The Lowdown: Top of the group
The Premier League outfit were the visitors at the National Arena in Bucharest on Thursday night, where they secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Mihai Pintilii’s side.
The Irons’ group campaign came to a perfect end having finished top of their group with a 100% record, and the opener from the 26-year-old just before half-time duly unlocked the floodgates for the rest of the night, with the Spaniard doubling his tally in the second half.
The Latest: Bunting’s reaction
Taking to Twitter, Bunting shared his initial doubts about Fornals, but couldn’t help commending him for his well-worked first goal for David Moyes’ team.
The journalist wrote: “Pablo Fornals is a strange player, lots of quality but also very inconsistent. His goal tonight very first in Europe for the Hammers is a great finish and the pass from Ben Johnson is also top quality. The run was also very intelligent, has to produce that more on a regular basis.”
The Verdict: Sign of things to come?
West Ham have had a difficult start to their Premier League season, but having lost just two of their last six, they now find themselves out of the relegation zone and up to 13th in the table.
Having won every single one of their group games in Europe, this should no doubt given them some much-needed confidence to transfer over to the league for their final couple of games before the World Cup break.
With a trophy now up for grabs having earned a place in the last 16 of the Europa Conference League, this improved form could be a sign of things to come, with a strong second half of the season a real possibility at the London Stadium.
More contributions like last night’s brace from Fornals certainly shouldn’t go amiss in their pursuit of a memorable 2022/23 campaign.