West Ham 5-0 (5-1 agg) SC Freiburg: Hammers overcome deficit to reach third consecutive European quarterfinal

Trailing SC Freiburg by a goal as they returned to London Stadium, West Ham United would be looking for a statement victory on Thursday if they were to progress to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League – and their third consecutive appearance in the last eight of a European competition.

WHU: Fabianski; Cresswell, Zouma, Mavropanos, Coufal; Álvarez, Soucek; Kudus, Paquetá, Bowen; Antonio

SCF: Atubolu; Günter, Guide, Ginter, Sildillia; Eggestein, Höfler; Grifo, Doan; Höler, Sallai

West Ham are no strangers to comebacks on the European stage. Even by their standards though, Thursday night’s thrashing of SC Freiburg felt different – the Hammers ran rampant, and frankly looked unstoppable at times.

It took just nine minutes for Lucas Paquetá to level the aggregate score, slotting a Tomas Soucek flick past the goalkeeper to place the momentum now firmly in their favour.

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With little over thirty minutes played in East London, it was Jarrod Bowen that would hand the Hammers the upper hand for the first time in the tie – his eighteenth goal in all competitions this season, with no signs shown of slowing down any time soon.

When a defensive lapse from SC Freiburg granted Aaron Cresswell far too much space, the defender took full advantage and powered home for his first goal in just under two years – but it was Mohammed Kudus that would really steal the show.

Two goals from the Ghana international in the final quarter-hour at London Stadium helped David Moyes’ side breeze through to the quarterfinals in style, with the result coming as their biggest win since the manager returned to the club in 2019.