Declan Rice and Mark Noble are among the West Ham players hoping for their first ever trophy

Tomas Soucek is relishing the chance to make history at West Ham after helping them reach their first European quarter-final since 1981.

Soucek scored the opener to level the Europa League last-16 tie with competition experts Sevilla before substitute Andriy Yarmolenko tapped home an extra-time winner after Pablo Fornals’ shot was parried into his path.

West Ham now go into the quarter-final draw along with Barcelona, ​​Rangers and RB Leipzig among others as David Moyes’ side look for their first trophy in over four decades.

“I am so happy we can write history at the club,” said Soucek. “I hope we can do more than today.

“I know when we beat Sevilla we can beat any team.”

It was the biggest night at the London Stadium since the controversial move from the Boleyn Ground in 2016.

Michail Antonio has lived through the difficulties at the club, having arrived at the Hammers from Nottingham Forest in 2015 and the 31-year-old says he has never heard the stadium as loud.

“I have been here for seven years and the only atmosphere that came close to this was the last game at the Boleyn Ground,” he told BT Sport. “I said at the start, the atmosphere was absolutely roaring.

“We fear nobody. We are in it to win it and now we are in the quarters, why can’t we win it?”

‘We are climbing a mountain’

Andriy Yarmolenko celebrated with fans
Andriy Yarmolenko celebrated with fans

When he returned to the club for a second time in 2019, 18 months after being sacked to make way for Manuel Pellegrini, who was then dumped after spending big on unsuccessful signings, Moyes vowed to create “a new West Ham”.

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He has successfully navigated them away from the relegation zone and into the quarter-finals of Europe in the space of two years.

But the former Everton and Manchester United boss is not getting carried away.

Moyes has already told his players to report at the Hammers’ Rush Green training ground on Friday morning to begin preparations for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham and warned them they are only at the start of the journey he wants to take them on.

“If you want to be a big club, you have to get used to being in all the time,” he said.

“We are climbing a mountain but we are base camp at the moment.

“This result will give us a lot of confidence. We have had two really tough and close games against the side that is second in La Liga. People say Spanish football not quite the same but we have seen what Atletico Madrid and Villarreal have done this week [knocking Manchester United and Juventus out of Europe]. Seville are above those two.

“This win felt fantastic but we don’t get a cup for that. We have to refocus and have another go.”

Moyes wanted to spread the praise but believes Yarmolenko scoring was priceless in helping to get the message across globally about the hardships being experienced in Ukraine at present.

Yarmolenko appeared to overcome at the final whistle but eventually picked out a fan with a blue and yellow Ukraine flag and handed his shirt to him in recognition.

Skipper Declan Rice is lost in admiration at Yarmolenko’s performances following his return from compassionate leave given the turmoil he is in.

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“I just saw Yarmo in the kit room,” he told BT Sport. “He was a little bit emotional and just needed a bit of time to himself. He has been through so much.”

It was also a big result for Rice, who is coveted by most of the biggest clubs in the country who can offer this kind of European platform on an annual basis.

“These European nights are special,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue them.

“I love West Ham fans. They care so much about this club. If you give 100 per cent, you are treated as one of their own.”

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Reference-www.bbc.co.uk

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