West Ham United will need to summon up the memorable spirit of Sevilla at London Stadium next Thursday if they are to extend their epic European adventure.

Last night’s controversial defeat at SC Freiburg means David Moyes' men now have to overturn a one-goal deficit in the order to progress into the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals next month.

But the Hammers boss can at least take comfort from the fact that almost two years ago to the day, he found himself in exactly the same position following a last-16 first-leg reverse in Spain.

And upon returning to Stratford in March 2022, the Scot saw his side produce a courageous recovery against the record seven-time winners of the competition to incredibly reach the last eight.

“Our 2-0 victory over Sevilla was one of our best-ever night’s at London Stadium and let’s hope we can reproduce another night like that next week,” said Moyes after the 1-0 loss at Stadion am Wolfswinkel. 

“What matters most, is the fact we’ve now got home advantage for the second leg and I’m hoping the fans can really get behind us and create another really great atmosphere.

“Tonight was always going to be tight and, although it wasn’t a terrible performance, we were disappointing in the first half and didn’t have our shooting boots on either. 

"I’d praise Freiburg for starting brightly, but our players gave the ball away too much, while we also conceded a terrible goal.”

Indeed, with both teams failing to pull up any trees on the edge of the Black Forest, this tie looked to be heading towards a goalless stalemate before substitute Michael Gregoritsch capitalised on some weak Hammers defending to break the deadlock with just nine minutes remaining.

But the contest ended in controversy, when Spanish official Alejandro Hernández denied West Ham a stoppage-time spot-kick following a seemingly eternal Video Assistant Referee review and his equally lengthy pitch-side monitor analysis of Noah Weißhaupt’s clear handball, after the Freiburg substitute had come under pressure from Tomáš Souček 

“I really can’t see why the referee didn’t give us the penalty,” observed an incredulous Moyes after also having an on-pitch debate with the Spaniard at the final whistle. 

“The minute that you put your arms above your head, you’re putting yourself at risk and if the ball touches your hand, most people would say there’re a good chance you’re going to be penalised.

“Although it would’ve been harsh to award the penalty, there are three reasons as to why I can’t understand how it wasn’t given. 

"Firstly, the player had his arms above his head, while secondly if he’d been fouled by Tomáš then why wasn’t the game restarted with a free-kick? 

"Thirdly, whether it’s right or wrong, if the ball hits an arm in this competition then UEFA always tend to give the penalty.

“European ties are all about things like this, though, and while I can’t speak for how Freiburg will approach the second leg, all I know is we’ve now just got to try and turn things around at London Stadium.”