HomeFootball NewsBrighton and West Ham Top Their UEFA Europa League Groups

Brighton and West Ham Top Their UEFA Europa League Groups

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Premier League sides Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham United both came out on top in crucial clashes on Thursday evening to win their respective UEFA Europa League groups.

Joao Pedro scored late on for Brighton as they defeated Olympique de Marseille by a goal to nil, whilst West Ham cruised to a 2-0 victory over Freiburg.

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Joao Pedro’s winner for The Seagulls was his sixth goal in the UEFA Europa League this season, keeping him as the competition’s top scorer. He has netted 11 goals in all competitions since joining from Watford for around £30 million in the summer.

Brighton’s victory at the AMEX Stadium was their fourth successive European win after beginning their campaign with a defeat at home to AEK Athens and then having to fight back from 2-0 down to share a point with Marseille at Stade Velodrome in early October.

In his post-match interview, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi lavished the praise on his side: “I lost my voice, I lost everything. It was an amazing game. We played amazing football. We deserved to reach the top of the table.”

In east London, David Moyes complimented his West Ham side and suggested that it could be a return to some more consistent form for The Irons:

“It was a lot more like it, we’ve done very well in Europe over the last few years and this season as well. It was a good win over a good German side.”

Summer signings from Ajax, Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez, both scored first-half goals as the reigning UEFA Europa Conference League winners eased through to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League; a competition they reached the semi-finals of in 2022.

The victories are significant for English football and the Premier League as a whole as it helps boost the coefficient rating which had taken a hit with Manchester United and Newcastle United’s UEFA Champions League exits earlier this week. The two best performing leagues this season will earn an extra spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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