Jarrod Bowen insists West Ham "never know when we are beaten" after the Hammers came back from behind to earn a shock 3-2 victory over London rivals Chelsea on Saturday. 

Chelsea twice took the lead in the first half through Thiago Silva and Mason Mount, but Manuel Lanzini and Bowen netted equalisers before Arthur Masuaku's cross caught Edouard Mendy out at his near post and won the game for West Ham.  

Bowen explained the Hammers pride themselves on their spirit and never-say-die attitude - which has helped them to fourth in the Premier League this season. 

"That is what we are about as a team, the character, the belief," Bowen said to BT Sport after the game. "We hung in sometimes when it was difficult. 

"We never know when we are beaten, we went behind twice but showed that reaction and a lot better performance. 

"We wanted to be on the front foot and press them aggressively and not let them play, which they are good at. We wanted to limit what their game plan was. 

"We haven't won in a few games and have been disappointed in ourselves, but to come back and beat Chelsea, what a performance." 

West Ham manager David Moyes was critical of his side's performance despite the positive result, but praised the clinical finishing of his team, who scored three times from just five shots on target. 

"Truthfully, I didn't think we played that well today," Moyes said. "But we got the goals and in other games I don't think we played any worse or any better but we haven't got the goals. 

"Today we got the goals to go with it, and to get them against a team that don't concede many is a great credit to the lads. 

"We were much better [in the second half]. We were too passive and submissive in the first half. 

"They are quality, that is why they are European champions because of the level they can play at. Whether you press them or stay off them, they are very good at both." 

Moyes felt Masuaku was attempting to cross the ball and was lucky to see it go in for the first Premier League goal of his career. 

"I said to [Masuaku] that I thought it was a great cross," Moyes added. "It was very fortunate, the goal, but in football you need a bit of fortune sometimes. In the last few games we have lost it a little bit, but today we got it back." 

Arthur Masuaku scored a late winner as West Ham fought back to beat Premier League leaders Chelsea 3-2 in a thrilling London derby.

Thiago Silva's header put the European champions in front at the London Stadium, but Manuel Lanzini thumped a penalty home in the 40th minute to level following mistakes from Jorginho and Edouard Mendy.

Mason Mount's magnificent volley at the end of the first half put Chelsea back in the lead, but Jarrod Bowen curled in a superb low strike to pull the Hammers level once again.

The Blues - bolstered by Romelu Lukaku's presence off the bench at half-time - pressed for a winner, but slumped to their second top-flight defeat of the season after Masuaku's cross caught Mendy out at his near post with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Pep Guardiola said it is incredible that Manchester City's standards have not dropped over time after his team delivered a 2-1 home win against West Ham.

City defeated Everton 3-0 last Sunday in the Premier League prior to edging past Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and defeating West Ham four days later.

Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring for the hosts at a snowy Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with substitute Fernandinho adding a second before Manuel Lanzini delivered a consolation strike for the visitors.

City, who have now kept seven clean sheets in their last eight Premier League home games, have triumphed in 10 of their last 11 top-flight meetings with West Ham.

After another positive result, Guardiola hailed the work of his squad who he believes exhibited a winning mentality that continues to serve them so well.

"We created enough chances against them, under these conditions and circumstances for both teams," Guardiola told BBC Sport.

"The last 15-20 minutes was impossible to play but, especially after the game against PSG which was so demanding mentally and physically, to get this team performance, it's a great result for us.

"The Premier League title is always the most important one of the season because of the fact you play a lot of games in special situations, the more you adapt and show resilience then we can show that mentality.

"After we have won three Premier Leagues in the last four years then it is easy for there to be a tendency for our standards to dip and to say it is not important.

"But to be near the top of the league and qualify [in the Champions League], after being six seasons together and the levels [of performance] still have not dropped – these guys are magnificent and incredible."

West Ham have registered just one win in their last 16 Premier League visits to City, while collecting just five points from a possible 78 in games against all reigning champions.

However, Guardiola opted to praise the opposition as well as the ground staff that ensured the match could go ahead.

"We created chances and it could have been three or four," he said. "The absences we had, all the guys that came in were brilliant and that's why we win a lot, because of the mentality of these guys.

"We cannot forget which opponent we faced. West Ham have everything: Set-pieces they're so strong, they defend really well, on counter-attacks they are a machine, they attack channels like no team in the Premier League. We know how difficult they are.

