David Moyes and Declan Rice responded to their upcoming meeting with Barcelona in the European League after the Catalan club was eliminated from the competition.
West Ham placed three times against Olympique Lyonnais in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final to win 4-1 on aggregate. Hammers will now meet with the German Bundesliga team, Eintracht Frankfurt, who like them won away in the second leg of the quarter-final against the great Barcelona.
When the draws were made, the common prediction was a semi-final match between Barcelona and West Ham. After the events of Thursday night, the highly anticipated showdown will not occur.
While fans, while excited about how a smaller club like Frankfurt can beat a big team like Barcelona from Europe, are disappointed they won’t see the most improved team in Europe over the past two seasons facing one of Europe’s biggest clubs. the world.
West Ham coach David Moyes and deputy captain Declan Rice spoke after their away win over Lyon about their first European semi-final in decades.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Moyes said his team is ready for anyone. “I think the players would all be looking forward to playing anyone. I think we’d give any player a match, which is Frankfurt as we know it now,” said the Scot.
It won’t be easy. I actually think those parts of the lot didn’t go our way, like we’re far from home tonight in the second leg and we’ve got that in the next round.
“So I don’t particularly think draws were favorable to us as much as you get an away draw at your place [in the second leg].
“By the way, we’ll have a great night at the London Stadium again when they come in because it’s great for West Ham, seeing the level of football and the teams.
“I just feel like it’s been a huge period for us to reach the semi-finals of a European competition and I hope we can continue to progress and I hope we can talk about a final soon.”
Rice bolstered his manager’s comments as well, while praising the quality of their opponent in the semi-finals. “for them [Frankfurt] “To beat Barcelona they are a great team,” said the 23-year-old midfielder.
“Be it a bad night from Barcelona, they still have to score three goals against them. We watched them against Betis and they looked like a really strong team.
“We’ll be ready for anything, two games again, we know what we want and that’s to get to the final and we’ll do anything we can to get there.”
Rice, who scored that night, went on to describe the feel and atmosphere inside Groupama Stadium in Lyon.
“Special, very special,” said Rice. “We knew it was a tough place to come to and they had high individual quality. We knew with our attacking players that we could score against their defense tonight.
“To get a two-goal lead and then Jarrod come off early and put that away in the second half, it’s a special feeling. To all the fans, it’s a great night.”
His coach Moyes echoed his sentiments, saying: “I am very proud of the players. The performance, perhaps more than that, the performance in the second half of the first leg when we were under 10 which seemed like a really bad decision, the players stuck with it, got a goal in front and then conceded. Not many people thought we’d be successful tonight.
“I think the teamwork helps, if you have a good team spirit, all the managers want to have, but it comes from winning and good results. We have a good group of players, we’ve been really lucky, they’ve been great since I’ve been here.
“During the two-year journey we have been talking about avoiding relegation and now reaching the semi-finals of a European championship. It is fantastic and we are looking forward to it. It was, what we have done is huge in two years.
“We haven’t won any titles yet, we’re trying to compete and qualify for European football again if we can, but if we reach these last stages by beating Seville, Lyon and teams in the group stage, the big clubs with great European football history, we’re back again, You won’t win anything tonight but it was a big moment for us.”