In a game that ultimately meant nothing for the home side, West Ham can still feel disappointed at losing 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in the final matchday of the Europa League group stage.
David Moyes selected five academy prospects to start as he decided to rest his big hitters in preparation for the busy Christmas schedule, and all put in gallant performances as the Hammers were ultimately downed, losing their unbeaten record in Europe and giving their Croatian opposition a first win on English soil.
Mislav Orsic, a familiar foe to Tottenham Hotspur, slammed a rocket into the top corner off the woodwork on four minutes to give Dinamo the perfect start, and they managed the game well, clinging on and defending resolutely as well as maintaining enough threat on the counter to be worthy of the three points that takes them to second in the group. They will now go into a play-off to see who goes through to the next knockout round.
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But the inexperienced hosts can take great pleasure in their performance today - unfortunate to go down to a goal that none of them, in particular deputy goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, could do nothing about.
17-year old Sonny Perkins did well to link play in an unfamiliar central striking role, and he combined well with Nikola Vlasic and Pablo Fornals in the opening 45 minutes, with Andriy Yarmolenko however disappointing off the right flank.
The entire defensive quartet was made up of youngsters, and the central partnership of Jamal Baptiste and Aji Alese remained solid throughout.
An unfortunate defeat for David Moyes, but one that he will forget very quickly as he turns his attentions to the knockout rounds of this competition, and Burnley this weekend in the Premier League.
TALKING POINT - UNLUCKY YOUNG GUNS
The Premier League outfit used the dead rubber to experiment with their younger talents, and it paid off, as we saw exemplary performances from all that graced the field.
Perkins, as aforementioned, did well on his own up front, whilst the defensive unit did excellently to keep an experienced, championship-winning Zagreb at bay, but for a piece of magic from Orsic.
Harrison Ashby and Emmanuel Longelo were excellent down the flanks, offering overlaps and creating decoys to allow for Yarmolenko and Vlasic to move inside.
Whilst they won't be big parts of this season's top four challenge, all those who played tonight showed clearly why they have a future under David Moyes at the London Stadium.
West Ham: Areola 7, Ashby 7, Baptiste 7, Alese 7, Longelo 8*, Kral 7, Noble 6, Yarmolenko 5, Fornals 6, Vlasic 7, Perkins 7, Benrahma 7, Potts 6, A-Forson 6.
Dinamo: Livakovic 7, T-Catherine 6, Sutalo 6, Peric 7, Ristovski 7, Gojak 6, Ademi 6, Ivanusec 7, Stefulj 7, Orsic 7, Andric 7, Juric 6, Misic 6, Bulat 6, Dilaver 6.
MAN OF THE MATCH - EMMANUEL LONGELO, WEST HAM UNITED
A fantastic European debut from the left-back.
Willing to get forward and dart inside and out with the ball, the 20 year old showed real character and maturity to deal with experienced wing-back Stefan Ristovski and the peeling runs of Komnen Andric into the left channel, and yet he still had the determination to bomb on and help Vlasic and Benrahma in the attacking transition.
An all-round excellent display from a top talent.
4': GOALLL!!!! What a start for the visitors after early pressure! Orsic hammers home a fierce dipping effort into the top corner, stepping inside onto his right foot, and Alphonse Areola is beaten for sheer pace! What a goal, what a perfect start for Dinamo!
19': Ashby breaks well down the right flank on the overlap, and looks for Perkins on the far stick! He just nods it wide of the target.
37': GOOD SAVE! Well worked again from Dinamo who are turning the screw. Ivanusec spins on a sixpence and hits the ball from the edge of the area, but Areola is equal to it to flick it over the bar.
38': The resulting corner comes out to Ivanusec again, and he looks to bend one this time! Just wide.
58': GOOD SAVE! Areola is called into action to make a comfortable save in the end from Orsic, but the Croatians come again as they look for that elusive second.
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