"The groundskeepers were the man of the match. They did an incredible job today."

Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho were on target as Manchester City moved back into second in the Premier League with a comfortable 2-1 home win over West Ham.

The defending champions made light of the difficult wintry conditions at the Etihad Stadium, where the visitors have now won just once in 16 top-flight visits.

Gundogan was on target in a first half where Riyad Mahrez had a strike ruled out, while the Hammers – who have now suffered back-to-back league defeats – were put to rest when Fernandinho netted late on with Manuel Lanzini's goal proving a mere consolation.

Pep Guardiola's 10th top-flight win in 11 attempts against West Ham means City move level on points with leaders Chelsea, albeit that may prove brief as the Blues host Manchester United later on Sunday.

Aymeric Laporte headed onto the right-hand post in the opening stages before Mahrez was adjudged to be offside from Raheem Sterling's pass after he had powered past Lukasz Fabianski.

City broke the deadlock when Gundogan bundled Mahrez's low cross home, with Ben Johnson then required to clear Gabriel Jesus' effort off the line and Mahrez cannoning against the woodwork in a flurry of first-half chances.

The hosts almost doubled their lead after the interval through Jesus, who saw another chipped attempt cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell, while Sterling blasted wildly over after the hour mark.

Jesus then teed up Fernandinho to slot into the bottom-left corner to make sure of the result with Bernardo Silva seeing another ruled out prior to Lanzini curling perfectly past Ederson to at least half the arrears for West Ham.

Pep Guardiola cannot envisage ever coaching another club in England after his time at Manchester City comes to an end.

Since being appointed ahead of the 2016-17 season, Guardiola has led City to three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four EFL Cups, while they were runners-up to Chelsea in last season's Champions League final.

Guardiola has a contract to remain at the Etihad Stadium until 2023 and may yet prolong his stay with the blue half of Manchester.

The 50-year-old has an interest in taking on an international management role in the future but says regardless he will only ever work for City in England, even suggesting he could one day take on a different position at the club.

"I've said many times when we've finished our part here, for the pleasure to live in a European Championship, a World Cup, I would like to live it but I know it is not easy to find it because normally there are few positions," Guardiola said ahead of City's Premier League clash with West Ham on Sunday.

"I think it is difficult for it to happen. I would like it but, at the same time, if it does not happen I will train a club. That is not a problem.

"In England, being here, I think I will always be at Man City. If I had to come back I would come back to Man City, if they want me. I don't think I am going to train another club in England. I'm a part of this club."

Guardiola's is a name that has in the past been touted as a future England manager, with present boss Gareth Southgate having recently penned a new deal through to the end of 2024.

But Guardiola praised the Three Lions manager for the work he has done with the national team and has no desire to put his name in the frame for a position that is already occupied.

"Gareth has done an incredible job, reaching the final of the Euros and the semi-finals of the last World Cup," said Guardiola.

"This is a huge success for English football. He has extended his contract and what I want is after that [for him] to extend for more years, if he is happy to do it.

"I am not here to take anyone's position. It is not my target. As long as it is possible to be here, as much as my energy is there and my love for what I am doing is here, [I will be]. After that I don't know what is going to happen."

The race to sign Erling Haaland may have taken another turn.

Norway forward Haaland is a hot property being pursued by a host of top clubs, with Manchester United among them.

Borussia Dortmund retained his services at the start of this season but the race is expected to heat up in the off-season.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED HOPEFUL OF HAALAND EDGE

The Mirror reports that the imminent appointment of Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United can give them the edge in the race for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

Rangnick and Haaland worked together previously at Salzburg and United believe that relationship can propel them to the front of the queue.

Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all in the race to sign the 21-year-old.

 

ROUND-UP

- PSG will not let head coach Mauricio Pochettino exit the club during the season amid links with Manchester United's vacant managerial role, reports Goal. The Argentine may be allowed to leave at the end of the season.

- Marca report that Real Madrid will not be signing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in the off-season despite widespread speculation about a move.

- Sevilla are leading the race to sign Blackburn's Chile international Ben Brereton, according to The Sun. Rovers want £20m for his services.

- West Ham are set to launch a £7m bid to sign Burnley defender James Tarkowski,  report The Sun.

Pep Guardiola revealed he took Raheem Sterling "back to basics" to rediscover his form and says the Manchester City forward knows he is not at the peak of his powers.

