European hits and misses: West Ham embark on new era and Tanguy Ndombele shines on Spurs return

Plus: Celtic’s defensive shortcomings exposed, Harvey Barnes shows he is back to his best for Leicester, while Rangers have hope despite their 2-0 loss to Lyon

Fifteen years had passed since West Ham last played in a major European competition but, after 90 flawless minutes in Croatia, you wouldn’t have known it.

Trepidation and anticipation were in equal measure as the Hammers embarked on their Europa League adventure, the reward for their remarkable 2021/21 Premier League campaign.

West Ham, together with their 2,000 traveling supporters, set out to enjoy their big day on the continental stage but it quickly dawned that the Hammers could do more, much more.

A trip to Dinamo Zagreb, famous conquerors of Tottenham in last season’s Europa League, was without question West Ham’s toughest Group H assignment and a substantial interrogation of their European credentials, but it was an assessment they passed was consummate ease.

The predatory nature of in-form Michail Antonio produced the opening goal midway through the first half before Declan Rice sealed the victory with a sensational solo run and finish in the second.

The performances not only spoke volumes of the caliber of Premier League football but also for the progression the Hammers continue to take under David Moyes.

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