West Ham could emerge from Declan Rice's departure as a "stronger" unit with James Ward-Prowse taking the midfielder's place, according to Harry Redknapp.

Rice joined Arsenal for a club-record £100million in July, having capped his final season with the Irons by lifting the Europa Conference League trophy in June.

Despite the windfall generated by Rice's sale, West Ham endured a frustrating pre-season amid reports boss David Moyes did not see eye-to-eye with new technical director Tim Steidten.

However, the signings of former Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse and Mexico international Edson Alvarez have lifted the mood at the London Stadium.

Ward-Prowse enjoyed a dream debut as West Ham beat Chelsea 3-1 on Sunday, becoming the first player to record multiple assists on his first Premier League outing for the club.

With Ward-Prowse bringing his set-piece prowess to the London Stadium, Redknapp – who played for West Ham between 1965 and 1972 and managed the club between 1994 and 2001 – is positive about the Hammers' prospects.

Asked about West Ham's recruitment, Redknapp told Stats Perform: "I love Ward-Prowse. He's a good player and looks a good character and a good lad.

"So yeah, they could be a stronger team this year, with the money they've raised. They've lost one outstanding player but they've [potentially] got [some] very good players in with that money. 

"I think it's good business for West Ham. I think West Ham will be fine."

Asked about Moyes facing criticism from supporters despite lifting the first major trophy of his managerial career last term, Redknapp added: "That's football, isn't it? That's the way the game goes. It's a results business now, you don't get long. 

"You know, back in the day, West Ham had four managers in something like 75 years. Ron Greenwood, John Lyall, Ted Fenton before that. That was how the game was. 

"Now, you get 20-odd minutes! You lose a few games, you lose four, five, six games, you're in trouble. You've got people calling for your head. 

"David is a good manager. He's been around long enough, he knows his situation, he knows he needs results. There's no reason they can't have a good season."

Another of Redknapp's former clubs did make a coaching change ahead of the new season, with Bournemouth replacing now-Wolves boss Gary O'Neil with Andoni Iraola.

Asked about his first impressions of the former Rayo Vallecano coach, Redknapp said: "I don't know much about him at the moment, but they tell me he's very good. 

"It's a good club, with new owners, and they're ambitious. It's good that new people have come in, they look like they're good for the club. I think they're going to be good for everybody.

"It's their choice to change manager, it's their decision. They own the club, they can do what they want and they feel the new guy's the man to take the club forward. Let's hope he can. 

"Things are looking good down there, I think the team looks okay. They've made one or two signings and they've got a couple more injured still to come in. 

"I think they might make one or two more signings. I don't see them being a relegation outfit this year, I think they'll be fine. They'll improve on what they did last year possibly."

Elsewhere, Redknapp is pleased to see former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe succeeding with Newcastle United, having earned his opportunity by leading the Cherries to the top flight for the first time in 2015.

"He's a top manager," Redknapp said of Howe. "We've got some fantastic young managers in this country who don't get the opportunity to manage a top team. 

"There are loads in the Championship and below who could do a great job in the Premier League if they were ever given the opportunity.

"Eddie deserved the opportunity. What he did at Bournemouth was amazing, and now he's doing magnificent, wonderful things at Newcastle. 

"He's got the backing, he's got good players, they've bought some fantastic players in, the recruitment's been great. But Eddie's a top manager, he could manage anywhere."

David Moyes is considering converting Jarrod Bowen into an out-and-out striker following his latest goal for West Ham.

Bowen had fired the Hammers into the lead early in the second half at Bournemouth with a spectacular curler from the edge of the box.

But Moyes’ side were denied an opening-day win when Dominic Solanke rounded Alphonse Areola to snatch a 1-1 draw with eight minutes remaining.

Bowen’s last kick of last season was the late goal which secured the Europa Conference League trophy against Fiorentina in Prague, 66 days ago.

This time he collected the ball off Tomas Soucek 20 yards out, cut onto his left foot and buried a superb, curling effort beyond the dive of Neto.

“It was a brilliant goal,” said Moyes, who previously successfully turned Marko Arnautovic from winger to striker at West Ham.

“Jarrod is becoming our major goalscorer. There’s a lot of talk about needing to buy a centre-forward but I’m going to see if Jarrod could do the job.

