Photo by Federico Maranesi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Genk coach John van den Brom was relieved his side only lost 3-0 to a rampant West Ham United in last night’s Europa League tie at the London Stadium, speaking to Het Nieuwsblad. 

It’s hard to believe, given the lopsided nature of the scoreline, there was little to separate the sides until Craig Dawson nodded an Aaron Cresswell set-piece into the back of the visitors’ net in first-half stoppage time. 

Genk had come close to taking the lead in the capital – the much-admired Paul Onuachu looping a header narrowly wide of the post. And Van den Brom was left to rue a pair of quick-fire goals after the interval as the game quickly moved out of his reach. 

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“Before the break, I thought we were fairly equal to West Ham. We were good. They had more of the ball but they are a good team and we knew that,” said the former AZ Alkmaar coach. His Genk side conceded twice in the space of two minutes just before the hour, however, with Issa Diop and Jarrod Bowen finding the net. 

“You concede a goal from a corner in the 46th minute. That was decisive. The players struggled to get over that. 

“Then it’s 2-0 from a free kick and it quickly becomes 3-0. You hope it won’t be a real punishment. We can be happy it only stayed 3-0.” 

Photo by Federico Maranesi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Genk coach thinks West Ham were ‘scared’ in Europa League clash

Van den Brom believes West Ham were running scared at times in the first-half, the speed of Theo Bongonda and Junya Ito causing big problems on the counter, while 6ft 7in Onauchu gave Alphonse Areola plenty to worry about in the air. 

“We kept Ito and Bongonda in the front to create more space. The first three or four corner kicks went very well. You noticed doubt in the opponent, who had not expected it,” Van den Brom adds. 

Despite the heavy defeat, Van den Brom believes Genk can still qualify from the group, even if the Hammers are unlikely to be caught.

“The battle for second place is still open. There are three teams with three points. West Ham have clearly left (qualified for the knock-out stages),” he said. 

Three wins out of three means West Ham have one foot and four toes in the round of 32, with post-Christmas European football surely heading to the London Stadium.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

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