England international Sterling had gone 13 games without goal for club and country before he was on target in a 4-1 Champions League win over Club Brugge this month.

The former Liverpool man followed that up with a sublime finish in the 3-0 victory over Everton last weekend and was also on target in a 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.

Sterling has only started eight games for the Premier League champions this season on the back of an impressive Euro 2020.

Guardiola stated it is only normal that players go through frustrating spells and the City boss says there has been no special formula behind his resurgence.

Asked about Sterling's form, he said: "I'm so glad for him, it's helped us that's for sure. Of course, he will fight to do better and better and better.

"It's good for both wingers to score and get assists, he is decisive. Still he knows he can do better, one-v-one, but this is a step to come back in his best form."

The Spaniard added: "I took him back to basics, when you're at this level it's normal.

"This calendar, they have more and more games. Sometimes the guys are tired here [pointing to his head]. It's so difficult. It's just physical, physical, physical.

"So demanding a little bit less. Come back to the basics. Step by step basics will be enough when the confidence come back, you come back who you are.

"If one player [doesn't] play well their ability doesn't go. Raheem is still the same guy."

Guardiola revealed injured duo Jack Grealish and Phil Foden will be assessed on the eve of Sunday's Premier League encounter with West Ham to see if they are fit to return.

"They are training," said the former Barcelona boss. "They are much better. Especially Phil. Right now they are on a day off and in the morning we will see how they feel.

"We will not take risks but hopefully they will come back soon. For the last game [against PSG] we had just 15 players, Cole Palmer and James McAtee helped us. We need them back to help us."

Kevin De Bruyne remains in isolation following his positive coronavirus test, but Guardiola revealed the playmaker is "feeling better."

Chelsea host Manchester United in the headline game of the weekend in the Premier League, with Sunday's showdown at Stamford Bridge a lip-smacking occasion.

Will United put the misery of their five defeats in seven domestic league games behind them and start afresh after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking, or will it be the same old story for the Red Devils?

The threat comes from all quarters with Chelsea: Reece James and Antonio Rudiger may be as likely, if not more so, to score than Timo Werner, for example.

Leeds are boosted by the return from injury of Raphinha as they head to Brighton, while Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang face opponents against whom they have outstanding past records.

The pursuit of fantasy points is on, and here are suggestions for possible picks ahead of the weekend, powered by Opta data.

REECE JAMES (Chelsea v Manchester United)

Will Manchester United's Champions League victory at Villarreal be a spur for them to find a way back to winning ways in the Premier League? Not if Reece James can help it.

Chelsea's exciting right wing-back was sufficiently impressive last term to make England's Euro 2020 squad, but he has gone to another level this time around, and a midweek goal against Juventus just confirmed his progression.

In the Premier League, James has been directly involved in eight goals this season, three more than in his previous 56 appearances in the competition across the last two seasons (5 - one goal, four assists). His total of involvements is higher than any other defender in the league in 2021-22, and United will be wary of that danger. Whether they can stop it remains to be seen.

ANTONIO RUDIGER (Chelsea v Manchester United)

Another Chelsea defender who provides value as an all-rounder, Rudiger provides Premier League fantasy points possibilities at both ends of the pitch.

Among Premier League defenders, only his Blues club-mates James (4) and Ben Chilwell (3) have scored more goals in the competition this season, while only Manchester City's Joao Cancelo (8) has registered more clean sheets than the German (7).

With Harry Maguire suspended and Raphael Varane injured, United seem likely to be susceptible to crosses from set-pieces, which is where Rudiger could come into his own.

RAPHINHA (Brighton and Hove Albion v Leeds United)

Leeds are hovering just above the bottom three, heading into the weekend, so to have Raphinha available will be a major boost to Marcelo Bielsa.

After missing the defeat at Tottenham last time out, the Brazil international is expected to be involved at Brighton this weekend as Leeds target a third win of the campaign.

They missed his creative influence in north London, with Leeds having won 45 per cent of their Premier League games in which Raphinha has featured (18/40) since his debut for the club in October 2020, They have won none of their six matches when he has been absent (D2 L4) and have averaged a measly 0.5 goals per game.

His 20 goal involvements in the league over the same period (11 goals, 9 assists) is second only at Leeds to Patrick Bamford (23 - 15 goals, 8 assists).

