as players and staff paid their respects.

Kenwright, who succeeded Sir Phillip Carter as chairman in 2004 after first joining the board at Goodison Park in 1989, had a cancerous tumour removed from his liver in August.

Liverpool-born Kenwright was a successful theatre and film producer when asked to join the Everton board in 1989.

He bought a majority 68 per cent stake in the club in 1999 and became deputy chairman before replacing Carter in his current role.

Dyche added: “Beyond his deep love of his family, one of those big passions, of course, was football – the game as a whole, as well as his obvious lasting love of Everton.

“His story – a boyhood supporter who went on to become chairman – is something so rare in the modern game, especially at the top level.

“He always believed in Everton and stood by the club, even in the toughest times. He was steadfast until the very end.

“Like so many who knew him, my heart and my thoughts are with his family at this extremely sad time.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp used his press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash against Toulouse to add his own tribute to Kenwright, adding to that issued by his club on Tuesday.

“The thing that I read recently, obviously, (he had) a massive heart for the city and a massive heart for Everton,” Klopp said.

“But the message he gave around the Hillsborough speech he held that time, I heard about: ‘They chose the wrong city and chose the wrong mums’. That’s a really strong message.

“With all of the rivalry with Everton, especially around the games, I don’t think we have any issues with each other left or right of games. This just shows how united we are in these moments, and that’s really big. He found the right words for it. My condolences to the family. I hope they are OK.”

Sir Bobby Charlton stood for everything that was good about Manchester United, according to former manager David Moyes, who will never forget the personal support he was shown during a testing spell at the club.

Fans flocked to Old Trafford on Sunday to pay tribute to former United and England great Charlton following his death aged 86.

A book of condolence was opened at 10am in the International Suite and supporters laid flowers and scarves and left messages for one of the club’s most famous sons.

A key member of England’s victorious 1966 World Cup team, Charlton also enjoyed great success at club level with United, who became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968.

Charlton won three league titles and one FA Cup at Old Trafford and, after leaving United in 1973 and becoming Preston manager, he returned to Old Trafford 11 years later as a club director.

Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager in the summer of 2013, but the former Everton boss left the club after just 10 months, with the team seventh in the Premier League table.

Now in charge at West Ham, Moyes reflected on the support shown by Charlton during what was one of the most testing spells of his managerial career.

“I’m deeply saddened and I send my condolences to all his family. The biggest thing everybody remembers, more than anything, is how great a man he was. He was such a good man,” Moyes said, quoted on West Ham’s club website.

“For me, it was difficult at times at Manchester United and he was incredibly supportive and always had something to say to me.

“He had a great wife in Lady Norma and even when I lost my job she phoned my wife up, which was really important at the time.

“For me, he carried off all the things that Manchester United were good for. He showed the traditions, he showed exactly how it should be, he showed great humility wherever he went, but not only that at Manchester United, he was ultimately one of the main people in English football over the years.

“When you think of the greats who have come through English football, Bobby Charlton would definitely be in there.”

Charlton made his debut for United in 1956 and went on to play 758 matches for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals. Both were long-standing club records until they were overtaken by Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, respectively. He was knighted for services to football in 1994.

It was announced on Saturday afternoon that he had died peacefully in the early hours of the morning surrounded by his family.

Former team-mate Denis Law said on manutd.com: “Another sad day. What can I say. Sir Bobby was an unbelievable player and a gentleman. Manchester United meant everything to him.

“We had many special and successful years together and he was a joy to play with. He knew where every player was on the pitch and for me that was a dream. I knew, if Bobby had the ball, it would find me, and it did.

“What a striker of the ball he was. He could hit the ball so hard that I knew most keepers didn’t stand a chance. On the rare occasion they did manage to deflect it, it would drop nicely to me to finish it off.

“Along with George (Best), our partnership was sealed. The great part of playing with Bobby and George was that if one of us was having a bad day, the other two knew and that’s what made our relationship special. I am saddened by the news, like all football fans today.”

Charlton’s European Cup success at United came 10 years after the Munich air disaster, which he and team manager Sir Matt Busby survived but which claimed the lives of eight of Charlton’s team-mates.

Tributes were left at Old Trafford this weekend, one which read: “Thank you Sir Bobby, a hero to the worldwide football family,” while a message from fan group The 1958 said: “History, dignity and integrity is what you gave to our great club. Our promise to you is to make sure it stays.”

Manchester United women’s manager Marc Skinner dedicated Sunday’s 5-0 win at Everton to Charlton.