“He’s got the instincts and the sharpness. Hull played him at centre-forward so it’s not me trying to be a genius.”

West Ham were pegged back when Antoine Semenyo’s wayward shot fell at the feet of Solanke, who showed tremendous composure to slip the ball around Areola and tap into an empty net.

“The goal was really scruffy,” added Moyes. “I don’t know if the boy is crossing or shooting, it clipped Tomas Soucek’s heel and was bad fortune for us, but we probably brought it on ourselves.”

Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta put in an eye-catching display in a deep-lying midfield role, showing glimpses of why Manchester City made an approach to sign him.

Moyes, who has already lost Declan Rice this summer, does not want another of his best players to leave but is realistic enough to know he might not be able to stop him.

“There’s a price on everyone’s head somewhere,” he said. “We don’t want Lucas to go, it’s as simple as that. But sometimes it’s difficult to say to these boys you can’t join Manchester City, or Real Madrid, the biggest clubs in the world.

“We’ve had a bit of news on Lucas but we’ve had nothing that’s made us wobble.”

Bournemouth’s new boss Andoni Iraola enjoyed his first taste of Premier League football.

“It’s a good point, we wanted three,” said the Spaniard. “We were better at the end of both halves.

“After tying the game the momentum was with us and we finished better, but it was one point.

“We improved after the first half and second half we were a bit more direct. We have to improve, this was the first game of the season. We have to grow from this starting point.”

David Moyes handed his Europa Conference League winners’ medal to his father after ending West Ham’s 43-year wait for a trophy.

Jarrod Bowen’s dramatic last-minute goal sank Fiorentina 2-1 as the Hammers secured a first piece of silverware since 1980’s FA Cup, and a first European trophy since 1965, on a historic and emotional night in Prague.

Moyes’ dad, 87-year-old David Snr, has been on every step of West Ham’s European tour and joined his son on the pitch after the final whistle.

“He was the first one, I thought I should get it round his neck,” said the jubilant West Ham boss. “He’s watched a lot over the years and I hope he enjoyed it.”

West Ham led through a Said Benrahma penalty on the hour but were immediately pegged back by Giacomo Bonaventura’s strike.

But when Bowen chased Lucas Paqueta’s ball over the top, Moyes almost found himself going full Jose Mourinho.

“The moment he went through I was edging down the touchline,” he added. “If it was going to be anyone, I thought ‘this is the moment’.

“But I couldn’t do a full Mourinho knee slide as the grass was a bit dry and I’d have ended up on my belly.”

Moyes has written his name in West Ham folklore, joining Ron Greenwood and John Lyall as trophy-winning Hammers managers.

A place in next season’s Europa League means the club has qualified for Europe three campaigns in a row, for the first time.

“I actually think the last two years have been an incredible journey,” he said.

“It’s an incredible achievement to do so well in Europe, you look at some of the very good teams who find it a struggle. It’s great credit, we’ve turned a disappointing season into a super season.”

Bowen has come a long way from beginning his career at non-league Hereford, and he is planning to party.

“I’m so buzzing, all of us are just going to go mad I think,” he said. “You have to celebrate.

“When the final whistle went I just thought ‘this party is going to be crazy’.

“I’m just a little boy from Leominster who never thought I’d be talking like this. My family are crying and it just shows me how far I’ve come.”

It was a memorable way to sign off for Declan Rice, destined to leave this summer but with the legacy of becoming only the third captain, along with Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds, to lift silverware in the club’s 128-year history.

The England midfielder has a year left on his contract, and West Ham hold the option of another, but Arsenal are poised to firm up their interest in the coming days.

The only downside to West Ham’s big night was an object thrown from their end which left Cristiano Biraghi with a nasty cut on the back of his head, forcing referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande to briefly halt play while a message over the PA system implored the fans to stop throwing missiles.

The club “unreservedly condemned” the incident while a UEFA inquest will follow with charges likely.

It was a double cup disappointment for Fiorentina, who were only narrowly beaten 2-1 by Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia last month.

“We lost two finals playing really well, and it’s a shame,” said coach Vincenzo Italiano. “Tonight, I honestly didn’t imagine it could finish like this.”

David Moyes may stand just one match from writing his name into West Ham folklore, but he will not compare himself to the club’s two managerial greats.

