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WEST HAM got the job done with victory over Rapid to seal top spot in qualifying and a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Two goals late in the first half set the Hammers on course for the win which ensured they topped Group H and avoided a play-off tie against a Champions League team.

2Mark Noble's penalty put West Ham in complete control in ViennaCredit: Reuters 2Andriy Yarmolenko (right) had opened the scoring with a close-range headerCredit: EPA

With Borussia Dortmund already dropping down and the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid also in danger, safe passage is a major boost for the London club.

And it ensures boss David Moyes has the luxury of resting all his big players in the final match next month with the club in the middle of a hectic run of fixtures through to the new year.

It takes their run to four wins and one draw in Europea - not bad for a club enjoying their first experience in the group stages of the competition.

Needing a win to be certain of top spot, Moyes was able to leave Michail Antonio at home and rest Declan Rice on the bench with one eye on Manchester City on Sunday.

But even a makeshift team was too strong for Rapid, denied the chance to play in front of a sell-out and passionate home crowd by the lockdown in Austria.

Jarrod Bowen squandered an early chance to open the scoring when he slid wide after six minutes and Nikola Vlasic then sent shot just over the bar.

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But the goal their dominance deserved arrived six minutes before the break when Vlasic clipped an inviting cross in from the left where Andriy Yarmolenko rose to head home.

The Ukrainian had struggled for his form until that stage, but his impact on the game was huge as in the last minute of the half he won a penalty.

The forward was clipped on the edge of the box and veteran Mark Noble was able to fire home his first Europa League goal.

West Ham barely needed to get out of second gear for the remainder of the game but still had chances to extend their lead.

Tomas Soucek and Bowen were both denied by close range blocks by Paul Gartier – and 17-year-old sub Sonny Perkins was denied a debut goal with his first touch by a point black save from the Rapid keeper.

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Ducks Blow Late Three-Goal Lead, Beat Kings 5-4 In Shootout

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Shattenkirk and Trevor Zegras scored in the shootout, and the Anaheim Ducks blew a three-goal lead in the third period before rallying for a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night in the first Freeway Faceoff of the season.

Los Angeles, CA – November 30: Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the Anaheim Ducks scores past goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings as the Anaheim Ducks defeat the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 in a shoot out during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

READ MORE: Kings Winger Brendan Lemieux Suspended For Biting Opponent

Troy Terry and Shattenkirk scored unassisted goals in the second period and John Gibson made 30 saves before stopping two of Los Angeles’ three tries in the shootout. The Ducks got their 10th win in 14 games despite wasting a 4-1 lead with 13 minutes left in regulation after Cam Fowler and Isac Lundeström scored 29 seconds apart early in the third period.

Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots and Dustin Brown scored the tying goal with 4:26 left in regulation for the Kings, who have lost six of seven after a seven-game winning streak.

Alex Iafallo scored two goals, and Adrian Kempe started Los Angeles’ third-period comeback with his eighth goal of the season.

Lias Andersson scored in the first round of the shootout for Los Angeles, but Zegras tied it for Anaheim in the second. Gibson stopped Anze Kopitar before Shattenkirk beat Quick for the winner.

A lively Staples Center crowd was rewarded with a barn-burner of a game when these revitalized Southern California rivals met for the 153rd time. Both clubs are showing significant progress this season after bottoming out with concurrent three-year playoff droughts.

READ MORE: Toronto tops Ducks, 5-1; Campbell Saves 39 Of 40 Shots On Goal

Anaheim has been competitive near the top of the Pacific Division this season despite the departure of general manager Bob Murray, while Los Angeles has taken clear strides with new talent around its Stanley Cup-winning cornerstones.

Drew Doughty had an assist while playing almost 28 minutes in a quick return from seriously bruising his knee on Oct. 22. The Kings initially projected Doughty would be out for two months, but the 2016 Norris Trophy winner (and famously quick healer) missed five weeks and 16 games with the most significant injury of his 14-year career.

Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf left the ice in the first period with an apparent left ankle injury. The 36-year-old center is in the midst of an impressive rebound season with 20 points — including the 1,000th of his career — in 23 games.

After a scoreless first period, Terry put the Ducks ahead by moving through most of the Kings’ defense and unleashing a snap shot into the top far corner of Quick’s net for the 14th goal of his breakout season.

Anaheim went up 4-1 with two goals early in the third. Shortly after Fowler got a power play goal that deflected off Trevor Moore, Lundestrom drove the net and left the puck in the crease, but Los Angeles’ Matt Roy accidentally backhanded it off teammate Alex Edler and into Quick’s net.

Kempe scored on a deflection to make it 4-2, and the Kings nearly appeared to get another 21 seconds later before the officials ruled out Carl Grundstrom’s goal for a high stick. Los Angeles kept up its pressure, and Brown followed Iafallo’s second goal by tying it with his third goal of the season.

MORE NEWS: Terry Extends NHL-Leading Streak, Ducks Beat Kraken 7-4

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