RAHEEM STERLING (Manchester City v West Ham)

Has Raheem Sterling played himself into form for City? Three goals in his last three appearances across all competitions suggests that is the case for a player who struggled in the early weeks of the season, in the wake of his exploits at Euro 2020 with England.

Now, assuming he keeps his place in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up, Sterling gets to face one of his very favourite opponents when West Ham visit the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling has been involved in 11 goals in his last eight Premier League games against the Hammers (6 goals, 5 assists), hitting a hat-trick when the teams met in London on the opening day of the 2019-20 season.

EMMANUEL DENNIS (Leicester City v Watford)

It was Emmanuel Dennis who inflicted the final blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, completing the rout as Watford whipped Manchester United 4-1 last Saturday.

The Nigerian appears to have been an outstanding acquisition from Club Brugge and Leicester will be wary of his menacing form ahead of a King Power Stadium tussle.

Dennis has scored four goals and assisted five more in just 11 Premier League appearances for Watford. Should he score in Sunday's game, he would become only the sixth player in Premier League history to reach both five goals and assists in 12 or fewer games, after Eric Cantona (11 games), Jurgen Klinsmann (12), Arjen Robben (11), Andrey Arshavin (10) and Bruno Fernandes (9).

JOSE SA (Norwich City v Wolves)

The handover of the Wolves goalkeeper job from Rui Patricio to fellow Portuguese Jose Sa has been seamless, and the new man between the sticks has been highly effective already in the Premier League.

Only Chelsea's Edouard Mendy (3.71) has prevented more goals in the PL this season than Sa (2.18). That is based on Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) metric, which assesses the quality of shots. On that basis, Sa would have been expected to concede 14.18 goals, but he has picked the ball out of the net just 12 times.

His 38 saves from 50 shots faced gives him a healthy 76 per cent success rate, beaten only by Mendy (88.57 per cent) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale (78.95) so far this season. Norwich will do well to find a way past one of the most in-form glovesmen in the top flight.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal v Newcastle United)

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not scored or had an assist in his last three Premier League games, creating just one chance in 270 minutes.

But if there is any team he is going to score against, Newcastle would be close to the top of the list, and not merely because Eddie Howe's team are bottom of the table.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker has been involved in nine goals in his eight appearances for Arsenal against Newcastle in all competitions (6 goals, 3 assists), scoring in each of his last five games against the Magpies.

West Ham continued their excellent Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win at Rapid Vienna to confirm their place at the top of Group H on Thursday.

David Moyes' men are fourth in the Premier League but have arguably been even more impressive in Europe, with this their fourth victory in five matches.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble shortly before half-time teed up a straightforward triumph, albeit one that was played out without a crowd as a lockdown kept home fans away after West Ham's travelling supporters had already been banned.

The Rapid faithful would not have been particularly impressed by what they saw if they had been present, as the margin of West Ham's victory could have been wider.

Jarrod Bowen passed up a huge chance for an early opener when he toed Arthur Masuaku's superb sixth-minute cross agonisingly wide, but West Ham had the lead they merited six minutes from the end of the first half.

Yarmolenko nodded Nikola Vlasic's teasing centre back across Paul Gartler for his first Hammers goal since January, before the scorer earned a clip from Maximilian Hofmann for a stoppage-time spot-kick, which Noble dispatched.

West Ham kept pushing and Bowen was wasteful again when he shot straight at Gartler at the end of a wonderful run and then when he blasted against the legs of retreating defender Filip Stojkovic after the goalkeeper had parried Tomas Soucek's header following a smart initial save.

Rapid threatened only fleetingly at the other end, as West Ham's comfortable position meant they could disregard events elsewhere in the group and hand a debut to Sonny Perkins, who almost scored with his first touch on a productive night for the visitors.

What does it mean? Hammers in complete control

West Ham's stunning start to this campaign meant it would take a remarkable collapse not to advance to the knockout stage, but they took apart Rapid on matchday five just to make sure.

Although there were occasional lulls in the game, West Ham were always in control with 61.2 per cent of the possession, while their 12 shots had a collective value of 4.15 expected goals (xG).

Masuaku makes his mark

Knee surgery restricted Masuaku to 12 Premier League appearances last season, and Aaron Cresswell established himself as a surefire starter under Moyes in that time.