If the Hammers overcome Fiorentina in the final of the Europa Conference League on Wednesday night, Moyes will become only the third manager, after Ron Greenwood and John Lyall, to guide the east London club to a major trophy.

Greenwood, who went on to manage England, was in charge when West Ham won their only previous European trophy, the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1964, while their last piece of silverware, the FA Cup, came under Lyall in 1980.

Yet Moyes insisted: “I don’t think of myself as any different to anyone else in this room.

“I’m really fortunate and privileged and thankful to be given an opportunity to be a football manager and to have the opportunity to go this far in my career and be on a stage like this.

“I think it’s really special. I don’t ever really think of myself as being a legend or any words like that.

“I’d just like to be known as a football manager and one who’s serious about his job and tries to do the best he possibly can, week-in week-out, try to prepare my teams to be competitive.

“I’d like to be known as much for that as much as I would the word ‘legend’, really.”

The final will hold special memories for West Ham’s Czech duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek, who both played for Slavia Prague at the Eden Arena.

Midfielder Soucek said: “When I realised one year ago that the final was in Prague and we were in this competition, I was like, ‘come on guys, we have to go there’.

“And now we are here in the Eden Arena in Prague, I can connect with the two teams I love.”

League Managers Association (LMA) chief executive Richard Bevan feels enough support is given to Premier League managers in regards to their mental health.

Prior to his sacking at Chelsea, Graham Potter revealed his mental health and family life had suffered as a result of the pressures of Premier League management.

West Ham's David Moyes also discussed the impact of being an under-fire Premier League boss, citing the harmful effects media scrutiny can have.

But Bevan, who has been in his role since 2008, believes the LMA is doing its bit to help top-flight managers cope with the strain.

"I think since COVID, the world of sport, not just football, has put health and wellbeing at the forefront of all decisions," Bevan said when speaking to Stats Perform at the Football Business Awards.

"Certainly, in the LMA, we have two in-house psychiatrists and two in-house psychologists. 

"It's not just about the managers and coaches, it's looking after the people that work in that environment. We are very, very active in making sure that communication and the services that we offer are utilised as much by the families as well as by the coaches and the managers. 

"So it's really important to be as well as physically fit, emotionally fit, and mentally fit, in order to do the jobs, whether you're a coach or working in any environment today."

There has been a record number of managerial dismissals in the Premier League this season.

One of those, Patrick Vieira's sacking by Crystal Palace in March, left the Premier League without a black manager.

Bevan explained the LMA is encouraging clubs to diversify their coaching staff.

He said: "From our perspective, it's making sure that we have a very vibrant pipeline of coaches coming through.

"We're pushing the stakeholders to have a far greater number of coaches from diverse backgrounds that have, for example, the [UEFA] Pro Licence, so that pipeline which the employers are looking at can make a difference over the next five years."

As of the final day of the 2022-23 season, 10 Premier League bosses are from overseas, while the competition has been won by a foreign manager in each of the last 10 seasons.

Bevan lauded the impact managers from other countries had brought to the English game, adding: "They all bring excellence.

"I think we're very lucky that the Premier League and, indeed, all of our leagues are immensely popular around the world, and they attract overseas owners, overseas coaches, and overseas players, so ensuring that the very best in their profession I work in our leagues is really special.

"We're really grateful that we have a really diverse mix of managers and coaches."

David Moyes was concerned for members of his family after AZ Alkmaar fans attempted to attack a section of West Ham’s support following their Europa Conference League semi-final win in the Netherlands.

Pablo Fornals’ injury-time winner prompted a gang of black-shirted, hooded AZ ultras to attempt to storm into the area reserved for friends and family behind the dugout.

Players including Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, Aaron Cresswell and Flynn Downes climbed over the advertising hoardings in a bid to stop the trouble.

Moyes, who’s 87-year-old father David Snr was at the match, said: “I can’t explain what happened and why it happened.

“I can only only say the players were involved because it was the family section and most of their family and friends were in there. That was probably the reason for the reaction.

“Was I worried? Yeah, my family were there and I had friends in that section. You’re hoping they would try and get themselves away from it.

“I didn’t recognise it because I’d gone onto the pitch. Security wanted to take me inside, but I had to make sure my players weren’t involved.

“What we don’t want to do is in any way blight the night because it certainly wasn’t West Ham supporters looking for trouble. Hopefully they’ll look into it.”

Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola added: “When families or friends are coming to the stadium we don’t want to see things like that. They want to enjoy the event and we want to enjoy it with them as well. We were worried about them.”

During last week’s first leg at the London Stadium, members of AZ players’ families were involved in a confrontation with West Ham fans.

AZ boss Pascal Jansen said: “What happened last week was very unfortunate and then you get the same feeling as what happened tonight.

“I feel a little bit ashamed it happened in our stadium but you have to control your emotions.”

The incident overshadowed West Ham reaching a first European final in 47 years and moving to within one match of a first trophy since the FA Cup in 1980.

A year earlier West Ham had lost the plot at the same stage of the Europa League, crashing out at Eintracht Frankfurt after Cresswell was sent off and Moyes booted a ball at a ball boy.

But this time West Ham held on to their composure, and no ball kids were harmed, as they completed a 3-1 aggregate win and booked a meeting with Fiorentina in Prague on June 7.

It was no mean feat despite the less-than illustrious opposition. AZ have a phenomenal home record in Europe, unbeaten in their previous 25 matches, and had only lost here once to an English team – Moyes’ Everton in 2007 which ended a run of 32 games without defeat.

So West Ham’s 2-1 lead from the first leg always looked slim, and none more so than when AZ dangerman Jesper Karlsson had a shot deflected over with only one minute on the clock.

But West Ham held their nerve were rewarded for a disciplined display when substitute Fornals raced through to score the winner at the death.

“I’m delighted to get to a European final,” added Moyes. “We got close last year. Maybe you shouldn’t be too surprised. We’ve won 13 and drawn one in this competition and now we have one more to go to see if we can win it. We’ve done a really good job in Europe this season and we’re thrilled.

“The dressing room? Raucous is the word I’d use. I don’t want to give too much away but it was great, it’s something that as players and managers you don’t get too often in your career so we’re going to enjoy it.”

David Moyes believes West Ham have been on the wrong end of too many strange VAR decisions.

Having been denied penalties for handballs against Liverpool and Manchester United in recent weeks, the Hammers had a goal contentiously ruled out in their 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

When Said Benrahma’s cross came back off a post it hit Divin Mubama, who had put his hand up to prevent himself from crashing into the woodwork.

Manuel Lanzini swept the ball back into the box to leave Dany Ings with a tap-in to halve the deficit with 25 minutes remaining.

But referee Michael Oliver went to the pitchside monitor and ruled that young striker Mubama had handled the ball.

“Very strange,” said Hammers boss Moyes. “The Premier League have come out and called it deliberate handball. I think we need a bit of explanation on that.

“The first thing I would say about it is it is inconclusive. If anything I think it hits his shoulder, right on his collarbone.

“If it’s a handball that leads to a goal we all know that rule, but I certainly don’t see deliberate. If anything he might be protecting himself from going into the post. I’m amazed it was chalked off.

“But, let’s be fair, if this was the first one we were talking about in recent games I would say it can happen, but we’re now talking about three of these.

“It’s getting regular. It really is. I don’t want to get in trouble but we’ve had three real ones that could have altered things, and if you said we’ve had our fair share, I’m saying I don’t think we have.”

In truth Brentford, leading through first-half goals from Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa, could have been four or five up by the time Ings’ goal was disallowed.

Moyes’ priorities clearly lie elsewhere despite not being mathematically safe from relegation, with the Hammers boss making nine changes to his side ahead of Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against AZ Alkmaar.

However, if Moyes was hoping to be given some selection dilemmas for the trip to the Netherlands, he was left sorely disappointed.

Mbeumo pounced after a mistake by Nayef Aguerd and Wissa headed the second after West Ham failed to deal with Mathias Jensen’s long throw.

“I didn’t enjoy the performance. I thought we were soft, easy to play against. It was so poor,” added Moyes.

“We did some work on defending long throws, but you wouldn’t have thought it watching that today. I’m so disappointed the players didn’t deal with it.”

The Bees are now assured of a top-10 finish, proving there is no such thing as second-season syndrome in this corner of west London.

“I was asked before the season about that,” said boss Thomas Frank, “and without sounding too smart we tried to analyse things, looked at the players, the other teams, our performances, our culture, and we thought why shouldn’t we be able to do well in our second season?

“Now we are 100 per cent in the top 10, which is a brilliant achievement.”