“He changed football in my opinion, especially at my club, so that was for him and for his family,” Skinner said.

Born in Ashington on October 11 1937, Charlton played in the World Cup final alongside his brother Jack, who died aged 85 in 2020, and won 106 caps for England, scoring 49 goals.

Charlton was diagnosed with dementia and the announcement of his condition made public in November 2020, two days after his United and England team-mate Nobby Stiles died following his own battle with the illness.

John Stiles, son of Nobby, told BBC Radio Five Live that Charlton was “uncle Bobby” to the family as they were growing up.

“He was just a beautiful man,” Stiles said. “When he used to come around as kids, he would bring Christmas presents and anytime I saw him, he would always ask me how I was doing.

“(He was) just one of those great people and just a pleasure to have somebody like that in your life.

“Bobby would never brag about his achievements. Every time you saw him, the first thing he asked you was about yourself.

“There was no edge on him. He was just a totally humble man.”

David Moyes saluted his “maverick” forward Lucas Paqueta after the 2-1 Europa League win at Freiburg, even though he drives him mad.

Freiburg’s nickname is the Breisgau Brazilians due to their flamboyant style of play, but it was West Ham’s Samba star Paqueta who stole the show.

He put them ahead after only nine minutes with a towering header from a cross by Jarrod Bowen, celebrating his return to the England squad.

Paqueta then spent the rest of the evening tormenting the hosts with his array of flicks, tricks and occasional theatrics.

“It was a bit of an old-fashioned goal, down the side with a good cross, and then a great header like an old-fashioned centre forward. I really enjoyed watching it,” said Hammers boss Moyes.

“Jarrod played well but Lucas was terrific. He drives me mad sometimes but everybody who watched him would have said this player has got incredible talent.

“There is a word that goes around, a maverick. He is that for us.

“It is really important we get him in and adapt to him and accept some of his things he may not do, things which I would say are conventional.

“But we are really enjoying him at the moment and he is terrific at taking the ball under pressure – but also there are moments when I say: ‘what are you doing’?”

The match may have taken place on the edge of the Black Forest, but it was never going to be a piece of cake for the Hammers against a side eighth in the Bundesliga.

They were also up against 34,000 noisy fans, with no away supporters allowed to attend following incidents during West Ham’s Europa Conference League final triumph in June.

Freiburg equalised after half-time through Roland Sallai, but Nayef Aguerd’s header from a James Ward-Prowse corner made it two wins from two in Group A and a 17th match undefeated in Europe, a record for an English club.

“It’s a brilliant achievement, I’ve said to the boys we need to keep it going. Winning the game tonight was most important,” added Moyes.

“I’m really pleased. We played very well especially, in the opening 20 or 30 minutes.

“They came back, which I expected. They got better and we had moments when we played very well but we mainly won the first half. We had to then be good defensively.”

Kurt Zouma is determined to repay the faith shown in him by West Ham manager David Moyes.

The 28-year-old defender has been confirmed as West Ham’s club captain in the wake of Declan Rice’s summer switch to Arsenal.

Moyes forked out £30million to sign Zouma from Chelsea in 2021 and stood by the Frenchman after a video emerged showing him kicking and slapping his pet cat.

Zouma was fined two weeks’ wages and sentenced to 180 hours of community service after that unsavoury incident.

Last season, Zouma was one of West Ham’s stand-out performers during their triumphant run in the Europa Conference League.

And his redemption continued by being handed the armband and playing a big part in West Ham’s fine start to the current campaign.

“It’s a huge honour and privilege for me to be captain. It’s an amazing club and I’m just so proud,” Zouma told the PA news agency.

“The manager has done an amazing job. He’s a legend here. We won a trophy last year and that was a top achievement.

“And for me personally he has been helping me in every aspect, with my game and outside of football he has been supporting me throughout everything, and I just can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me and I try to give it back on the pitch.

“That’s my way, on the pitch. Everything he has helped me through I have to give it back on the pitch.”

West Ham have re-invested the £105million received for Rice in James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez, Mohammed Kudus and Konstantinos Mavropanos, all of whom look like shrewd signings by Moyes.

“We lost a top player, an important player, in Declan,” added Zouma. “But I think the replacements that we made have been very clever.

“That didn’t affect us, to be fair, we knew he was going to go. He’s played some unbelievable games here, he’ll always be remembered here, but he’s an opponent now.

“The players that came in have bought into the project at West Ham, they’ve bought into the tactics, they’ve settled quickly as well.

