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

West Ham trio Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Craig Dawson

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

West Ham travelled to Lyon for the second leg of their quarter final clash with the scored tied at 1-1. Yet within five minutes, the Hammers could’ve found themselves behind on aggregate.

Karl Toko-Ekambi danced between two defenders inside the area before rifling a strike onto the near post. Moments later, a goalmouth scramble ensued two yards from Alphonse Areola’s line with West Ham once again narrowly escaping unscathed.

The game was being played at a frenetic pace which lended itself well to action at both ends. Michail Antonio ploughed a loan furrow up front before superb hold-up play created a chance for Jarrod Bowen.

The striker clipped a teasing cross to the far post with Bowen prodding agonisingly wide at full stretch.

The Hammers had weathered the early storm and showcased why they’re known as one of the deadliest teams from set pieces.

Pablo Fornals targeted the near post from a corner and picked out Craig Dawson who steamed in to head home from close range.

One quickly became two when Declan Rice put West Ham in the box seat from outside the area. The midfielder latched on to a clearance before trying his luck from 20 yards.

His strike didn’t look like it would trouble Lyon stopper Julian Pollersbeck. However, a critical deflection off a defender was just enough to loop the ball over the goalkeeper’s despairing dive.

West Ham step on the accelerator

Any fears of resting on their laurels were emphatically put to bed less than three minutes after the break.

More sublime hold-up play from Antonio saw defenders dragged wide with Bowen granted the freedom of Lyon in the middle.

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

That knocked the stuffing out of Lyon who barring forcing Areola into a save when shooting from distance, appeared resigned to their fate.

In contrast, West Ham continued to pose a threat on the break with Bowen in particular looking dangerous.

Dawson remained rock solid at the back as Lyon began to throw numbers forward. At the other end, Fornals and Manuel Lanzini showed their class further up the pitch to keep the Hammers ticking.

Lyon huffed and puffed late on but couldn’t crack the Hammers’ resistance who bagged a clean sheet to top 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).