West Ham knocked out of Europa League

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West Ham United were knocked out of UEFA Europa League qualifying last night following a 2-1 defeat to Astra Giurgiu.

The Hammers took the lead in the third minute through Manuel Lanzini, giving them a 3-2 aggregate advantage. The on-loan 22-year-old fired a low effort past Silviu Lung in the Astra goal for the youthful West Ham side.

The Irons joy was to be short lived as a brace from Constantin Budescu before half-time left the visitors chasing the game following plenty of positive attacking football from the Romanians. Bedescu was allowed too much space on both occasions, allowing the striker to place two shots past Darren Randolph.


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Slaven Bilic made 11 changes from the first-leg at Upton Park, with three players making their club debuts. Inexperience was evident with captain Kevin Nolan unable to galvanise his troops to a late equaliser. Instead it was Giurgiu who looked most likely to grab another late goal, and probably should have done.

Josh Cullen worked hard for West Ham in midfield but was unable to stamp out many of Astra's attacks. Fellow youngster Kyle Knoyle was making his debut at right-back and at just 18-years-old it was hardly surprising that Knoyle looked uneasy.

Southampton secured their place in the Euopa League play-offs with a 5-0 aggregate win over Dutch side Vittesse. Goals from Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane in either half gave the Saints a 2-0 win in Holland yesterday evening's second leg.

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Europa League
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