David Moyes compared Erling Haaland to a machine as West Ham prepare to keep Manchester City’s record-levelling striker at bay on Wednesday in the Premier League.

Haaland’s opener in City’s win over Fulham on Sunday marked his 50th goal in all competitions – a record-equalling 34 of them have come in the Premier League.

Moyes talked up the striker’s explosive debut top-flight season and admitted his physical and technical attributes make him unplayable for defenders.

“It has taken them time to get used to Haaland just like we are with a few of our players…they have needed to get used to his goals because he provides those like a machine,” Moyes said.

“You are maybe hoping he has a weakness, that he cannot run or he is not good in the air, or his touch is not good but, he is all-round, and surrounded by team-mates who can provide him with balls in the air, balls through the middle, cut-backs for finishes, he can finish with his left, right.”

“He’s the icing on the cake for them. I think they’ve got so many good players who can create chances, he’s such a good finisher and if you get him in those right positions he’s capable of scoring.”

The West Ham boss attributed parts of Haaland’s success to City manager Pep Guardiola, who has lost just once to Moyes in 13 meetings during his career.

A win on Wednesday would keep the prospect of a historic treble-winning season alive – City play Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League before taking a trip to Wembley in the FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United.

“I think he’s a super coach (Guardiola) who has got really good players, but I think he’s also made those players better and when you make players better that says something about him,” Moyes added.

“Wherever he’s been, he’s been incredibly successful and managed all the big clubs. You don’t get the big jobs if you’re not good, he’s very, very good.

“Pep, tactically, is fantastic. They have also had an awful lot of money to get the best players. You cannot take that away, but the praise could be big enough because of the way he is changing football.”

Moyes insisted pressure has mounted on both clubs with City leading the title race and West Ham four points clear of danger. He believes City’s ‘cannot afford to drop points’ mentality will make them more potent than usual.

The Scot explained: “It makes them a difficult opponent (City having the title to play for), there’s a lot of pressure for the teams at the bottom of the league but there’s incredible pressure for the teams at the top of the league.

“When you’re one of the top clubs your job is to win all the games and when you have got so much at stake, every game you’re needing to win so that’s pressure, pressure for Manchester City as well.”

Jurgen Klopp was willing David Moyes to survive at the depth of West Ham's early-season crisis because the Liverpool manager dreaded becoming the old man of the Premier League.

The Hammers took just four points from seven games at the outset of this campaign, but Moyes guided his team to 10 points from the next five to buy himself some time.

There have been turbulent times since, including a run where his players took just one point from a possible 21, but West Ham look like surviving for another season in the top flight after pulling clear of the relegation zone.

On Wednesday, they host Liverpool, who have won 10 of their last 12 Premier League games against West Ham.

The exceptions both came at the London Stadium, with a 1-1 draw in February 2019 and a 3-2 victory for West Ham in November 2021.

When the season began, Moyes was the oldest Premier League boss, and he turned 60 on Tuesday.

Klopp, at 55, is still some way short of being a veteran manager, but he was wary of the possibility of all his Premier League colleagues being younger men.

Managerial situations at other clubs rarely interest him, but this was different.

"In this specific one I was really in it," he said. "Because if West Ham would have sacked David Moyes, I would have been the oldest manager in the Premier League and I wanted to avoid that.

"Yes, David has to stay. David is a top colleague. They have a good team, and they show now their quality again."

Klopp said he had enjoyed having a post-match beer with Moyes in the past, and was pleased he managed to ride out the storm.

"He's a really good person as far as I know," Klopp said, "and I like that he always finds a way to get a team going. It might not have worked out years ago for once at Man United, but that was the most difficult time to join Man United in the history of football, coming after Sir Alex Ferguson."

Moyes, who failed to last a full season when appointed by the Red Devils in 2013, is no longer the Premier League's oldest boss, with 75-year-old Roy Hodgson's mid-season return to Crystal Palace changing that.

Julen Lopetegui, appointed by Wolves in November, is also a year Klopp's senior.

Liverpool head to London on the back of wins against relegation candidates Leeds United and Nottingham Forest, results that have helped out West Ham.

This has been a season of torment for the Reds, however, with fifth place looking to be the best they might achieve.

Klopp said his team "have to still prove ourselves" but reasoned there had been "a lot of things to like" in the last two games, and in the second half of the Anfield draw against Arsenal in their previous outing.

