MARK NOBLE couldn’t hide his emotions as West Ham reached the Europa League quarter-finals.
The Hammers club captain had tears in his eyes after Andriy Yarmolenko’s emotional extra-time winner saw off six-time winners Sevilla.
David Moyes and Co successfully overturned a 1-0 deficit from last week’s first leg in Spain to progress 2-1 on aggregate.
A first-half header from Tomas Soucek, followed by Ukrainian international Yarmolenko’s strike, fired the Hammers into the last eight.
Celebrating alongside Declan Rice on the pitch, Noble visibly choked up as Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ belted out over the speakers.
It’s easy to understand why, with Thursday night’s game his 544th in Claret and Blue and Noble also set to hang up his boots at the end of the current season.
But before he bids a fond farewell to the club, he helped the Hammers into their first quarter-final in a major European competition since 1981.
Things could yet get sweeter for Noble.
The Europa League final is scheduled for May 18 at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, four days before the final day of the Premier League season.
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That means his second last game for the club could be the Europa League final… IF the Hammers were to go all the way.
Noble and Co will find out their quarter-final opponents in Friday’s draw, with the potential for a mouthwatering clash against European giants Barcelona.
Atalanta, Braga, Eintracht Frankfurt, Lyon, Rangers and RB Leipzig are all also possible opponents for the next round of the tournament.