Football Features

“Tonight at times he was unplayable” – Benrahma steals the show as West Ham held 2-2 by Genk

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 20:20, 4 November 2021

In a thrilling night of football, West Ham drew 2-2 away to Genk in David Moyes’ 1000th game in senior management.

Moyes’ Irons fell behind early after a fast start from the hosts, but they battled their way back into the game and second-half in particular saw them dominate and score two goals through one of their secret weapons: Said Benrahma.

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While everyone justifiably heaps praise on Michail Antonio, and Declan Rice is drawing comparisons to some of the greatest in the game, and even Quiet King Aaron Cresswell is getting love, Said Benrahma is slowly growing in stature at West Ham.

At 26, the Algerian is no bright youngster but instead a mercurial talent coming into his prime and, like Jesse Lingard last season, he’s finding David Moyes’ West Ham side to be the perfect platform to showcase exactly what he can do.

For West Ham’s equaliser, Benrahma actually starts the move back in midfield escaping some pressure before reversing a delightful ball through the Genk midfield to Manuel Lanzini. The ball then progresses forward and Benrahma has followed his run through so when Vladimir Coufal’s cross comes into the box, the Algerian is there to slam home an equaliser.

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Benrahma’s second goal, which looked like a game-winner at the time, was absolutely out of this world. He picked the ball up on the corner of the box before absolutely blitzing Mujaid Sadick with a lovely bit of skill to enter the box. Approaching the goal, Benrahma again showed his confidence by drilling the ball low at the near-post to leave the goalie with no chance.

The Algerian dominated the game, completing a game-high 7/9 take-ons, creating 3 chances, making 2 tackles, taking 11 touches in the opposition box while having 5 shots and, of course, scoring 2 goals off 1.49 xG. He was quite simply outrageous, showing the confidence granted him by the manager and, his team-mates, as Declan Rice said post-match: “I’m always on at him to keep expressing himself.”

“I thought he was outstanding tonight,” said Joe Cole post-match “and he’s one of those players who the West Ham fans will love watching.” And you have to say he’s right, as now he is marrying his obvious skill with immense end product as he now has three goals in four Europa League games for the Hammers this season.

The final word should fall to Joe Cole, a man who would know all about being a twinkle-toed attacking midfielder playing for West Ham. The former Iron said, of Benrahma: “tonight at times he was unplayable.” And that wasn’t hyperbole or anything, Benrahma did look a level above even his West Ham team-mates. And if he can keep this up then there’s no limit to how dazzling David Moyes’ boys could become nor how far they could go in the Europa League.


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