Rice reacts after West Ham won’t face Barcelona

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Declan Rice hope of facing Barcelona in the Europa League was cut short following the defeat of a 3-2 defeat to the Spanish side in camp Nou.

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice expectations were cut short after Barcelona crashed out of the Europa League following their defeat to German side Frankfurt at the camp Nou.

Barcelona hope of reaching the Europa semifinal was cut short after losing 3-2 in a dramatic game to Frankfurt.

Declan Rice thought at first that they will be facing Barcelona before the game but now labelled Frankfurt as a top side following their victory in the League.

Meanwhile, Rice’s West Ham dumped Lyon 3-0 in their own back yard, reaching the final four of a European competition for the first time since 1976 alongside Rangers and RB Leipzig.

The Hammers supporters were dreaming of a springtime trip to Barcelona but will now have to settle for a trip to Germany.

Their captain on the night is well aware of the task David Moyes‘ men face, though, telling BT Sport post-match: “For them to beat Barca they’re a top side. Whether it was a poor night from Barca, they still had to score three against them. We saw them against Betis and they looked a real strong side.

“We’ll be ready for whatever, two games again, we know what we want and that’s to reach the final and we’ll do anything we can to get there,” Rice, who scored West Ham’s second goal in France, also joked: ” I did German in school but gave it up after two weeks! It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Speaking about the Lyon game in France Rice stated that they knew the task before jumping into it as he claims it was a very special night for them and all the fans.

“Special, very very special,” Rice added. “We knew it was a tough place to come and they had top individual quality. We knew with our attacking players we could score goals against their defence tonight.

“To get a two goal lead and then Jarrod come out early and put that away in the second half, it’s a special feeling. For all the fans, it’s a great night.”

Moyes echoed the Irons star’s verdict, saying: “I’m immensely proud of the players. The performance, and probably more so the performance in the second half of the first leg when we were down to 10 men which looks like a really poor decision, the players stuck at it, got a goal in front and then conceded. A lot of people didn’t think we’d make it tonight.

“I think the togetherness helps, if you have a good team spirit then all managers would like to get it but it comes from winning and good results. We have a really good group of lads, we’ve been really lucky, they’ve been great since I’ve been here. Over the two-year journey we were talking about avoiding relegation and now getting to a semi-final of a European tournament.

“It’s fabulous and we’re looking forward to it. It has been, it’s been huge [progress made at the club] what we’ve done in two years.

“We’ve not won any trophies yet, we’re trying to compete and qualify for European football again if we can, but if we get to these latter stages beating Sevilla, Lyon and teams in the group stages, big clubs with big European football history, we go again, you don’t win anything tonight but it was a big moment for us.

“Winning 3-0 away from home in Europe, really, really good result.

“When we qualified last year you could hear the West Ham supporters saying we’re going on a European tour so, they’ve had a pretty good tour this season, Belgium, Croatia, France tonight and Spain, so I’m sure they’ll all look forward to Germany as well.”

With both semi-finals taking place Thursday, April 28 and May 5, the final will take place in Seville on Wednesday, May 18.



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