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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Marc Mayo

Freiburg 1-2 West Ham: Hammers punish hosts’ errors to win without fans

West Ham made the most of two goalkeeping errors to secure a vital Europa League win at Freiburg.

Lucas Paqueta’s early header escaped the palms of Noah Atubolu before the Germany Under-21 international was caught for Nayef Aguerd’s winner at Europa-Park Stadion, after Roman Sallai had levelled for the hosts.

The Hammers raced out the blocks against the backdrop of their fans being banned for the trip to Baden-Wurttemberg as a result of the scenes at the Europa Conference League final.

Paqueta rose highest from a fine Jarrod Bowen cross to open the scoring on nine minutes and another piece of slapdash goalkeeping almost made it 2-0 moments later when Mohammed Kudus’ shot was weakly turned onto the post.

A second for the Brazilian was then disallowed for offside as West Ham dominated the first half.

After the break, Freiburg improved greatly and levelled through Sallai after Lukasz Fabianski’s fine double save went unrewarded - despite the goalkeeper also getting a hand on Sallai’s fierce volley from close range.

Lucas Holer wasted a good opportunity to put the hosts ahead on 55 minutes before West Ham punished another Atubolu error.

Aguerd rose highest to meet James Ward-Prowse’s corner and headed home via the underside of the crossbar with the goalkeeper caught in no man’s land having come out to claim the cross.

West Ham looked the most likely to add the game’s fourth goal having subdued the crowd, with Kudus and Bowen going close. Olympiacos drawing at Backa Topola meant the victory left them comfortably atop Group A after two wins from two games.

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