But the fit-again left-back took his opportunity to impress with an all-action display in Austria. Only Noble had more touches than Masuaku (92) at the time of his substitution, as he excelled at both ends, creating two chances while also making three interceptions, two tackles and two clearances.

Bowen off the boil

If West Ham have great depth at full-back, the same is not quite true up front. Michail Antonio was rested for this match, meaning Bowen played through the middle in the absence of an obvious natural alternative.

While it feels a little harsh to criticise Moyes' attack in a comprehensive win, Bowen alone could have stretched the scoreline significantly. The winger failed with three shots worth a combined 1.81 xG.

What's next?

Having taken care of business, West Ham can return their focus to the Premier League and a trip to Manchester City. Their next Europa League assignment is at home to Dinamo Zagreb on December 9, when Rapid go to Genk.

Jesse Lingard's future does not appear to be with current club Manchester United.

Contract talks between Lingard and United have reportedly broken down.

The England international has only played eight times in all competitions this season, starting just once.

 

TOP STORY –  LINGARD SET FOR JANUARY SWITCH

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard will make a £10million move to West Ham in January, according to The Sun.

The Red Devils are said to be looking to cash in on the 28-year-old England international before he is out of contract at the end of this season.

Lingard impressed during a six-month loan spell with the Hammers in the second half of last season, with nine goals and four assists.

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham are also interested in signing Lingard on a free transfer in the off-season, according to the Daily Express.

- United are prepared to sell Diogo Dalot to Roma in order to facilitate a deal for Atletico Madrid's England full-back Kieran Trippier, claims the Manchester Evening News.

- Marca claims that Real Madrid are ramping up their pursuit of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who is out of contract at the end of this season. Bayern Munich are also said to be tracking the Germany international.

- Promising young Argentina international Julian Alvarez is being monitored by Italian powerhouse pair Juventus and Milan, reports Calciomercato. Alvarez, who has four Argentina caps, is currently with River Plate who will wait until December to evaluate any offers.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged Jesse Lingard's disappointment at a lack of playing time following rumours suggesting contract talks with the midfielder had collapsed.

Various publications claimed on Thursday that discussions over a new Manchester United deal for England international Lingard had broken down.

The 28-year-old's contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and United seemingly look set to lose a valuable asset on a free transfer.

The speculation has stoked criticism of United's decision-making, given the club almost certainly could have fetched £25million for Lingard in pre-season after he enjoyed a scintillating loan spell at West Ham.

Between his Hammers debut in February and the end of 2020-21, Lingard scored nine times in the Premier League, a haul bettered by just five players.

Only one of those was a penalty, leaving him with a non-penalty expected goals (xG) outperformance of 4.7, the second best record in that time.

That form earned him an England recall, and while he was ultimately left out of their Euro 2020 squad, Lingard had given himself a solid platform to build on upon his return to United, but Solskjaer has not rewarded him with the playing time he feels he deserves.

"Jesse is training really hard, really well and he's ready and available for me," Solskjaer said ahead of the trip to Watford after being asked about the rumours around Lingard's contract talks.

"He's disappointed he's not playing more. In regards to contract situations and talks, I've not been in them very closely.

"For me, Jesse is still a big part of this squad and important, and he gives quality to the group every day.

"Every player wants to play as much as possible, with Jesse and all my players.

"They're working really hard, I can't fault the attitude when they're called upon. Jesse has done well when he's played for us, and with the games coming up, he's going to play a part."

In that respect, the busy schedule over the next eight weeks could potentially see United turn the situation around.

They have 11 fixtures in all competitions before the end of the year, a hectic run that will undoubtedly lead to some squad rotation.

Lingard will be hopeful of capitalising on that given he has played in just five Premier League games this season.

Despite a lack of game time, his tally of two goals is bettered by only Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood, all of whom have played more than 10 times as many minutes as Lingard's 63.

West Ham have confirmed they have accepted UEFA's sanctions banning the club's fans from attending their next Europa League game against Rapid Vienna.

A number of travelling fans without tickets caused disturbances and entered the stadium during West Ham's last European fixture away to Genk on November 4, which ended 2-2.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body issued two fines amounting to €34,500 to the club, charging them under Article 16(2)(h) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations relating to crowd disturbances and Article 16(2)(b) due to objects being thrown by the away fans.

The Hammers will now be forced to play in Vienna on November 25 with none of their supporters inside the stadium.

