Dominant West Ham humble Lyon as surprise opponents await in Europa League semi-final

West Ham put on their performance of the season to sink Lyon 3-0 (4-1 on aggregate), the result leading to a Europa League semi-final clash with Frankfurt, who defeated Barcelona.

West Ham traveled to Lyon for the second leg of their quarter-final clash with the score level at 1-1. However, in five minutes, the Hammers could have fallen behind on aggregate.

Karl Toko-Ekambi danced between two defenders inside the box before firing at the near post. Moments later, a fight broke out at the goalmouth two yards from Alphonse Areola’s line with western ham once again narrowly escaping unscathed.

The game was playing at a frenetic pace that lent itself well to the action at both ends. Michail Antonio opened a loan groove up front before an excellent hold-up play created an opportunity for Jarrod Bowen.

The striker clipped a taunting cross to the far post with Bowen driving agonizingly wide to the full extent.

The Hammers weathered the initial storm and showed why they are known as one of the deadliest teams from set pieces.

Pablo Fornals took aim at the near post from a corner and picked out Craig Dawson, who dived into the center to head in from close range.

One quickly became two when Declan Rice put West Ham on the box from outside the box. The midfielder held on to a clearance before trying his luck from 20 meters.

It didn’t look like his goal was going to worry Lyon goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck. However, a critical deflection by a defender was enough for the ball to go over the goalkeeper’s desperate shot.

West Ham steps on the accelerator

Any fear of resting on their laurels emphatically vanished less than three minutes into the break.

Antonio’s most sublime holdup play saw defenders dragged away with Bowen conceding Lyon freedom in the middle.

Fornals supplied the ammunition with an exquisite pass before Bowen clinically outclassed Pollersbeck to make it 3-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.

That brought down the filler from Lyon who, except for forcing Areola to save when shooting from distance, seemed resigned to his fate.

In contrast, West Ham continued to pose a threat at half-time with Bowen in particular looking dangerous.

Dawson stayed rock-solid in the back as Lyon started throwing numbers forward. At the other end, Fornals and Manuel Lanzini showed their class further up the pitch to keep the Hammers going.

Lyon huffed and puffed at the end but couldn’t break resistance from the Hammers, who bagged a clean sheet to cap off a memorable night in Europe.

Surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt now await in the semi-finals after the Germans impressively defeated Barcelona 3-2 at the Camp Nou (4-3 on aggregate).

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