West Ham lost three-one to Rennes in France this evening as they played in their White away shirts for the first time, but the loss deservedly so in a Hammers lacklustre display.
David Moyes named a strong side captained by Nayef Aguerd without Aaron Cresswell, who remains missing; also absent were Michail Antonio and Ben Johnson, who remains on holiday after late international duty.
The manager decided to start with Danny Ings up front, leaving Gianluca Scamacca on the bench until the last twenty minutes.
Rennes opened the score sheet when a cheeky 35-yard shot from Baptiste Santamaria beat Alphonse Areola, who seemed to misjudge the long-distance effort completely.
Rennes and their fans seemed up for the game more than the Hammers, and the French side is a club we could face in the Europa League group stage this coming season.
Fabianski, Bowen and Mubama came on at halftime, but nothing seemed to change until Emerson swung the ball into the box, and Tomas Souček rose highest to plant a firm header home. It was one of those trade mark headers Soucek used to score when he first joined the Hammers and a promising sign.
Rennes regained the lead with 15 minutes to play when Kalimuendo darted across the near post to meet a low cross from the right with a good finish past Fabianski.
Kalimuendo’s influential cameo role concluded with a strong hand in the decisive third goal in the final minute as his dangerous low cross was turned past Fabiański by the unfortunate Angelo Ogbonna to make it a 3-1 defeat for the Hammers.
One interesting conversation was about West Ham left-back target Adrien Truffert was not in the match-day squad in France, just like Aaron Cresswell.