West Ham stuns the Kings of Europa League

By on 18th March 2022

Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko was the hero as West Ham reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League with an extra-time victory against Sevilla at London Stadium.

West Ham prevailed 2-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate, with Tomas Soucek having found the net in regulation time. The Hammers benefited from a vibrant home atmosphere, and they responded with a spirited display as they deservedly made it through.

At times, Sevilla caused problems for West Ham, but David Moyes’s side defended diligently and could now potentially face Barcelona or Rangers in the last eight. Michail Antonio’s constant running made matters difficult for Sevilla, and West Ham prevailed in their first major European quarter-final for over 40 years.

The London Stadium is a sell-out for the Hammer’s biggest game since the move to the new stadium, and both the manager and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola have urged the home support to make it a ferocious atmosphere in the east London on Thursday night.

West Ham manager David Moyes said he hoped the goal would lift Yarmolenko.

“We’ve all been there where you’re losing, and you think there’s no chance that we’re going to get a result,” Moyes said.

“In football things change for you. So I hope maybe this changes a little bit of what’s in Yarmo’s head, maybe what’s happening in life. But overall, if he’s getting mentioned worldwide and then everybody else is realising the damage Russia is doing to Ukraine.”

In the regular 90 minutes, teams finished the game 1-1 on aggregate. The match went on to the extra thirty minutes where Yarmolenko scored the winner for West Ham United.

“Unbelievable! This season is like a dream come true,” Antonio said. “Yarmolenko is such a lovely guy. I can’t imagine what he’s going through. He’s got a finishing touch now. Hopefully, he can keep doing it.”

Fornals and Declan Rice were outstanding in midfield, young defender Ben Johnson superb in a determined defensive display and Antonio – a doubt before the game, ran so hard upfront that Sevilla could never rest.

In contrast, Anthony Martial was a disappointment on his return to England and, by the end, Sevilla Julen Lopetegui seemed to have run out of ideas as his side tried to claw their way to penalties.

Sevilla had not lost a European tie after taking a first-leg lead since 1981. Yarmolenko changed that history in a moment for Ukraine to be proud of, in a dark time at home.

There is now the possibility of West Ham facing Barcelona or Rangers in the last eight. Here’s a look at their potential opponents on Friday’s quarter-final draw:

Atalanta
Barcelona
Braga
Eintracht Frankfurt
Lyon
Rangers
RB Leipzig

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