West Ham 5-0 Freiburg (5-1 agg): Hammers blow Germans away to ease pressure on David Moyes and book third straight European quarter-final… as Mohammed Kudus scores WONDERGOAL after dribbling from inside his own half
EuropaLeague

West Ham 5-0 Freiburg (5-1 agg): Hammers blow Germans away to ease pressure on David Moyes and book third straight European quarter-final… as Mohammed Kudus scores WONDERGOAL after dribbling from inside his own half

Apr 3, 2024
  • West Ham reached the Europa League quarter-finals in style with huge victory 
  • Mohammed Kudus scored after an exceptional mazy run for the first of his brace
  • ‘He’s the one Premier League player I’d PAY to watch’ Which star has IAN LADYMAN entranced? – It’s All Kicking off podcast

If you can’t perform, don’t go on stage. Those were the words David Moyes had delivered to his West Ham players ahead of their biggest game of the season.

On a night where victory was the only option, his team rose to the occasion – and then some.

Two of West Ham’s most important players – Lucas Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen – starred in the first act. 

It was then Aaron Cresswell, a man who has had to play more of an understudy role this season, who took centre stage. Mohammed Kudus scored a solo goal worthy of a standing ovation before he closed the show with a superb second.

Expectations have risen since West Ham qualified for this competition three years ago. Despite coming into this second leg with a 1-0 deficit, they were the favourites to beat SC Freiburg – the team currently placed eighth in the Bundesliga.

Mohammed Kudus made an exceptional mazy run before scoring West Ham's fourth goal

Mohammed Kudus made an exceptional mazy run before scoring West Ham’s fourth goal

Lucas Paqueta got the Hammers off to the perfect start when he levelled the tie on aggregate

Lucas Paqueta got the Hammers off to the perfect start when he levelled the tie on aggregate

Jarrod Bowen celebrated his England call-up in style with a fine finish

Jarrod Bowen celebrated his England call-up in style with a fine finish

David Moyes has now steered West Ham to the quarter-finals of a European competition for two consecutive seasons

David Moyes has now steered West Ham to the quarter-finals of a European competition for two consecutive seasons  

But few could have anticipated a demolition as convincing as this. 

Moyes had said in 2021 that he wanted West Ham to become a big club in Europe and it is now three European quarter-finals in three years. Even after a night like this, he will still have some doubters. But it is hard to argue with those stats.

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 7, Coufa 7.5l, Mavropanos 7, Zouma 7, Cresswell 7.5, Soucek 7, Alvarez 7.5 (Phillips 86), Kudus 9 (Ings 86), Bowen 8 (Earthy 86), Paqueta 7.5 (Ward-Prowse 62, 6), Antonio 8

Subs not used: Areola, Knightbridge, Johnson, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Casey, Mubama, Orford

Booked: Cresswell, Alvarez

Goals: Paqueta 9, Bowen 32, Cresswell 52, Kudus 77, 85

Manager: David Moyes 8

Freiburg (4-1-4-1): Atubolu, Sildillia, Ginter, Gulde (Kubler 62), Gunter, Hofler (Muslija 62), Doan, Eggestein, Holer (Philipp 68), Grifo 5 (Gregoritsch 45), Sallali (Rohl 68)

Subs not used: Muller, Uphoff, Lienhart, Szalai, Keitel, Kubler, Adamu, Makengo

Booked: None

Goals: None

Manager: Christian Streich 4

Referee: Marco Guida 6

This is also a victory that is significant for the Premier League, who are now in a stronger position of claiming a fifth spot for next season’s Champions League.

Two ‘performance’ places are up for grabs due to the new format, with these determined by the two countries with the best average performances in all European competitions this term.

Italy were top with Germany second and England third going into last night’s game. The Hammers eliminating a German side could prove significant in the long run.

Moyes made three changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Burnley on Sunday, with captain Kurt Zouma replacing Nayef Aguerd in defence while Kalvin Phillips and James Ward-Prowse dropped out for Edson Alvarez and Michail Antonio.

Moyes knew his team needed a fast start and they got one. After forcing three corners in the first 10 minutes, the fourth ended with the ball in the net.

Aaron Cresswell’s delivery was flicked on by Tomas Soucek and Paqueta was there to slide in and finish at the back-post.

West Ham could have been 2-0 up shortly after when Antonio got in down the right and cut-back for Mohammed Kudus, but the winger could only side-foot wide from close range.

But a second goal did come just after the half hour mark. Coufal’s header was touched on by Antonio to Bowen, who held off a robust challenge from Christian Gunter before firing a superb strike into the bottom right corner.

There was a danger West Ham would be drawn into sitting back and protecting what they had, but that notion was quashed when a third goal came in the 52nd minute.

Bowen’s cut-back was cleared only as far as Cresswell, who was waiting on the edge of the box. The left back took one touch out of his feet before drilling an arrowed shot into the bottom right corner.

Bowen drove inside before sending his left-footed effort into the bottom corner

Bowen drove inside before sending his left-footed effort into the bottom corner 

Aaron Cresswell gave the hosts a good cushion early in the second half, before Kudus sealed it

Aaron Cresswell gave the hosts a good cushion early in the second half, before Kudus sealed it 

Kudus won the ball back in his own half, and dribbled past three players before scoring

Kudus won the ball back in his own half, and dribbled past three players before scoring

The fourth goal was undoubtedly the best of the night. Kudus won the ball back just inside his own half, dribbled his way past three players before sending a clinical finish into the back of the net.

His second was nearly as good, a rocket from the edge of the box which left Freiburg goalkeeper Noah Atubolu no chance.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *