• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

West Ham through into Europa League quarter-finals

Mohammed Kudus

West Ham United secured their place in the quarterfinals of the Europa League with a dominant 5-0 victory over Freiburg at London Stadium on Thursday night.

The Hammers overturned their 1-0 first-leg deficit with a commanding performance, highlighted by first-half goals from Lucas Paquetá and Jarrod Bowen.

Paquetá opened the scoring from close range less than 10 minutes into the game, connecting with a header from Tomáš Souček following a corner. Bowen doubled the lead in the 32nd minute with a well-taken goal.

Early in the second half, Aaron Cresswell extended West Ham’s advantage to 3-0 before Mohammed Kudus sealed the rout with two late goals.

Having won 11 consecutive home games in European competitions over the past two seasons, West Ham showcased their strength at London Stadium once again.

Meanwhile, Marseille narrowly avoided a comeback from Villarreal, with the Spanish side scoring three goals on Thursday after trailing 4-0 from the first leg. However, Jonathan Clauss’s stoppage-time goal secured a 5-3 aggregate victory for Marseille.

Benfica also booked their spot in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Rangers, courtesy of Rafa Silva’s goal in the 66th minute.

Bowen and Kudus were standout performers for West Ham, causing significant damage on the wings, while Paqueta’s ability to find space proved crucial in the victory.

Manager David Moyes expressed his appreciation to the fans at London Stadium, applauding their support as they turned out in force for the early kick-off.

The draw for the quarterfinals is scheduled to take place on Friday, determining West Ham’s next opponent in the Europa League.