Europa League 2021 - West Ham vs Lyon Match Preview and Prediction

West Ham reached their first major European semi-final since 1976 as they sealed a 4-1 aggregate win over Lyon in the Europa League quarter-finals following Thursday's outstanding 3-0 victory. David Moyes' side travelled to France with the contest tightly poised at 1-1 after the first leg, but his disciplined charges turned in a superb performance at the Groupama Stadium.

Man-of-the-match Craig Dawson broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, as he stole in to nod home Pablo Fornals' corner, before Declan Rice's precise finish doubled their advantage just before the break. Jarrod Bowen's quickfire strike effectively ended the contest within two minutes of the restart as the resilient visitors kept their composure to set up a last-four showdown with Eintracht Frankfurt, who shocked Barcelona in their quarter-final.

With Kurt Zouma and Aaron Cresswell missing through injury and suspension, yet more responsibility was placed on Craig Dawson's experienced shoulders before kick-off in Lyon. The veteran centre-back has established a cult following in the Hammers fanbase since his permanent move to the London Stadium last year and his partnership with Zouma has anchored West Ham in 2021/22.

The former Watford man was tasked with shackling Moussa Dembele and he settled any early nerves with a string of key defensive headers to frustrate Lyon's main goal threat. As West Ham began to get a foothold in the tie before the break, Dawson showed his prowess in the opposition box to peel away from his marker and nod home Pablo Fornals' corner.

Fornals proves his worth as Moyes' lock-picker in Lyon

David Moyes is a creature of habit when it comes to selecting his starting line-ups, with eight players starting 25+ Premier League games for the Scot so far in 2021/22. His attacking quartet is predominantly Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen, plus two more from Fornals, Said Benrahma, Manuel Lanzini and, on occasion, Nikola Vlasic. Moyes stuck by Fornals in Lyon, with Lanzini replacing Benrahma from the first leg, and the Spanish schemer repaid his manager's faith with a non-stop display on the night.

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