“So we are pleased to have those guys and they’ve helped us make a really strong start to the season.”

Tomas Soucek’s second-half goal ensured West Ham overcame a tough test in the Carabao Cup third round at Lincoln with a 1-0 victory.

This was nothing other than ‘job done’ for the Hammers as Soucek’s 70th-minute strike from a corner booked their place in the next round.

Boss David Moyes made a host of changes to his side but Soucek was one of his Premier League starters who was involved and that proved vital while goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski also made a number of good saves.

League One Lincoln, who were winners at Sheffield United in the last round, gave them a scare and should have led in the first half but they could not produce another upset.

This home tie for the Imps was a reward for that penalty shootout victory at Bramall Lane in August and they had designs on a second shock.

They had to survive a scare in the opening 20 minutes as defender Sean Roughan slipped at the vital moment when receiving a pass, allowing Max Cornet to burst forward.

However, goalkeeper Lukas Jensen got out well to smother efforts from Danny Ings and Said Benrahma.

From that point, the Imps began to cause their visitors some problems, with Reeco Hackett firing a fierce shot from distance straight at Fabianski.

They thought they had taken the lead in the 26th minute as Alex Mitchell turned in Ali Smith’s cross at the far post but he was offside.

Lincoln kept going and should have gone in front just before half-time.

A nice move saw Smith in space on the left and he sent in a perfect cross for Hackett to produce a powerful header that seemed destined to ripple the net but Fabianski somehow palmed it away with a flying stop.

A storm blew through Sincil Bank in the opening 15 minutes of the second half and with the wind at their tails, Lincoln penned West Ham in and they would have fancied their chances of creating something with their direct approach.

But the quality was lacking and as the wind died down, so too did the Imps’ threat.

The Hammers began to take control, though were hardly banging the door down and needed a set-piece to go in front.

Benrahma whipped in a low corner from the left and Soucek prodded home at the near post.

They almost made it 2-0 shortly after as Ben Johnson let fly with 30-yard shot that crashed into the post.

Lincoln went for it in the final 15 minutes in a bid to force penalties and Dylan Duffy tested Fabianksi with a stinging shot from distance, which the keeper met with a full-length save.

West Ham were able to see it out to make it through to the fourth round for the fourth successive year.

David Moyes gave the kudos to Mohammed Kudus after the Ghana winger helped West Ham come from behind to beat Europa League minnows TSC Backa Topola 3-1.

The Hammers made heavy weather of the opening match of their latest European adventure on a stormy night in Stratford, but headers from £38million summer signing Kudus and substitute Tomas Soucek got the Hammers off to a winning start.

East London was hit by torrential rain before kick-off with water cascading through the roof onto the concourses at London Stadium.

The floodgates failed to open on the pitch in the first half, however, despite West Ham being in the rare position of dominating possession on the soggy surface, and they fell behind after a mistake by Angelo Ogbonna.

“Tonight I thought we did enough to win although I didn’t think we were great in a lot of things we did,” said Moyes.

“The goal was probably our own doing but I didn’t fear the worst. It was a game where we had the lot of the ball and gave us a chance to see if we could do what teams have done to us lately.

“The mistake changed the game – but it also made us more determined.

“Kudus I thought started really brightly and came up with an important goal when I couldn’t really see where we would get one from.”

The Hammers had 78 per cent possession in the first half, which was the exact opposite of their stats during the recent smash-and-grab win at Brighton.

But Moyes got a taste of his own medicine when Ogbonna dawdled on the halfway line and Petar Sanic raced clear to give the Serbians a shock lead.

However the Hammers, whose last European outing was their triumphant Europa Conference League final win over Fiorentina in June, hit back in the 66th minute, albeit in fortunate fashion as Said Benrahma’s cross was turned in at the far post by TSC defender Nemanja Petrovic.

Kudus got his goal four minutes later and Soucek headed the third – with both coming from James Ward-Prowse corners – to finally ease West Ham nerves.

TSC coach Zarko Lazetic said: “We are disappointed and a little bit angry. We respect the other team, but we felt we definitely had an opportunity.

“Our tactic was to come and win and we feel sorry it didn’t happen.”

West Ham boss David Moyes likes the sound of his Hammers side being at the top of the Premier League table as they returned to the summit with a 2-1 win at Luton.

Goals from Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma were enough for the visitors to claim all three points, with Mads Andersen’s stoppage-time header a consolation at Kenilworth Road.

Moyes said: “It’s Luton at home, the first game back in the Premier League and once we got into it, we did well enough.

