Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus celebrate against Freiburg

Bowen & Kudus react to sensational Europa League display

Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus showered praise on one another after their goals and assists helped West Ham United earn a record-breaking 5-0 win over SC Freiburg to book their spot in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

After Lucas Paquetá's early opener settled nerves, Bowen's fine finish put the Irons in front on aggregate. Aaron Cresswell made it three after half-time before Kudus took over.

The Ghana star netted a stunning quickfire double late on to seal an emphatic victory – his first an exceptional solo goal after a long mazy run from inside his own half – and his second a smart, edge of the box finish into the corner to cap a five-star performance from the Hammers and a 5-1 aggregate win.

Bowen, who had been included in the England squad for March’s international friendlies earlier in the day, felt that the team's energy throughout paved the way for success and insists the players thrived off the deafening atmosphere at London Stadium.

“We knew an early goal would massively put them on the back foot, and at 2-0 we knew there were more goals in it for us,” said Bowen.

“It [2-0] can be a difficult scoreline because if they get one goal then they are back into it, so we wanted to get it. Cressy’s [Aaron Cresswell’s] goal was beautiful and we went on to get five. It was a comfortable night in the end but we had to take the game to them without being silly in our shape. Five goals at home in a European tie is always special.

He [Kudus] is a special player and I see it when he dribbles all the time. I enjoy playing with Mo and he enjoys playing with me and we have a connection. Here’s to more goals
Jarrod Bowen

"The number of times he won the ball back, dribbled and the kept on running with the ball was brilliant. He’s so direct, has an eye for goal, and even had the composure to finish it with his right foot despite being a left-footed player. I’m really happy for him.

“The kick-off time was difficult for the fans but the ones here tonight played their part massively as did the other fans all over [the world] as well. They wanted a performance, wanted us to get into the next round, and we felt that energy. You hear the place at the end, it was rocking!

“I think we showed we can compete with everyone tonight, it’s very rare you score five goals in a European knockout tie because there is so much at stake, but tonight was one of our best performances in a while. We will enjoy the draw tomorrow and see who we get, but we will respect our opponents as we know there is a process of getting to a final."

Jarrod Bowen celebrates with Mohammed Kudus

Kudus, meanwhile, complimented Bowen’s performance and was happy to score his fourth and fifth European goals in Claret and Blue, insisting his sensational first of the evening could be in his top goals off all time.

“I think so [it's in my top five goals],” he smiled, with typical understated modesty. “I will need to look at it again. It’s one of the dreams as a player, taking players on and trying to create something out of nothing, so when I got the space, I thought let’s go for it,” said Kudus.

“As an attacking player you want to score goals and keep helping the team in front of goal. The last few games have been good but the goals haven’t been coming. I was very tasty, and I could see the fans were as well, so I had to make sure I gave them a special one today.

“From the start of the game we knew what was at stake, so you could see the energy from the back, to middle, to the front. You could see how we were pressing and chasing the ball because we were very hungry to get a lot of goals. After getting our first goals we kept going and going until the last minute. Credit to everyone.

“More is coming [from Bowen] and I’m not surprised. He puts the effort in everyday at training and we are trying to be the best we can be. He deserves a lot of credit for his pressing and doing his defensive duties as an attacking player. We will look to build on this and keep on pushing for the next games. It’s important we don’t get satisfied now.”