He sees West Ham as a threat to Liverpool's ongoing four-match unbeaten run, saying: "It's a super dangerous and difficult game for us, definitely."

After losing three consecutive home league games in November and December, West Ham have lost just one of their last seven at the London Stadium (W3 D3), scoring at least once in each match.

"We have to make the next step," Klopp said, "keeping the standard of the last two games defensively and then going from there. Being uncomfortable to play against, that must be our target."

David Moyes and Declan Rice revelled in repaying West Ham supporters back after a difficult season as the Hammers reached the Europa Conference League last four on Thursday.

A Michail Antonio brace, along with goals for Lucas Paqueta and Rice, sent West Ham through with a 4-1 home victory and a 5-2 aggregate triumph over Gent.

That saw Moyes' side reach their second continental semi-final in as many years, having made it to the Europa League last four a season ago.

With West Ham battling relegation in the Premier League, sitting just four points above the bottom three, Moyes hailed the Hammers' achievements in balancing European football and domestic challenges.

He told BT Sport: "It is a brilliant achievement. To do it two years in a row is special, it really is. It doesn't happen very often so we'll look forward to the semi-finals.

"It's been tough for the fans [this year]. We've had so many positive things coming from European football that it has built a great relationship with the players.

"It was really important we got to the semi-finals. Gent caused us problems and we had to work hard for the win."

Rice's 58th-minute strike put the Hammers in full control of the tie after Paqueta and Antonio's first goal had put West Ham into the lead following Hugo Cuypers' first-half opener.

The West Ham captain echoed his manager's sentiment, relishing the impact the result could have on the fans after a difficult season.

Rice told BT Sport: "I can't put it into words. Another semi-final back-to-back. The place was rocking and you felt it. To score and the lads play really well, ah, it was a top night for the club.

"In the last couple of games we've not got off to the best start, waiting for teams to score to react. But when we got that goal we felt the buzz and the energy. In the second half it could have been six or seven."

As for his goal, driving over the halfway line before drilling into the bottom-left corner, Rice sees it as one of his best finishes for the club.

"When I pick the ball up in those positions and have space to drive into I feel good," the England midfielder added. "That's when I feel I'm at my best. It doesn't happen all the time.

"It definitely goes down as one of my best goals for West Ham. I didn't even know how to celebrate. I was just so happy to score, let alone it be like that, so it was special."

"There's obviously not been a lot for west ham fans to cheer for this season but they will be happy tonight and to put a smile on their faces is unbelievable."

West Ham will face AZ Alkmaar in the semi-finals after the Eredivisie side won on penalties against Anderlecht, who squandered a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

"AZ Alkmaar have had good momentum all year and have a good young team with lots of new talent," Moyes added. 

"It will be a really hard game. For them to come from 2-0 down and get through is a great achievement."

Mikel Arteta rued Arsenal's loss of purpose after they went 2-0 up against West Ham and then blew the chance of victory.

The Hammers hit back to draw 2-2 at London Stadium on Sunday, in a damaging result to Arsenal's title hopes, with Manchester City now just four points behind with a game in hand.

Bukayo Saka's penalty miss early in the second half was compounded by Jarrod Bowen's equaliser two minutes later, as Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead for the second game running, having previously done so at Liverpool.

Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard put the Gunners 2-0 up inside 10 minutes at West Ham, but Arteta thinks his team grew complacent.

"Very disappointing. The way we started was superb again, we were in total control, then we lost purpose," he told Sky Sports.

"We gave them hope, conceded a terrible penalty, then credit to them. We got on the roller coaster where everything is going, corners and throw-ins, and we never got away from that.

"The purpose we needed for a third and fourth goal, I didn't see it."

Arsenal's lack of focus was exemplified by Thomas Partey's mistake in the build-up to West Ham's first goal, with Declan Rice robbing the midfielder of possession before Lucas Paqueta drew a clumsy challenge from Gabriel Magalhaes.

Saka ultimately missed the chance to restore Arsenal's two-goal advantage when he skewed well wide from the penalty spot following Michail Antonio's handball, but Arteta was philosophical about the youngster's profligacy.

"A player who takes penalties misses penalties, I don't know anyone who hasn't," Arteta said of Saka, before adding Arsenal "can't control" the pressure in the title race.