“For a little while (we’re top), but it’s nice for people to say that – it’s good, I like the sound of it and long may it continue.

“It was a really good ball from (Lucas) Paqueta and a finish from Jarrod, so really pleased.

“It’s not easy to come here in the first Premier League game of the season, so overall we did well.

“Kurt’s goal took the game away from them, we were the better team and we probably should have been further in front.

“Two or three counter-attacking moments where we have been so slick with it recently.

“Our away form had been poor, but our away form is brilliant now.

“Today was a bit of the same, we played better, had to defend really as well as their style of play will cause a lot of teams problems and I thought our defenders did really well.”

A quiet first half saw Ross Barkley drag two chances wide for Luton, with Said Benrahma off target for the Hammers, who went ahead after 37 minutes when Paqueta’s cross was powered home by Bowen.

Elijah Adebayo and Tahith Chong fired wide for Luton after the break before Emerson’s effort was ruled offside by VAR at the other end.

With four minutes left, Zouma’s downward header doubled West Ham’s lead before Andersen pulled one back in stoppage time.

Luton might have had a chance to equalise but a possible James Ward-Prowse handball from a corner in the dying seconds was not awarded.

Luton boss Rob Edwards said of the late drama: “A lot of people are telling me that (it’s handball).

“I’ve only seen a still, a freeze frame at the moment; I’ve not had a chance to see it back.

“If it was, I’m disappointed, if it’s gone against us as those are the moments you need to go our way especially at this level to get results.

“But I’m not going to complain about that now, or blame that, we’ve got to look at ourselves.

“Me, myself as well, how we can keep getting better, I don’t want to keep saying the same things after the game.

“Fine moments, basics, one cross into the box we didn’t deal with it well enough in the first half and a set-piece.

“I will say that corner came from a corner that probably should have been our corner before that and then we conceded from it.

“But I saw a team that was a lot more compact than in the last two games and I saw a team that was still aggressive and created chances.”

After the game Luton announced the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal.

The 23-year-old made 15 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners last season and was in attendance at Kenilworth Road.

David Moyes was delighted to see West Ham end their Brighton hoodoo with a convincing 3-1 win at the Amex Stadium which took them top of the table.

Summer signing James Ward-Prowse scored his first Hammers goal in only his second start to set the visitors on course for a first ever Premier League win over the south coast side.

Manager Moyes said: “I’m thrilled with the three points because usually we come here and struggle to get any points.

“We haven’t won here for years. It’s been the same coming here and not getting the results.

“Today was a well-deserved three points. Brighton did a good job, but we also did a good job in other parts of the game.

“Brighton have got an extremely good manager and his side are causing problems to plenty of teams, not just us.

“They are going to be hard for any manager to play against.

“They are very offensive, which is great, but that also means it can open up and give you chances on the counter.

“We worked hard on not getting picked off easily and we defended really well.

“Our counter-attacks were really good. Two or three years ago we were really good on the counter and we showed that. All the forward players made a really good contribution today.”

Moyes led West Ham to their first trophy in more than 40 years by winning last season’s Europa Conference League.

On their surprise early-season surge to the Premier League summit, the Scot said: “I didn’t realise we had gone top. It has been a long time since any West Ham manager did that also.”

Ward-Prowse got West Ham off to the perfect start when he opened the scoring after 19 minutes, following on from his two assists in last weekend’s debut win over Chelsea.

Michail Antonio was too strong for Brighton defender Adam Webster and picked out England international Ward-Prowse to tap in from two yards.

Jarrod Bowen added a second 13 minutes into the second half – expertly controlling Said Benrahma’s cross before firing into the bottom corner.

Bowen then teed up Antonio to seal the points in the 63rd minute with a drilled shot into the corner.

Brighton, who had 79 per cent of the possession, got a goal back with nine minutes to play when German midfielder Pascal Gross chopped back onto his right foot to rifle home through a crowded penalty area.

West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola made two crucial saves in the dying stages to keep out Joel Veltman’s volley and Ferguson’s fierce drive.

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said: “I’m disappointed with the result. It wasn’t the best performance in my time at the club, but we didn’t play badly.

“We shot 27 times and created 11 chances to score. In the second half I’m disappointed because we lost the balance of the game.

“I’m very proud of the performance, the attitude, the passion and the mentality to play well and get points.

“I can analyse how we conceded the goals and how we made a lot of mistakes in the last 20 metres and how we conceded so many counter-attacks, but it is not a problem.

“We will start on Monday working on the last week.”

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