Thursday, December 2, 2021

Moyes not revising ambition after West Ham´s perfect Europa League start

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 22 Oct 2021

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West Ham manager David Moyes is refusing to get carried away with his side’s perfect start to the Europa League and insists his goal remains qualifying for the knockout stages.

The Hammers made it three wins from three games in Group H after defeating Belgian club Genk 3-0 at home on Thursday, following victories over Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna.

West Ham are only the second English side to win each of their first three group games in a single Europa League campaign without conceding a goal, alongside Tottenham in 2013-14.

The last team from any nation to achieve this was Sevilla who eventually won the competition in 2019-20 but Moyes would not be drawn on any comparisons.

“I’m keeping relatively calm because we’ve got to go to Genk away and Vienna away,” Moyes during his post-game news conference. “I’m not going to take anything for granted.

“I said I want to be in Europe after Christmas. That’s my plan for this year. We need another couple of points to qualify, not to win the group but if we can get that it would be a great start.

“The players have done a brilliant job. They really have. We’ve not won any of them easily. They’ve all been tough. The games have been close, even though we’ve been the better team in all three of the games. We’ve got to keep working to get those extra points to make sure we qualify.”

West Ham’s first two goals against Genk came from set pieces, with Craig Dawson and Issa Diop heading home from Aaron Cresswell’s free-kicks.

Cresswell has assisted eight goals from dead-ball situations in all competitions since the start of the season, more than any other Premier League player.

Dawson has netted five goals in all club competitions this calendar year, which is equal best for any Premier League defender along with Manchester City’s John Stones.

Angelo Ogbonna nodded in the winner from a Jarrod Bowen set-piece in Sunday’s Premier League win over Everton too.

“It may be more effective in European football,” Moyes said when asked about his side’s set-piece threat. “The Premier League has got a lot of strong defences, and attackers who can defend set-pieces.

“Up until Everton, I’m not sure we had scored this season from a set-piece, so it is not as if we have been doing it every game but thankfully we got the winning goal at Everton and tonight as well.

“Craig Dawson is excellent at it, Issa Diop gets a goal tonight from it as well. Our centre-halves are the players on top scoring goals at the moment so I am happy with that and long may that continue.”

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