Ukraine striker in tears after scoring Premier League goal

Ukraine striker Andriy Yarmolenko scored the opener to help West Ham beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the Premier League and maintain their momentum to finish in the top four.

Yarmolenko was back in the Hammers squad for the first time since being granted compassionate leave due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and was in tears after celebrating his 70th-minute goal , dropping to his knees with both arms pointing skyward as he was assaulted. by his teammates.

“It was so emotional for me because of the situation in my country,” Yarmolenko told Sky Sports.

“It’s so hard for me right now to think about football because every day the Russian army kills Ukrainians. … I’m not 100% ready because in the last few weeks I’ve been training can -be three or four times.

“I had to rest for four days because it was impossible to train, I was just thinking about my family and my people.”

Yarmolenko received a standing ovation from both groups of fans as he came on for Michail Antonio in the 53rd minute.

Pablo Fornals doubled the lead in the 82nd before Jacob Ramsey pulled one back for Villa in added time.

The win ended a three-game losing streak in all competitions for West Ham and kept David Moyes’ side just two points behind Manchester United in the fight for European places. Aston Villa is in ninth place.

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