West Ham reach Europa League semi-final

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West Ham reach Europa League semi-final

West Ham united turned on the style in Lyon to beat the home side and qualify for the semi-finals of the Europa League.

After their 1-1 draw in London, West Ham scored three unanswered goals to earn a 4-1 aggregate win over the hosts, setting them up for their fist major semi-final since 1976.

The hosts predictably made a bold start as West Ham absorbed early pressure.

Karl Toko Ekambi’s shot from inside the area crashed onto Alphonse Areola’s post after just five minutes.

West Ham, however, were also dangerous from whatever chances they created and Pablo Fornals threatened with a half volley that was well blocked by Julian Pollersbeck.

Lyon continued to pile the pressure but the Londoner kept their composure and managed to open the scoring seven minutes from the break.

Dawson headed home at the near post from Fornals’s corner to give them a foothold in the tie.

They doubled their advantage six minutes later, making Lyon pay for their shaky defending.

Declan Rice collected a clearance from the Lyon defence just outside the area and beat Pollersbeck with a low shot to give David Moyes’s team a comfortable halftime lead.

Lyon’s hopes were all but over three minutes into the second half after manager Peter Bosz had sent on Tete and Lucas Paqueta to boost his attacking line.

Fornals sent a diagonal pass to Jarred Bowen, who raced down the middle and fired a searing shot past Pollersbeck to effectively end the game.

Moussa Dembele and Tete had chances for Lyon but lacked precision and West Ham comfortably closed out the win.

The loss was only Lyon’s third home defeat in the competition in 24 games.

A modest 10th in the Ligue 1 standings, Lyon have little left to play for this season and their fans vented their frustration as a security cordon was deployed around their bench in the closing stages of the game.

West Ham’s reward for making their first semi final since 1976 is a meeting with the similar opposition in Eintracht Frankfurt who beat Barcelona away from home.

 

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