West Ham were victorious in Barcelona last night as they beat RCD Espanyol in the Cuitat de Barcelona Trophy.
The game was organised for players not involved in international matches over the weekend and Sam Allardyce used it as an opportunity to give some of the Development Squad players some first-team experience.
It was a close fought match, with the La Liga side looking strong at various periods of the game. But the Hammers were equal to everything Espanyol threw at them and managed to come away with the victory, courtesy of Mark Noble’s first-half penalty.
West Ham also played some impressive football, though. Ravel Morrison, Matt Jarvis and Mark Noble were impressive in midfield, while the defensive pairing of James Tomkins and Pelly Ruddock was solid and surprisingly effective.
There were also cameo appearances for Elliot Lee, Callum Driver, Matthias Fanimo and George Moncur.
After the victory, Allardyce told whufc.com: “It was an excellent game. It’s a different way to play when you’re away in Europe.
“It’s not like the Premier League where it gets frantic and high tempo all the time. This game slows down a little bit and the lads adapted really well to that.
“And of course, having got a goal in front and then putting most of the young lads on, we held on to the defensive side of it really well.
And Allardyce believes it was the perfect work out for his players during the international break and it should build their confidence ahead of the trip to Southampton on Sunday week.
“We played the game out really well, and with no injuries too, which is the most important thing,” he added.
“For the whole squad from the aspect of tactical, technical and fitness, it was very, very good.”
The Hammers became the first English side to win the Cuitat de Barcelona Trophy, which has been running since 1974, and join an elite group of European giants who have also lifted the trophy, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and AC Milan.