Moyes hails Hammers duo after ‘massive’ Europa League victory

David Moyes hailed goalscorers Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez after West Ham sealed their place in the Europa League last 16.

The 2-0 win over Freiburg at the London Stadium meant the Hammers clinched top spot in Group A and avoided a play-off against a side dropping down from the Champions League.

Kudus slotted in the opener after being set up by Alvarez, who doubled the lead three minutes before half-time – his first goal since his summer move from Ajax.

Asked about Alvarez and fellow summer signing Kudus, boss Moyes told TNT Sports: “It has started well and the longer we will be together it will work much better.

“We’re still introducing players who are new to the league and new to playing with us. I think they’ve done well.

“We’re not halfway through the season and they’ve made massive contributions.”

Freiburg, who are eighth in the German Bundesliga, offered little threat and rarely looked like mounting a comeback.

They did improve late in the game, with Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski saving an effort from Ritsu Doan.

Finishing top of the group means Moyes’ side will not be involved in the tournament again until March and go straight into the last-16 draw, which will be made on Monday.

“It is really massive at the moment because of the amount of games we’ve got and the scheduling – it’s so important for the players and the staff,” said Moyes.

“We’re going into a really busy period and our culture means we play a lot of games at Christmas.

“But it seems they are squeezing in other games where they can, which seems a bit ridiculous to be honest.”

The eight group runners-up, which include Freiburg, instead now face a two-legged play-off against teams who finished third in their Champions League group.

Those teams include AC Milan as well as Galatasaray, Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk.