West Ham are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in five seasons after cruising to a 4-0 win over Doncaster at the London Stadium.
The hosts were heavy favourites heading into the game, owing to their impressive recent Premier League form, and they showed their class immediately as Pablo Fornals superbly steered Ryan Fredericks cross into the corner with less than two minutes on the clock.
The Hammers maintained the pressure throughout the remainder of the first half, and were rewarded with a second goal before the half hour mark when Andriy Yarmolenko’s superb dink capitalised on a fine slide rule pass from Said Benrahma.
A third followed at the beginning of the second half when Andy Butter turned Mark Noble’s corner into his own net, before Oladapo Afolayan showed his predatory instincts to tap home a rebound from close range.
In truth, it could have been more as the home side dominated throughout, but Moyes should be delighted with his side’s comprehensive performance. Here’s how the home players rated.
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 6/10 – A very quiet afternoon for the Polish goalkeeper, who spent more time wondering how he was going to keep warm. Ended up doing so by being substituted, allowing Nathan Trott a first team debut.
Ryan Fredericks (RB) – 8/10 – Always a threat going forward, putting a number of dangerous crosses into Doncaster’s box. Precise delivery for Fornals’ goal showed what he’s capable of.
Fabian Balbuena (CB) – 7/10 – Dominant in the air and composed with the ball at his feet, it was business as usual for the man known as ‘The General’.
Issa Diop (CB) – 6/10 – Solid enough after returning on the left hand side of central defence. Rocked the short sleeves and gloves look nicely.
Ben Johnson (LB) – 6/10 – Apparent that he favours the right hand side, but did well nevertheless. Needs to develop his weaker foot in order to vary his arsenal of attack.
Mark Noble (CM) – 7/10 – At his best when he saunters around relatively unnoticed. That was the case here, dropping deep to recycle possession and generally keeping things simple.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 8/10 – His selection allowed Declan Rice a rest for the first time this season. Was his confident self, controlling things in midfield and looking a real threat in the air.
Manuel Lanzini (AM) – 7/10 – Didn’t need to be at his best in truth, and, well, he wasn’t. Still, a brighter performance than we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Lanzini of late.
Pablo Fornals (RF) – 7/10 – Got the ball rolling with a superbly controlled left foot finish, banishing the many memories he’s built up of skewing the ball wide or firing over.
Andriy Yarmolenko (ST) – 8/10 – Showed great composure for West Ham’s second with a lovely dinked finish. Played out of position for the most part, but more than able to hold his own against a side playing in League One and, more importantly, worked very hard.
Said Benrahma (LF) – 7/10 – Really could do with a goal to ignite his West Ham career, but looked menacing throughout – from his dribbling and also with his eye for a pass.
Oladapo Afolayan (ST) – 7/10 – A first team debut that he’ll cherish forever, bagging a real poachers goal after a smart save from Balcombe in the Doncaster goal.
Nathan Trott (GK) – 5/10 – A lovely touch from Moyes to bring the young keeper on for his first team bow. Didn’t have a save to make.
Jamal Baptiste (RB) – 5/10 – Not enough time to influence the game but another debutant.
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