West Ham United reached their first European semi-final since 1976 with a clinical 3-0 demolition of Lyon in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
After a 1-1 draw in London last week, Craig Dawson headed home from Pablo Fornals' corner on 38 minutes to put the Hammers ahead on aggregate.
Skipper Declan Rice extended the lead on the stroke of half-time before Fornals turned provider for Jarrod Bowen to bag the Hammers' third within minutes of the restart, a finish which secured a date with Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals.
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With a backdrop of electric home support, Lyon began the first half purposefully and came closest to opening the scoring when Karl Toko Ekambi struck the woodwork.
Lyon's inability to finish was punished by a quickfire double from Dawson and Rice which sent the travelling fans into delirium and left the home faithful in stunned silence.
David Moyes’ men began the second half as they finished the first, flying out of the blocks with Bowen netting the Hammers third goal, activating the cruise control setting which ultimately got them over the line.
The final whistle sparked scenes of jubilation and relief among West Ham players, staff and fans alike who are one step closer to the final in Sevilla.
Both sides must switch their focus back to domestic duties now. West Ham will need to climb down from cloud nine and prepare for the visit of Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday. As for Lyon, they’ll need to dust themselves off ready to return to Ligue 1 action when they welcome Bordeaux on Sunday.
History-making Hammers: What Moyes has done at West Ham has been truly remarkable. He has orchestrated a transformation of fortunes for a side who have gone from looking nervously over their shoulders at relegation to top-four challengers and European semi-finalists. There have been stand-out individuals during this journey but as a collective, the Hammers have evolved into a force to be reckoned with.
They will take on German side Frankfurt in their first European semi-final since 1976. Having disposed of Europa League kings Sevilla before seeing off Lyon in emphatic style, the Irons and their supporters could be tempted into thinking that anything is possible.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Pablo Fornals: The little Spaniard made a huge impact this evening, setting up Dawson and Bowen for their goals, and was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet himself. Fornals is a creative spark, a thorn in the side of any opposition on his day, and tonight was his night. He delivered a sumptuous cross for Dawson’s opener and a perfectly weighted through ball for Bowen to bag the third; two examples of first-class delivery for his team-mates to put the cherry on the icing on the cake. Fornals may take this individual accolade but as a team, West Ham were brilliant and if they take this kind of form into the semi-final, you would not bet against them going all the way.
Lyon: Pollersbeck 5, Gusto 5, Denayer 5, Lukeba 5, Emerson 5, Faivre 5, Mendes Ribeiro 5, Ndombele 5, Aouar 5, Toko Ekambi 6, Dembele 5.
Subs: Barcola 5, Paqueta 5, Tete 5.
West Ham: Areola 7, Coufal 7, Dawson 8, Diop 7, Johnson 7, Rice 8, Soucek 7, Bowen 8, Fornals 8, Lanzini 7, Antonio 7.
Subs: Noble 6, Yarmolenko 6, Benrahma 6.
38’ GOAL! LYON 0-1 WEST HAM (DAWSON)
There it is! West Ham have taken the lead from a corner courtesy of Dawson! Fornals whips an inviting cross towards the near post where Dawson had made the run and the centre half guides the ball into the back of the net. First blood to the Hammers!
44’ GOAL! LYON 0-2 WEST HAM (RICE)
Wow, wow, wow! West Ham have doubled their lead and it's the skipper, Rice, who is happy to oblige. The midfielder finds himself in acres of space on the edge of the box and guides his effort into the bottom corner, via a slight deflection, but the Hammers won't care because their lead has been extended!
48’ GOAL! LYON 0-3 WEST HAM (BOWEN)
This just keeps getting better for the Hammers who have bagged a third through Bowen, who is left one-on-one with the goalkeeper and makes no mistake by burying the ball into the bottom corner. The Hammers are in dreamland!
Declan Rice has scored five goals in all competitions for West Ham this season, as many as he had scored in his previous five seasons combined for the club. (OptaJoe)
West Ham have kept more clean sheets than they have conceded goals in the UEFA Europa League this season. 10 games, six clean sheets, five goals conceded, the most clean sheets in the tournament (Squawka)
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