Analysis of the Europa League match: West Ham 2-0 Sevilla | UEFA Europa League

West Ham United gave their fans a night to remember last Thursday as they beat Sevilla 2-0 at the London Stadium to advance to a UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Olympique Lyonnais.

In this article presented by SwissTiming, UEFA’s technical observer panel discusses the factors behind the England team’s impressive victory, from their use of the flanks to the exceptional leadership of captain Declan Rice.


As it happened: West Ham 2-0 Sevilla



Highlights: West Ham 2-0 Sevilla

Goals

1-0: Tomas Soucek (39)
Souček’s first goal of this European campaign showcased both his aerial ability and No9 Michail Antonio’s leading abilities. After an interception by Pablo Fornals, Antonio played a key role, receiving the ball from the Spaniard, turning and then feeding Said Benrahma who approached the left corner of the Sevilla box. Antonio, now at D, received the ball from Benrahma and showed excellent control and strength as he fended off two Sevilla defenders before moving into the space vacated by Benrahma and crossing at second post. There Souček rose to direct a strong and controlled header past Yassine Bounou and into the far corner.

2-0: Andriy Yarmolenko (112)
Coming on as an 88th-minute substitute, the Ukrainian made a big impact on his introduction, controlling the ball well to give his colleagues time to recover and move up the pitch, then scoring the crucial second goal. Antonio again played a role, once again showing his strength as he held the ball under pressure from two markers and slipped an inside pass for Manuel Lanzini who found Fornals on the left. He went in and fired a low shot with his right foot which bounced just in front of goalkeeper Bounou. The Moroccan had previously underlined his class with fine saves and bravery in set-piece situations, but now he could only parry the ball and Yarmolenko converted from close range.

Team formations

West Ham 1-4-3-3 form


West Ham 1-4-3-3 form

West Ham
In possession, West Ham had a well-organized and well-balanced 1-4-3-3 form. Rice (41) and Lanzini (10) played key roles in coming deep to request the ball between the lines and providing options for centre-backs as they built from behind. Rice, in particular, excelled as a link between defense and offense, and was tireless both in possession and out of possession.

Further up the pitch, wide forwards Fornals (8) and Benrahma (22) occasionally dropped deep and inside to open up the flanks for full-backs Ben Johnson (31) and Aaron Cresswell (3). As the second goal highlights, the hard-working Fornals connected well in midfield and created plenty of good attacking moves.

Lacking possession, the UEFA Observer noted how Lanzini and Souček (28) supported Antonio (9) with pressing down the middle, while Fornals (8) and Benrahma (22) dropped to watch the potential forwards of Sevilla’s full-backs. Rather than pressing high all the time, West Ham fell back into a compact team form that was more like a 1-4-4-2 without possession.

Sevilla's compact 1-4-3-3 formation


Sevilla’s compact 1-4-3-3 formation

Seville
Sevilla started with a compact 1-4-3-3 formation both in possession and out of possession. Full-backs Jesús Navas (16) and Ludwig Augustinsson (3) were looking to move forward with Tecatito Corona (9) and Anthony Martial (22) moving inside to free up space for them. One aspect of their build-up game involved forwards diving deep to provide options for short passing streaks. When West Ham’s pressing made such combinations impossible, the visitors looked for longer balls towards target man Youssef En-Nesyri (15) who tried to either hold the ball or throw it for forward runs by players like Corona and Joan Jordán (8).

Without possession, Corona and Martial tried to stop forward runs from West Ham full-backs while Ivan Rakitić (10) and Jordán backed up En-Nesyri in central zone defense and Thomas Delaney (18) dropped in front of his back four.

Characteristics

The video above highlights West Ham’s effective use of width. The first clip, for example, shows one of their long diagonal passes to change sides in an effort to find space not covered by Sevilla’s compact defensive form. Full-backs Johnson and Cresswell were involved regularly and each contributed five crosses from open play.

The second clip (64:31) shows another attack where David Moyes’ men switched sides, giving another example of how their compact team form allowed them to get players into dangerous positions quickly . Rice, still scanning the area around him, was instrumental, and he and Lanzini dictated play throughout. Basically, as the UEFA Observer noted, they remained calm on the ball despite the pressure of the occasion, showing composure to delay moves if their teammates were not yet in position. or, alternatively, to act quickly if there was space to exploit.

That brings us to the impressive emotional control shown by a West Ham side playing at this stage of UEFA competition for the first time in four decades against the experienced six-time UEFA Europa League winner. Moyes could be seen regularly beckoning his players to stay calm and play with patience, and that was a message that Rice, as captain, also conveyed.

Rice at a party


Rice on a ‘special’ night for West Ham

Rice then spoke of the plan to ‘press them’, ‘play with great intensity’ and ‘outrun them’ and the trio of him, Lanzini and Souček put up an exceptional work rate. Indeed, Rice himself ended the night with more digs (nine) than any other player on the court. Sevilla goalkeeper Bounou admitted his side ‘were very tired’ in extra time and the UEFA observer suggested the visitors struggled with the power and physical intensity of the team local. No one embodied these qualities better than Antonio who not only kept possession well, allowing his colleagues to step onto the pitch, but was involved in more duels (25) than any other player in the UEFA Europa League last year. last week.

From Sevilla’s perspective, they initially struggled to advance the ball against their compact and aggressive opponents. There was a crucial save from home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to deny En-Nesyri at 0-0, but although they had 929 touches – a tally only bettered in last week’s second leg by City rivals , Real Betis – the visitors managed just two shots on target compared to eight by West Ham.

Several Sevilla players showed their class again in defeat with Jordán playing an instrumental role in his team after a difficult start, especially with his work to receive balls in midfield and find a way beyond or behind the West Ham pressure line. Corona provided good vertical runs and the UEFA Observer also hailed the sturdy Nemanja Gudelj, who, replacing injured centre-back Diego Carlos, provided organization and won crucial headers. Indeed, his departure for the inexperienced José Ángel Carmona – a player who had only played as a senior once – came 60 seconds before the goal that sealed their fate.

Coach Ratings

West Ham manager David Moyes celebrates with his full-time players


West Ham manager David Moyes celebrates with his full-time playersGetty Images

David Moyes, West Ham manager
“I thought our players from the first minute were on full throttle and never let them down all night. [There were] periods when they improved but overall I thought we were so good.

“We talked a lot for two days about how we were going to handle the game, not enthusiastic but [at] good speed… Being down 1-0 gave us something to chase as we weren’t favorites tonight and put ourselves in a position to try and you can’t fault the way we did the job, so a big credit to the players. “

Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla coach
“We succumbed to a good team, a tough Premier League side. We tried to compete and stand up to them. It’s a tough ground to hit even at full strength. We had a significant number of injuries and the guys tried. Their attitude and character are to be commended during these difficult few months.”

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