West Ham are unbeaten in their first four Europa League games, sitting top of the group with 10 points and need just to better Dinamo Zagreb's result against Genk to seal a place in the last 16.

The club are offering refunds to supporters who have purchased tickets for the game and urged their fans not to travel to Austria.

A club statement read: "Despite the club's robust processes around our own security and operations in support of our ticketed fans who travelled to Genk, evidence has been presented to confirm that a small number of ticketless individuals caused disturbances and illegally gained entrance to Genk's stadium.

"West Ham United condemn the behaviour of this group of individuals and we are working to identify them following their actions, which have now ultimately led to our supporters – the vast majority of whom behaved impeccably in Belgium – being punished and resulting in David Moyes' team being forced to play in Austria without the backing of the club's fans, whose loyal and passionate support has spurred the Hammers on during an unbeaten opening four games of the Europa League adventure so far.

"While the club accepts the sanctions, we also wish to place on record our disappointment at the extremely short notice of the measures, which were received eleven days after the fixture in Genk and just over a week ahead of the match against Rapid Vienna which has limited our options significantly, and has sadly impacted supporters who have booked return travel and accommodation in Austria.

"The club has had to consider these supporters and the impact on them both for this fixture and future fixtures if this process was subject to further delays."

UEFA has banned West Ham fans from attending the upcoming Europa League group game against Rapid Vienna.

A section of West Ham's travelling support were involved in crowd disturbances during the Hammers' last Europa League match, against Genk in Belgium on November 4.

The match finished 2-2, though West Ham were subsequently charged under Article 16(2)(h) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations relating to crowd disturbances and Article 16(2)(b) due to objects being thrown by the away fans.

As a result, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has announced the Hammers cannot take any supporters to Austria when they face Rapid Vienna on November 25. The club was also fined €34,500 in total.

David Moyes' team top Group H with 10 points from their opening four games, meaning a point in Vienna would be enough to secure progress to the knockout stage.

West Ham face second-placed Dinamo Zagreb in their final Group H match on December 9.

Declan Rice has been withdrawn from the England squad for their latest round of World Cup qualifiers due to illness.

The midfielder has not been able to train since reporting to St George's Park and has returned to West Ham.

He will miss England's qualifiers with Albania and San Marino, from which they need four points to secure a place at the World Cup in Qatar.

England have not replaced Rice in the squad, with Mason Mount and Luke Shaw yet to join the group and still being assessed. 

Chelsea midfielder Mount is recovering from dental surgery while Shaw suffered a concussion in Manchester United's defeat to Manchester City last Saturday.

Rice has been excellent form this season for a West Ham side just three points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Of Premier League midfielders to have attempted 500 passes this season, only Rodri (92.3) has completed more than Rice (91.7).

 

An investment group from the Czech Republic has bought a 27 per cent stake in West Ham.

Businessman Daniel Kretinsky, the co-owner of Sparta Prague, and his colleague Pavel Horsky will also be appointed to the Premier League club's board following the deal.

West Ham said in a statement: "The agreement is a further improvement to the club's capital structure which will initially enable the reduction of its long-term debt and the ability to continue to direct funds generated into other key areas of focus, continuing the positive progress made at West Ham United in recent years."

Kretinsky, who watched West Ham beat Liverpool 3-2 last weekend at London Stadium, said: "I am passionate about football. I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham United as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programmes and initiatives.

"The development and growth of the club in recent years has been clear for everyone to see and I am delighted to be part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead. 

"Having been to London Stadium recently to watch David Moyes' team, I know it is an incredible time to become part of the West Ham United family. I feel privileged to now have the opportunity to help everyone here build on the proud traditions of this great club."

Hammers vice-chairman Karen Brady said: "On behalf of the board I am very pleased to welcome Daniel Kretinsky, Pavel Horsky and 1890s holdings a.s to West Ham United. We are always looking to continue to progress and Daniel's involvement brings investment which strengthens the club's position, and in turn will assist in the development of the club's key areas of focus.

"[Joint chairmen] David Sullivan and David Gold have always been very open about finding the right investors to join them on the journey as custodians of West Ham United, and Daniel's strong business acumen and football experience will be of huge benefit to the club. We very much look forward to working with him and Pavel."

West Ham have enjoyed a strong start to the 2021-22 season under manager David Moyes, with seven wins in 11 games putting them third in the Premier League, level on points with Manchester City and three behind leaders Chelsea.

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