“We were massive,” Moyes said. “We played with great passion. It’s not just Yarmolenko. It was the team. His message and his name will be heard all round Europe. But the story is not just about Yarmolenko. The story was about West Ham.”
Our first game under Moyes for his second return to the club saw a dominant Hammers put four past a struggling Bournemouth at the London Stadium. It could not have been a better script for Moyes with captain Noble scoring 2 – including a penalty and both Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson helping to end a run of four consecutive defeats which lifted the Hammers out of the relegation zone.
Time had run out on the team and the week ahead seemed to be affected by this poor result. When Morley said he fancied a 3-0 win for the Hammers in his pre match interview, some of us fans said we would be lucky to get a draw. Palace are playing some tidy attacking football and we are looking soft at the back on the counter.
An excellent Bowen penalty after Cornet was fouled, no VAR to chalk that one off, and a wonderful goal from Emerson to put us in control. The crowd sensed there were more goals in this game and it came from the excellent Antonio on 90th minute to send the crowd roaring and singing. Antonio entertains as much as he frustrates but his impact along with Bowen and later Parqueta was the difference.
The party atmosphere continued from Thursdays incredible away win at Lyon to secure a historic Europa League semi final with Frankfurt and with the summer sun beating down on the London Stadium fans were hoping for more of the same against managerless Burnley, who are struggling for Premier League survival.
It was a battling, although not the best, performance that keeps West Ham in with a chance after Cresswell was controversially sent off at the end of a first half that saw the Hammers gradually taking control against a rather niggly Lyon side happy to play for every foul and tactic to disrupt the flow of the game.
But could the Hammers at least rescue a draw? With growing purpose the Hammers began to push further forward with Vlasic and Fornals making way for Masuaku and Yarmolenko to see out the final 20mins of what was becoming a more frantic encounter. So, it was a final chance falling to in form Bowen who could only chest over a cross that should have been headed firmly into the Leeds net to salvage something from a match that had 2 goals ruled out for offside, one for each team, that raised Leeds to 15th place, whilst the Hammers hang precariously in 4th anxiously watching results of those teams around us.
With chants of David Moyes Claret and Blue Army and West Ham Are Massive, Wherever We Go heard long after the match had ended and echoing around Westfield, we can finally put to bed the idea that we cannot compete with the top teams.
I have some of my recent photos of West Ham United home games at the London Stadium featured in November edition of Blowing Bubbles fanzine. If you would like a copy of the magazine go to: https://blowing-bubbles.co.uk/subscribe/
Do we need to get used to winning? For many years it seems we craved the idea of winning regularly and assumed we would, those bubbles flying so high only to fade and die on us time and again.