West Ham 4-0 AEK Larnaca: Gianluca Scamacca back on scoresheet as Conference League journey continues

In a Premier League season that hasn’t gone off the rails because it never managed to get started in the first place, continental competition has brought much-needed solace to the struggling Hammers.

They may be threatened with the crippling danger of a relegation drop, but Moyes’ side have now won all ten matches they have played in Europe this season.

In a half-full London stadium on a pleasant Thursday evening, Moyes made six changes – and his side’s fortunes have duly changed since their pointless 1-1 draw with Aston Villa here on Sunday.

It could have been a bleak international break for West Ham had they slipped out of the Europa Conference League tonight. They led Cypriot side AEK Larnaca – who have never won a league title – 2-0 after a clinical but lackluster victory in the Mediterranean last week.

The most controversial of Moyes’ six changes was the inclusion of Gianluca Scamacca, the Italian striker who signed for £35million in the summer, making him the fourth most expensive signing in West Ham history.

Moyes hasn’t started Scamacca since January and this week said his ‘physical data’ needed to improve, suggesting the Italian’s work rate left something to be desired.

Scamacca seized his chance, coming on and chaining the game perfectly in the 54 minutes he played.

He scored West Ham’s first of four on the night when he beat Mikel Gonzalez and ran through keeper Kenan Piric. It was his first goal since early January, and the relief was palpable on the face of an Italy international who Roberto Mancini says needs to play more club football.

Jarrod Bowen was West Ham’s talisman last year with 18 goals in all competitions. He lost his edge for much of this season, but it was a great performance from him.

Divin Mubama capped off a great night for West Ham by scoring the final goal

/ Getty Images

He swept the rebound away when Scamacca forced Piric into a second-half save. Then he cast a glorious glance over Aaron Cresswell’s diving corner keeper.

By then West Ham had a 3-0 lead, a 5-0 aggregate lead and a cruise. Larnaca offered little and were down to ten men before the break when VAR overturned a yellow and made sure Bulgarian referee Georgi Kabakov gave reckless Gus Ledes a red for his rudeness fault on the excellent Pablo Fornals.

And 18-year-old substitute Divin Mubama capped off the perfect night for Moyes by coming home smartly for his first career goal.

This marked the beginning of Mubama’s journey. West Ham’s journey in Europe continues.

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