West Ham overcame Olympiakos at the London Stadium last night to all-but secure our place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
On what was a tough game overall for David Moyes’ side, West Ham prevailed in the end after a resolute and determined performance, although our Hammers had to work hard for it with the visitors proving a tough obstacle to overcome.
David Moyes fielded a strong side for this encounter, in the firm knowledge that it was crucial that a morale boosting and important win was achieved ahead of another big game in the Premier League this Sunday.
Following what has been a significant dip in form in recent weeks, the manager was under pressure to get a positive result to lift the mood in east London, which hopefully can be carried forward to get our season back on track.
Olympiakos though we’re not here as passengers, as they provided a stern test for West Ham as they put in a determined and dogged display which West Ham for the vast majority struggled to break down.
It was clear for the large part of the game that West Ham are a side lacking in confidence somewhat, however, persistence and patience paid off in the end as Moyes’ side grabbed the vital win to almost certainly book a place in European football in the New Year.
Lucas Paquetas goal in the 73rd minute, following a sublime chip from James Ward-Prowse was the difference ultimately, although a ridiculously long VAR check was needed, despite it clearly being on the side – with the linesman even flagging. But thankfully and rightly it was awarded.
The Brazilian international went over to celebrate in front of the travelling fans, which seemed more about relief than anything else, as West Ham can hopefully now draw a line under a poor run of results and get back to winning ways both on the European stage and domestically.
David Moyes was understandably delighted with the result, noting that this was a big win for West Ham this season and could hopefully be a moment which we know as a key moment in our campaign as we fight to get European football again next season. The boss though admitted it was a tough encounter with West Ham struggling to carve out many openings, although the same could be said for Olympiakos.
“We were a bit gritty, we could have done some things better, but overall winning the games in Europe is really important,” said Moyes after the game, as reported by the clubs Official Website.
“Tonight was a tough opponent, it really was, and it proved that way at Olympiacos and it was again tonight.
“I want us to be more creative. I think we put out a really attacking team tonight which gave us every chance of doing it, but if I was being honest I don’t think we made enough chances or opportunities and I need to look to see why that was the case.
“But, hey, if you win 1-0 it’s always a good result.”
West Ham now get set to face Nottingham Forest at the London Stadium this Sunday in the Premier League, knowing a win is a must as we look to get back within the chasing pack teams for the European spots this season.
It is hoped that the manager will have a full squad of players to choose from on Sunday, as hopefully no players picked up any injuries ahead of the showdown with Steve Coopers team this weekend.