Life at the Olympic Stadium began with an emphatic win as West Ham dominated Slovenian rivals NK Domzale, overturning the 2-1 deficit from the first leg to run out 3-0 victors. The reward will be a tie versus Romanian side Astra Giurgiu who defeated the Hammers in last year's Europa exit. One senses that Slaven Bilic will be looking to avenge that defeat with a strong side when the tems meet on the 18th (a) and 25th (h) of August.
But how did our heroes perform individually?
Darren Randolph: Dazza is a top quality keeper and we are lucky to have him as back up to Adrian. A quiet night but he was called into action in the second half as Domzale tried to get back into the tie. His concentration was good and he made the one excellent save that was needed. Good distribution from the back as well. 8/10.
Sam Byram: Sam played really well despite being on his less favoured flank. He also contributed to the attacking efforts of the team with plenty of overlapping runs. One foolish mistimed challenge in the second half reminded us that he isn't the finished product just yet but is certainly progressing well. 8/10.
Michail Antonio: A better organised defence last night meant that his lack of defensive positional sense was not exposed as in the first leg. One mistimed tackle reminded us that he is naturally an attacker. Michail was unphased by the difficulties of the previous match and just got on with it, pushing forward regularly without any fear. He seemed to connect well with Reece Oxford as the right-sided CB as well. Still wasted though at RB! 8/10.
Winston Reid: Cool and committed, Winston is our best defender by an amount. He linked in brilliantly with young Oxford while also supporting Byram out wide. Top class player. 9/10.
Reece Oxford: He really does look like the new Rio! Calm, intelligent and fearless - should he start against Chelsea? We think yes!!! Made some excellent tackles when needed and looked entirely unphased by events. 10/10.
Havard Nordtveit: Looked much more comfortable as the defensive midfielder than he did at CB last week. A decent physical presence he looks well suited for the Premiership. No nonsense tackling and unfussy but distribution. he'll be pleased with his contribution. 8/10.
Mark Noble: Captain Claret fluffed his first few touches at his new home but naturally kicked into gear and kept the intensity of our game at a high level throughout with his high octane contributions. 8/10.
Cheik Kouyate: Looked a bit off form last week but was back to his best with his energetic running and, of course, two decent goals. Kouyate likes playing anywhere in midfield and last night emphasized his ability to be the more forward element of the midfield. All smiles, as always! 10/10.
Enner Valencia: Made the first goal and looked lively throughout. However, he missed a few decent opportunities and in fairness it seems that things have just never quite kicked on for him at West Ham. Maybe its time for a switch? 7/10.
Sofiane Feghouli: You sense that we have picked up another diamond here. Lively, nice touch and an eye for goal as emphasised by his finish for the third goal. We simply cannot wait to see him alongside Payet and Lanzini. 9/10.
Andy Carroll: No goals but he put in a very decent shift. Andy looks like he has gained a yard or two in pace as well! We were once again reminded just how big his contribution to the team effort is with his targeted physicality. Ten goals a season along with the chaos (and space) he creates is enough. 8/10.