West Ham have hit back jubilantly at Lyon for their trolling after beating the French side comprehensively in their Europa League quarter-final tie.
West Ham reach the semifinals of a major European competition for the first time in 46 years 🔨 pic.twitter.com/JlJ0y3VEMP
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 14, 2022
The Premier League side, drawing 1-1 from the first leg at the London Stadium last week, deservedly triumphed 3-0 at the Groupama Stadium on Thursday night to knock Lyon out of the competition.
And Hammers midfielder Declan Rice insisted Lyon’s gloating and taunting ‘came back to bite them’ and was an incentive for the visiting team.
He said: ‘Obviously (Moussa) Dembele winking at the camera in the first leg and then their Twitter admin somehow saying they don’t know how they’re not going to get through.
‘So those things come back to bite you and we stayed quiet, put in a performance and now West Ham are in the semis. What more do we want?’
Incredibly proud of West Ham United tonight. Fantastic achievement from the whole team and the manager. Thoroughly deserved. Looking forward to the Semi Finals. COYI. dg pic.twitter.com/p3baB5Wb1a
— David Gold (@davidgold) April 14, 2022
In the first leg, Lyon striker Moussa Dembele was brought down when bearing through on goal by a slight Aaron Cresswell touch, leading to the West Ham defender being sent off.
Although the foul probably deserved a yellow card, the hosts were frustrated at the decision for a straight red, feeling the Frenchman made the most of it.
Their anger was increased when Dembele turned and winked at the camera after the dismissal, in a manner similar to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo after his side provoked England’s Wayne Rooney into getting sent off in a crucial World Cup match in 2006.
After the game last week, Hammers manager Moyes warned Dembele that things to move quickly in football, saying: ‘This game has got a strange way of coming back to catch you, you just never know.
West Ham United, the Kings of Lyon.
— KUMB.com: West Ham United FC Online (@kumbdotcom) April 14, 2022
‘That’s why when you talk about people being down and reacting in certain ways, that can sometimes come back at different times in different ways. Football has a strange way of coming back to get you.’
The Scot’s comments were proved right, with West Ham ending up comfortable victors after goals from Craig Dawson, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen, while Dembele’s side only managed three shots on target all match. West Ham’s Twitter account then posted a wink emoji overlaid onto a picture of Dembele’s wink.
West Ham were also fired up by a tweet from Lyon’s official account which posted a video clip with the caption: ‘Are you really asking like there’s a chance we don’t go through?’ followed by a raised-eyebrow emoji.
Rice, who referenced that tweet in his post-match interview, then replied to it with a comment saying: ‘This aged well,’ followed by a cry-laughing and thumbs-up emoji.
Almost midnight here in Lyon and David Moyes has come out to clap the West Ham fans.
Touch of class from the boss. ⚒️
The Moysiah. pic.twitter.com/01CB8wNTHr
— Jaack (@Jaack) April 14, 2022
Moyes then hailed his side’s togetherness in overcoming the odds to win brilliantly away from home.
He added: ‘The players stuck at it, never gave up, got a goal in front before we conceded. I don’t think anyone when they were putting questions to me earlier, thought we were going to make it tonight.
‘The journey in two years from trying to avoid relegation and now we are talking about getting to the semi-final of a major European tournament. It is fabulous. It is huge what we have done in two years.
"The journey in two years, we were trying to stop relegation, and now we're talking about the semi-finals of a European Tournament!" 👏
What a job David Moyes has done with @WestHam, an incredible moment of history for the hammers ⚒️
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 14, 2022
‘We have not won any trophies yet but we are trying to compete and to qualify for European football again – if we can. To be getting to these later stages, we have beaten big clubs that are used to European football. You don’t win anything for tonight but it was a big moment for us.’
Courtesy: Daily Mail UK