August 17, 2022

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West Ham stun Lyon to reach UEFA Europa League semi-finals

2 min read

West Ham cruised into the Europa League semi-finals with a stunning 3-0 win over Lyon at the Groupama Stadium.

On the biggest night in the club’s recent history, the Hammers players more than rose to the occasion as they put their opponents to the sword to seal a 4-1 victory on aggregate.

Craig Dawson and Declan Rice put the visitors in control at the break and Jarrod Bowen’s strike early in the second-half effectively put the result beyond doubt, setting up a last-four meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt.

With Lyon supporters creating an intimidating atmosphere pre-match, West Ham wasted little time in showing they would not be cowed, Pablo Fornals bursting in behind to shoot wide with just 15 seconds on the clock.

But Lyon responded well, Karl Toko Ekambi smashing the post after quick feet in the box before Houssem Aouar saw a shot blocked on the line.

The hosts were also controlling possession, and so when Ekambi kneed a Malo Gusto cross goalward soon after, it felt like the opener was coming.

Unfortunately for Lyon, it was at the other end, with sheer desire from Dawson allowing him to beat all others to a near-post Fornals corner and head home.

Not content to sit on their lead, West Ham then doubled the advantage before the break as a low Rice shot from the edge of the box found the back of the net after taking a nick off Castello Lukeba.

That late blow prompted Peter Bosz to roll the dice, Lucas Paqueta and Mateus Tete coming on at half-time to replace Tanguy Ndombele and Romain Faivre.

But there was to be no quick fix, with Bowen breaking free just three minutes after the restart and producing a cool right-footed finish to all but settle the tie.

Lyon did not stop trying to make things interesting from there on in, their best chance seeing Gusto force Alphonse Areola to push a powerful shot around the post.

But a first failure to trouble the scoresheet at home in the Europa League since the 2013-14 season ultimately ensured that West Ham had little trouble seeing out the win.

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