Captain Odegaard echoed his manager's thoughts, saying: "A lot of the same things to last week – started well, but then we stopped, allowed them to play on their qualities.

"We gave them the game they wanted, we gave them hope, and that's on us. We have to look forward now.

"We started to do a lot of stupid things on the ball, we allowed them to play on the long balls.

 "We have to remember we are still top of the league with everything in our own hands. The same mindset, same mentality to make sure we win the next one."

Arsenal will look to bounce back against Southampton on Friday, before they face City in a potential title decider on April 26.

West Ham, meanwhile, are now four points clear of the bottom three.

"It would have been a good result getting a point anyway, but going 2-0 down and coming back shows great character," Hammers boss David Moyes told BBC Sport.

"The games are coming thick and fast and the players are doing a really good job."

David Moyes bemoaned West Ham's failure to match Gent's physicality as they were made to settle for a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final.

West Ham headed to Belgium unbeaten in the competition this season, a record they protected on Thursday.

But it could have been so much better for the Hammers, who led through Danny Ings' opener with their first attempt on the stroke of half-time.

Rather than kick on in the second half, however, Moyes' side let Gent back into the game.

Hugo Cuypers equalised for the home side, and West Ham never looked comfortable defending against breakout star Gift Orban, who hit the crossbar with an overhead kick.

Moyes was forced to accept a draw was a reasonable result ahead of returning to London Stadium, but he was far from enthused with West Ham's performance.

They attempted only four shots, their fewest in a Conference League match, to 20 from Gent. Orban, with five attempts, outshot West Ham.

"A draw away from home in Europe, you would nearly always take that, but I expected a bit better tonight," Moyes told BT Sport.

"Nevertheless, it's a draw and still a good result and gives us a chance in the second leg."

Explaining why he was so unhappy, the manager continued: "I thought we didn't win enough first balls, enough second balls all night.

"It was nothing to do with tactical battles or anything else. It was more to do with the physical side, and we seemed to lose out tonight. That was disappointing."

Ings was similarly downbeat, adding: "It was nice to get a goal, but I'm still disappointed with the way we played tonight as a team."

Jarrod Bowen put the disappointment of missing out on England's latest squad behind him by scoring twice against AEK Larnaca to become West Ham's record European scorer.

David Moyes' men booked their place in Friday's Europa Conference League quarter-final draw with a 6-0 aggregate win over the Cypriot side.

Bowen, who earned all four of his caps last June, was not named in Gareth Southgate's squad earlier on Thursday for England's opening two Euro 2024 qualifying fixtures.

The 26-year-old was clearly not affected by that snub as he struck twice in as many minutes at the start of the second half against Larnaca at the London Stadium.

Gianluca Scamacca had earlier opened the scoring for West Ham and teenager Divin Mubama rounded off a 4-0 win on the day – West Ham's joint-biggest in Europe.

Bowen's tally of eight goals is two more than Johnny Byrne, David Cross and current team-mate Michail Antonio managed for the club in European competitions.

However, despite taking his goals tally for the season in all competitions to double figures, Bowen has no complaints over not being called up by Southgate.

"It's one of those things. These things take care of themselves," he told BT Sport. "I've done nothing to get in there.

"It's not about getting in squads, it's about playing my 'A' game, finishing strongly and going again next season. 

"I always want to score and goals have not been coming this season, but I accept that. I will always give my all for the club."

West Ham will be joined in the last eight by Anderlecht, AZ, Basel, Fiorentina, Gent, Lech Poznan and Nice.

It is the second year running they have reached the quarter-finals of a European competition, having done so in last season's Europa League.

"I'm really pleased," Moyes said. "It's not something that happens every year.

"I'm pleased for the players and the football club and delighted to say I've got to two [European] quarter-finals in two years."

West Ham manager David Moyes hopes he can emulate the success of "serial winner" Jose Mourinho in the Europa Conference League.

The Premier League team play the first leg of their last-16 tie with AEK Larnaca on Thursday, making the trip to Cyprus amid a tough domestic season.

Victory over the two legs would take West Ham to a second successive European quarter-final appearance, having reached the last four of the Europa League last term.

Ahead of the game, Moyes pushed back on the idea success in the continent's third-tier competition represents a step back, pointing to Mourinho's success with Roma in 2022 as something to aspire to.

