West Ham produced knowledgeable efficiency to safe high spot in Group A and a spot within the Europa League final 16 with a 2-0 win over a below-par Freiburg on Thursday night time.
The Hammers took the lead when Mohammed Kudus made a intelligent run and lashed in his seventh objective of the season, with the good Edson Alvarez’s first for the membership doubling the lead simply earlier than the break.
Freiburg – who had received their final three video games, with out conceding, in all competitions – discovered themselves in positions of promise on a number of events, however did little to check Lukasz Fabianski, who as soon as once more deputised in objective for Alphonse Areola.
Consequently, whereas the Hammers advance straight to the final 16, which takes place in March, the Bundesliga aspect will face a knockout spherical play-off in February to try to earn their spot within the subsequent spherical of the competitors.
How West Ham strolled to high spot
As a lot as West Ham knew what they needed to do to complete high of their group, offering an ample response to Sunday’s thumping 5-0 defeat away at Fulham was little question excessive on the precedence checklist for David Moyes and his gamers.
It didn’t take lengthy for them to get into their stride. First, Kudus skipped away from his man and squared for Lucas Paqueta to rattle a shot off the crossbar, earlier than the Ghana worldwide made a intelligent run to beat the offside lure, latch onto Alvarez’s ball excessive and hearth throughout Noah Atubolu, into the again of the online.
Jarrod Bowen then had the ball within the internet after a carbon copy of the opener, solely to be dominated offside within the build-up, however it was 2-0 when Alvarez obtained the ball from Paqueta, escaped his marker, collected the return move from Bowen and fired house a dangerous second simply earlier than the break.
Early within the second half, Kudus got here near a second, when he fired inches previous the publish after being launched by Bowen, however as the sport progressed, it turned clearer missed possibilities wouldn’t be punished.
Freiburg had created 0.09 xG by the break, 0.14 by the hour mark and set-piece routines weren’t coming to fruition for them, both. Moyes may even afford to withdraw Bowen and Paqueta with nearly 20 minutes remaining.
In equity, the German aspect did handle to check Fabianski in direction of the top. Ritsu Doan’s low effort was saved out by a well-timed dive to the proper, earlier than Merlin Rohl’s shot with 5 minutes to play was held, too. Nevertheless it was too little, too late.
Moyes ‘thrilled’ with win | ‘Not enjoying in EL once more till March is huge’
West Ham supervisor David Moyes:
“I am thrilled. I assumed we performed nicely for lengthy durations, went a few targets up after which missed a few actually good possibilities, which may have perhaps wrapped it up a bit sooner that simply saved us hanging on a bit bit. We simply did not need to drop off it. I knew the sport would change, they’d come into it a bit extra and we have been making an attempt to see it out greater than something within the second half. We did a very good job.
“It was much more prefer it, actually in Europe. We have achieved very nicely in Europe over the past three years and this was a great win towards a great German aspect; it is by no means straightforward to beat German groups. I assumed we even performed higher tonight than we did in Freiburg – and I assumed we did a great job in Freiburg as nicely.
“We misplaced to Olympiakos, however it’s the one loss we have had in 19 or 20 video games now. It is an excellent document for us as a result of we’re not a well known European membership in the mean time. It has been nice for us. Total, I believe we deserved it and, fortunately, we’re on the high.
“Let me inform you, it’s actually large [not to have to play in Europe until March] due to the quantity of video games all people has bought within the schedule. We’re all going right into a busy interval, which we all know – our tradition means we play lots of video games round Christmas.”
Hammers’ European dream exhibits no indicators of dying – Opta info
- West Ham have certified as group winners in every of their final three seasons in European competitors, successful 15 of their 18 matches (D1 L2), certainly solely FC Bayern München (17) have received extra group stage video games in Europe in that point.
- West Ham United have received 10 consecutive house video games in all European competitors (inc. qualifiers), turning into simply the fifth English workforce to register 10 house wins in a row, together with Arsenal (1971), Man Metropolis (2021 and 2023), Man Utd (1968 and 2008) and Tottenham (1971, 1974 and 2022).
- Having additionally received 2-1 in Freiburg on MD2 of the 2023-24 UEFA Europa League, West Ham United have defeated a German aspect twice in the identical European season for the primary time ever.
- West Ham’s Edson Álvarez scored his first objective for the membership (nineteenth look), whereas in additionally aiding Mohammed Kudus for the opener, he turned the primary participant to each rating and help in a single UEFA Europa League sport for the Hammers.
West Ham flip their consideration again to the Premier League as they play Wolves at house on Tremendous Sunday, reside on Sky Sports activities with kick-off at 2pm.
Freiburg tackle FC Koln within the Bundesliga on Sunday, with kick-off at 2.30pm.