West Ham advanced to the Europa Conference League semi-finals after a thrilling comeback against Gent at London Stadium. Despite Gent gaining the aggregate lead thanks to Hugo Cuypers’ first-half goal, Michail Antonio scored twice and Lucas Paqueta converted a penalty. Declan Rice scored his third goal with a low shot at the end of a rampaging run that began in his own half. Jarrod Bowen’s goal was disallowed for handball, denying West Ham a fifth goal in Europe for only the second time in club history. West Ham now face AZ Alkmaar in a bid to end a major trophy drought that dates back to 1980 and their FA Cup victory over Arsenal.
West Ham United’s European experience continued with a comfortable victory over Gent in the Europa Conference League semi-finals. Despite taking an early lead on aggregate, West Ham staged a thrilling comeback to win 3-1 on the night. It was too much in the end for Gent, who were outclassed by the Hammers. Jarrod Bowen had a goal disallowed for handball, but it didn’t affect the final outcome. West Ham now face Dutch side AZ Alkmaar as they look to end their major trophy drought stretching back to 1980 and the FA Cup triumph against Arsenal.
Antonio was unchained
Michail Antonio shone with two goals, while Lucas Paqueta converted a penalty to make amends for his role in the visitors’ first goal. Skipper Declan Rice added a brilliant third, finding the net with a low shot at the end of a surging run that started in his own half. Despite the pressure of winning their first trophy since 1980, West Ham played fearlessly, exhibiting their quality and depth. Manager David Moyes will be hoping to guide his team to glory, but he also understands that they must ensure Premier League survival in order to achieve European success.
West Ham’s victory was the product of their hard work and determination. It was a night when they could forget about their relegation worries and dream of capturing their first trophy in over 40 years. It was also a night when Declan Rice’s talent came through, proving that he can be more than just a shielding midfielder. Rice won a tackle 10 yards inside his own half before exchanging passes with Paqueta and driving deep into Gent territory, where he delivered a crisp left-footed strike across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
The dream is still alive
West Ham’s Europa Conference League journey continues as they play Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in the semi-finals. Despite their relegation fears, the Hammers played courageously and displayed their quality and depth, advancing to the semi-finals following a remarkable comeback. For manager David Moyes, European success would be a fitting climax to a tough season, but he is equally aware that Premier League survival is critical. For fans, this is a chance for West Ham to end their major trophy drought and secure their place in European competition for the third successive
The Europa Conference League may not be the most prestigious of competitions, but for a team like West Ham, who haven’t won a major trophy since 1980, it represents a genuine opportunity to make history. Manager David Moyes will be keen to keep his squad focused and motivated as they prepare for their semi-final clash with AZ Alkmaar, who will undoubtedly be difficult opponents. But with players like Rice, Antonio, and Paqueta in top form, West Ham will feel confident that they can go all the way and lift the trophy come the end of the season.