"If you look at the amount of people in football, there's very few that get that big opportunity to [win trophies]," he said. "Jose Mourinho showed you how much [winning] cared to him because he is a serial winner.

"Last year, we wanted desperately to win the Europa League, but we couldn't quite get past the semi-final. We've got a job to do try and reach the quarter-final.

"If West Ham we're talking about being in two quarter-finals [in Europe] back-to-back, I think that would be seen as one hell of an achievement."

Roma became the inaugural winners of the Europa Conference League last term, with a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the final in Tirana.

Moyes saw his side slip out of the FA Cup against old club Manchester United last week, meanwhile, and with his team locked in a relegation battle, the Scotsman knows European success is a major opportunity for his team.

"I'd love to win the competition," he added. "I'd love to get to the final. I'd love to keep progressing West Ham in Europe.

"Not for a minute do I underestimate or take any of it for granted, because we've got a tough game on our hands. We never know exactly how it's going to go."

Off the pitch, 2023 has offered plenty of excitement for Chelsea supporters. However, the same cannot really be said for the on-pitch fare being served up by Graham Potter's men this year.

The Blues' return of six points and three goals from six Premier League games since the turn of the year is hardly commensurate with their estimated £291million outlay in the January transfer window, and they need to turn a corner soon.

West Ham are in similar need of an upturn, with David Moyes' side just one point clear of danger and embroiled in a tense battle to beat the drop.

That means there is plenty at stake for both as Chelsea travel for Saturday's derby meeting with the Hammers, and there is certainly no love lost between the London rivals.

Stats Perform picks out the standout Opta numbers ahead of a game that both West Ham and Chelsea will hope marks a turning point in their disappointing seasons.

Chelsea bid to end goalscoring blues

Having followed up a 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace with 0-0 draws against Liverpool and Fulham, Chelsea are looking to avoid making unwanted history on Saturday.

Chelsea could record three successive goalless draws for the first time in their league history next time out, with their plethora of big-money arrivals so far failing to click in the final third.

Last week's stalemate against Fulham represented the 17th goalless draw Potter has overseen since the start of his first Premier League campaign in 2019-20 – more than any other boss during that run.

Those hoping Chelsea's opponents step up to provide the entertainment may be disappointed. West Ham have underperformed their expected goals figures by almost 10 goals this season (18 goals from 27.9 xG) – the biggest negative difference in the Premier League this term.

Can Joao Felix lead the way?

Chelsea will hope the solution to their goalscoring issues is provided by Joao Felix's return to action, with the Portugal international eligible once again after last month's debut red card against Fulham led to a three-match ban.

Joao Felix has never scored more than 10 goals or contributed more than five assists during a single season for parent club Atletico Madrid, but there are signs he could evolve into a more prolific player at Chelsea.

The 23-year-old was averaging a goal involvement every 120 minutes for Atleti this season prior to being loaned out, his best figure since joining the Spanish giants in 2019.

Joao Felix also averaged a goal every 191 minutes for Rojiblancos this campaign, a ratio not bettered by any Chelsea player in the Premier League this term. 

Hammers chase rare derby delight

West Ham have not garnered much enjoyment from their recent meetings with cross-city rivals.

The Hammers have lost eight of their last 10 London derbies in the Premier League, the exceptions being a draw against Tottenham and a win over Fulham, though both of those results came this season.

However, West Ham have alternated between winning (four times) and not winning (D1 L2) in their last seven home Premier League games against Chelsea, and the teams' last meeting at the London Stadium saw Arthur Masuaku hit a late winner for the hosts in December 2021.

If that represents a negative omen for the hosts, Chelsea could be set to make history – victory would make the Blues the first team to win 150 London derbies in the Premier League. 

Late drama incoming?

No Premier League fixture can lay claim to containing the levels of late drama witnessed in meetings between these two teams.

There have been seven winning goals scored in the final five minutes of Premier League games between West Ham and Chelsea, more than in any other fixture in the competition's history.

The last three meetings between the teams have been settled by a goal scored in the final five minutes, with Kai Havertz doing the honours 88 minutes into September's return fixture at Stamford Bridge.

Christian Pulisic was the last-minute hero as the Blues also edged the previous clash last April, and given their recent shortcomings, the visitors will not mind if they are made to wait again on Saturday. 

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