David Moyes and Declan Rice

Moyes: It's a special feeling to reach a second European semi-final with West Ham

David Moyes was smiling again after West Ham United reached their second consecutive European semi-final with a 4-1 UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final second-leg win over KAA Gent at London Stadium.

The Hammers came from a goal down to the Belgian Cup holders to complete a 5-2 aggregate victory thanks to two goals from Michail Antonio, a Paquetá penalty and a wonderful individual run and finish from captain Declan Rice - a goal the manage celebrated by running along the touchline with his skipper!

It was another memorable night under the lights, and the manager was proud of the way his players yet again stepped up in continential competition to set up a last-four clash with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.

In truth, after a challenging opening half-hour or so, West Ham took control and could have won by a wider margin had it not been for Gent goalkeeper Davy Roef. Regardless, it was a deserved victory for the Premier League side.

For Moyes himself, he is now only 180 minutes away from managing in a European final for the second season in succession, and is eager to go one better than he and his players did in last year's UEFA Europa League.


I was running down the touchline as Dec made his way though, but I couldn’t keep up – that’s the only thing!

Look, I felt a big relief because we hadn’t played well in the first game against them, and losing a goal in the first half was terrible and I was thinking, my goodness, this is maybe going against us tonight.

But we were the better team, even in the first half I thought. We got back in the game and then we missed two brilliant chances to go ahead before we got the penalty kick.

It was a big relief when we got the third goal because it put complete daylight between us and the thought of getting to a European semi-final two years in a row with West Ham was special.

We want to be in the final. We’re all looking forward to trying to get to Prague.
David Moyes

Once you start to get [European success] in your blood it’s what you want.

You want these big nights, you want to get used to it. Great credit to the players, it really is for them to do this.

We’ve got a lot of new players this year too, but we won the group last year, we won the group this year as well. We got through big games last year and now we’ve got through another couple of big games and we’ve got to a semi-final.

You know what I’m going to say though – we’ve got to go one stage further this time, so I hope the experience we had for the game last year, the way the game went,  we can maybe try to use that.

Maybe we’re running into a little bit more form. We scored four tonight and I thought we could probably have scored seven if we had been really clinical.

Overall, I’m thrilled with how the players have done it, and on the back of a good result at the weekend hopefully it keeps our confidence up.


Some of the players are really starting to come into some form.

Mick didn’t start the game well, but he ended up with two goals – one just before half-time and one after it. You don’t really mind when you’re getting the goals, it starts to cover up a lot of cracks.

We had a wonder goal from Declan, which was a Roy of the Rovers type goal, and I’m pleased because he has got it in his locker. Tonight was a big night for him.


We want to be in the final.

We’re all looking forward to trying to get to Prague. I’ve got the date in my calendar and my head, so I’m hoping that I can make it happen.


I hope the players don’t feel tired because we’ve got another game on Sunday [at AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League]!

Thankfully we were able to get a few off earlier rather than playing the full 90 minutes and hopefully it will help us!


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