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Between David Moyes’ disco fever and his opposite number, Pascal Jansen, being the son of one half of a Dutch pop duo, the build-up to this game carried a distinctly musical feel.

In the end, it was Moyes’ West Ham who hit the higher note, overcoming yet more refereeing controversy to take a sizeable step towards a first European final in 47 years with a 2-1 first-leg win over AZ Alkmaar at the London Stadium.

Moyes has been left fuming by the state of officiating in the Premier League of late, and at half-time could not have been overly impressed with the continental offering either, referee Halil Umut Meler having waved away West Ham protests for a foul on Lucas Paqueta in the build-up to Tijani Reijnders’ opening goal.

For the second season in a row, the Irons found themselves behind in a home first-leg at this late stage of a European competition and chasing the tie, but unlike against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League 12 months ago, Moyes’ men succeeded here in reeling their rivals in before the midway stage and will go to the Netherlands next week with a slender lead to defend.

Read our full report here

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Michail Antonio explains game-plan

“We made it difficult for ouselves, we had chances, we just needed to be more clinical. In the end we got the result.

“We know they’re a possession-based team, they know how to work it. We were like ‘alright, we’re let you have it, and on the counter we’ll damage you’.”


FT: West Ham 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

West Ham will take a narrow lead to the Netherlands.

Had to come from behind to do so, with Benrahma and Antonio scoring in the space of ten minutes to turn things around.

All to play for next week!

Action Images via Reuters

90+1 mins: Three minutes added on.

We’re very much in ‘both teams will take it’ territory.


89 mins: Pavlidis hammers a strike at goal, blocked and AZ can’t keep the attack alive.

Moyes turns to his bench again, as Fornals comes on for Benrahma.


86 mins: It’s West Ham’s turn to slow things down when the ball goes dead.

Without wishing to jinx it, something would have to go terribly wrong for the Hammers not to take a lead into the second leg. AZ look really flat as an attacking force.


83 mins: Nearly 3-1!

Brilliant from Ings and Benrahma. They combine superbly, as Benrahma is played into space in the box and fires over the bar. That was a very decent chance.


82 mins: AZ starting to commit more bodies forward now, as they have a couple of shots blocked.

Haven’t seen this at all since the break. They won’t risk too much though, this isn’t a disastrous result for them at all.


79 mins: Antonio was due to come off before he scored that goal!

He has been replaced now, with Ings on in his place for the final ten minutes or so.

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