David Moyes hails ‘brilliant achievement’ as West Ham ease into quarter-finals

David Moyes hailed a “brilliant achievement” after West Ham reached another European quarter-final by flattening Freiburg 5-0.

Hammers boss Moyes uncharacteristically named an attacking line-up in a bid to repair the damage of the 1-0 Europa League first-leg defeat in Germany last week.

He was rewarded with a sparkling display as goals from Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen, Aaron Cresswell and two from Mohammed Kudus – including a sensational solo effort – secured a 5-1 aggregate win and a place in a the last eight of a European competition for a third successive season.

“I’m hugely pleased with the goals and the level of the performance and how well the players have done,” said Moyes.

“We were really unhappy from the first game, the staff and the players. We thought we should not have come out with the result we had. We had to put it right and thankfully we did.

“I think for West Ham to be three years in a row for quarter-finals in European competition, I am not sure it has been done before in the club’s history.

“For where we have come from, to be in another quarter-final is a brilliant achievement. The club has moved on so much. We want to try to make it better if we can.”

Paqueta slid West Ham in front after nine minutes before Bowen celebrated his latest call-up to the England squad in style, shrugging off the attentions of Freiburg captain Christian Gunter before lashing the ball home from 20 yards.

Freiburg still posed a threat, though, with Roland Sallai firing across goal and wide just to let West Ham know the tie was still very much in the balance at half-time.

The left-back, who was the fall guy in Frankfurt two years when his red card in the semi-final against Eintracht cost West Ham dearly, took a touch before leathering the ball inside the far post.

The best was still to come, despite there being little sign of danger when Kudus picked the ball up deep inside his own half.

The former Ajax wideman sprinted around 70 yards, slicing through the heart of the Freiburg defence before casually rolling the ball into the net.

“If anybody can remember dribbling wingers, who used to take people on, snake hips,” added Moyes.

“It was a brilliant individual goal, a Roy of the Rovers type.”

No wonder Kudus felt the need to borrow a photographer’s stool and sit down in front of the delirious home fans as his team-mates celebrated around him.

The rest had clearly done Kudus good, as he promptly collected Bowen’s lay-off and dispatched a low drive from 20 yards to complete West Ham’s five-star display.

As a consequence of their win, the Hammers may have also done some of their Premier League rivals a favour, with the result pushing England ahead of Germany in UEFA’s coefficient rankings, which could mean an extra spot in Europe next season.

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