Moyes praises Rice's performance in Rapid Vienna win

David Moyes lauds Declan Rice for ‘stepping up’ his attacking development after West Ham star scores for second Europa League game running in win over Rapid Vienna

  • David Moyes heaped praise on Declan Rice’s performance against Rapid Vienna
  • Rice, 22, scored the opening goal in West Ham’s 2-0 Europa League victory
  • Moyes said Rice has ‘stepped up’ his attacking and ‘has a great shot in him’ 
  • Sadly the goal prompted some rival fans to try to get to each other in ugly scenes

David Moyes hailed Declan Rice’s attacking development after the England star scored his second Europa League goal for West Ham.

Rice was a commanding presence in the Hammers’ 2-0 victory over Rapid Vienna, and opened the scoring by finishing off a sweeping move having sprinted half the pitch to arrive in the opposition penalty box.  

Having defeated Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in their Group H opener in Croatia two weeks ago, Moyes’ side are already in a strong position a third of the way through the stage.

David Moyes (left) praised Declan Rice (right) for his attacking play against Rapid Vienna

Rice helped West Ham to a 2-0 win over Rapid after scoring the opening goal of the match

The Hammers boss said: ‘The performance I wouldn’t put as high as some we’ve had this season, but we are still learning at this level. We did the job and we were worthy winners.

‘It took a really well-worked goal and a good goal by Declan. He has stepped up, he has the ability to get forward and score goals and we are encouraging him to do that. It’s good that he’s got two in this competition already.

‘He’s beginning to show a little bit more, I think he’s more than capable, and he’s got a great shot in him too. But overall he’s a really good, developing midfield player.’

It was a match West Ham were expected to win comfortably with their opponents struggling badly in the Austrian league this season, and both Rice and Craig Dawson hit the frame of the goal before they went ahead after half an hour.

Moyes said Rice was developing well and ‘beginning to show a little bit more’ attacking-wise

Michail Antonio chested the ball down from Andriy Yarmolenko’s pass and raided down the left before crossing low for Rice, who had started the move on the halfway line before racing forward to tap into an empty net.

It was the first home goal for a West Ham player in Europe, qualifiers aside, since Frank Lampard wrapped up a 3-0 UEFA Cup win over Croatian side Osijek in 1999.

Sadly the goal prompted some rival fans, who had been throwing plastic bottles and winding each other up non-stop, to try to get to each other with police and stewards having to intervene.

That flare-up was quickly dealt with, although there was further trouble at the end, and even an altercation between supporter liaison staff from both clubs in the bowels of the stadium, with Rapid’s eventually being led off the premises.

Moyes added: ‘Look, we want to be a club playing regularly in Europe and we want to behave correctly.

Rapid Vienna fans clashed with police inside the London Stadium after the end of the match

‘I don’t know who started it but we don’t want that reputation, we want to be seen as a club who can travel to Europe and everybody welcomes us. I was aware of some things being thrown.’

West Ham had a let-off in the second half when German referee Tobias Stieler gave a penalty after Rapid sub Marco Grull went down under a non-challenge from Ben Johnson, with VAR correctly overturning the decision.

And Benrahma made sure it was goodnight Vienna when he cut inside and curled in the second in stoppage time.

Rapid coach Dietmar Kuhbauer said: ‘You can never be happy after a loss but we played a good game, especially in the second half. Overall a decent performance.’

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