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
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Australian Open 2015: Serena Williams vs Madison Keys match preview
Tottenham player ratings: Christian Eriksen? Harry Kane? Who was the star man at Bramall Lane?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Pair finally meet at NBA game and shake hands, will the fight be announced during Super Bowl?
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our exclusive client in St Albans Hertfords...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teachers needed in Hertfordshir...
£55000 - £58000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Credit Controller - Londo...