Football: Lampard miss may be costly
West Ham United 0 Metz 1
Wednesday 11 August 1999
Having taken a 13th-minute lead, Metz looked capable of extending their advantage every time they turned defence into rapid attack. West Ham had their chances and Frank Lampard missed a second-half penalty, but Harry Redknapp's team can have few complaints.
A string of absentees gave Hammers' defence an unfamiliar look, with Steve Lomas filling in at right-back and the ever-reliable Steve Potts taking a central berth alongside Rio Ferdinand. If they took encouragement from the numbers filing immediately into deep positions for the visitors, then the control at high speed with which Metz assembled their counter- attacks would soon prove to make their night an awkward one.
Crucial to the French club's hopes of scoring the vital away goal was the midfielder Frederic Meyrieu, who demonstrated the value of his invention when he fashioned a move that put Metz ahead, Danny Boffin providing the cross that enabled Louis Saha, who had three months on loan at Newcastle last season, to head in convincingly.
West Ham were unable to create anything so clear-cut and it scarcely helped that Paulo Wanchope and Trevor Sinclair were proving surprisingly easy to stifle for a French back line in which Sylvain Kastendeuch was commanding. Paolo Di Canio, operating just behind a rather blunt spearhead and showing much purpose and energy, increasingly became a figure of frustration.
There were chances for John Moncur and Lampard early on, but generally the French resistance proved well organised. Wanchope at last discovered space as Sinclair played him in, but goalkeeper Lionel Letizi pulled off the save with his legs.
There were signs at the start of the second half that West Ham could reap some reward. Scott Minto volleyed just wide, and when Lomas found Letizi half smothering his low shot a defender was on hand to clear.
On the hour Di Canio earned a penalty when his forceful run into the penalty area enticed a tug from Gregory Proment. However, Lampard's shot was saved by Letizi to his right.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Hislop; Lomas, Ferdinand, Potts, Minto; Foe, Lampard, Di Canio, Moncur; Sinclair, Wanchope. Substitutes: Forrest, Cole, Carrick, Kitson, Angus, Keller, Wright.
Metz (1-4-3-2) Letizi; Kastendeuch; Schemmel, Proment, Pierre, Gaillot; Bastien, Baffin, Meyrieu; Saha, Gousse. Substitutes: Biancarelli, Asuar, Rizzetto, Van Handenhoven, Toyes, Jestrovic, Marchal.
Referee: M Diaz Vega (Spain).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Danny Ings: Burnley striker to begin talks with Liverpool, despite Tottenham interest
Leicester City investigate reports of 'orgy video in Thailand in which woman is racially abused'
Theo Walcott contract latest: Arsenal striker predicts future will be 'resolved' but warns 'it will take time'
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
- 1 Enrique Iglesias injured trying to catch a drone mid concert
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
- 4 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...