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Bayer Leverkusen vs West Ham United. UEFA Europa League Quarter Final.


Bayer Leverkusen 2

  • J Hofmann (83rd minute)
  • V Boniface (91st minute)

West Ham United 0

    Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 West Ham: Xabi Alonso's super subs strike late in Europa League quarter-final first leg

    Report as Bayer Leverkusen earn deserved first-leg lead over West Ham; Lukasz Fabianski makes several saves to frustrate hosts; Jonas Hofmann nets 83rd-minute goal off the bench; substitute Victor Boniface nets injury-time second; second leg to be played on Thursday April 18, kick-off 8pm

    West Ham fell to a late defeat against Bayer Leverkusen
    Image: West Ham fell to a late defeat against Bayer Leverkusen

    Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface came off the bench to unlock West Ham and earn Bayer Leverkusen a late 2-0 victory in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

    Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run to 42 matches this season and will take a deserved lead to the London Stadium in a week, but they had to be patient to break down David Moyes' stubborn Hammers.

    West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made several superb saves to keep the scores level, denying Patrik Schick with two wonderful stops in either half, while Mohammed Kudus wasted a big chance early on for the visitors.

    Leverkusen dominated possession throughout yet could not find a way through until Xabi Alonso made changes. Hofmann struck first seven minutes from time, volleying home from inside the box before Boniface added a crucial second with an injury-time header to leave West Ham with a mountain to climb.

    How Leverkusen broke West Ham's resolve

    Victor Boniface of Bayer Leverkusen celebrates scoring his team's second goal against West Ham
    Image: Victor Boniface of Bayer Leverkusen celebrates scoring his team's second goal against West Ham

    The Hammers, without injured top scorer Jarrod Bowen and defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez through suspension, were almost undone in the seventh minute when Josip Stanisic's wayward shot was flicked towards goal by Schick but the ball went straight to Fabianski.

    But Leverkusen were given a warning of West Ham's prowess on the counter-attack moments later when Michail Antonio outstripped Jonathan Tah and squared the ball to Kudus, but the Ghana winger's first-time strike was comfortably held by Matej Kovar.

    Team news:

    • Xabi Alonso made seven changes to his Bayer Leverkusen side that won 1-0 at Union Berlin on Saturday. Jonathan Tah, Granit Xhaka, Alex Grimaldo and Florian Wirtz were the only players to keep their places.
    • Jarrod Bowen was absent due to injury while Edson Alvarez was suspended so Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio replaced them in the West Ham starting XI.

    However, West Ham were largely camped in their own penalty area with Fabianski making big saves to keep out dangerous efforts from Alex Grimaldo, Shick and Edmond Tapsoba.

    Also See:

    Lucas Paqueta's over-enthusiastic challenge on Amine Adli earned him a booking which means he will miss the second leg along with Emerson who was shown a yellow early in the second half.

    West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski saves from Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick during the first-half
    Image: West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski saves from Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick during the first half

    Jeremie Frimpong, a former Manchester City youngster, hit a low angled drive straight at Fabianski, before the 38-year-old Pole made a stunning save to tip Shick's instinctive header over the crossbar.

    But with seven minutes remaining Fabianski was powerless to prevent Hoffman's shot bouncing through a sea of white shirts and into the net after a corner was only half-cleared.

    Tomas Soucek cleared two Tah efforts off the line in a desperate finale before Boniface headed the second to leave the Hammers needing a major turnaround in the second leg.

    Moyes: We're still in the tie

    West Ham boss David Moyes told TNT Sports: "Leverkusen have a good record of scoring late. We were aware of that.

    "They did a great job but we played against a Champions League side and we're not quite at that level. We're still in the tie and we have half a chance in the second leg.

    "We'd like to have played more attacking. The players did a brilliant job with the structure. We got done by two corner-kicks. The second one was really poor from our point of view.

    "It's going to take some performance because they're a really good team. You never know what's going to happen. Let's try to get one and then see if we can get two. We'll pick ourselves up for next week and hopefully get the crowd behind us.

    "This team we're playing will be Champions League next year. We have to recognise what we're playing against. We'll have to do exceptionally well to get that result."

    What's next?

    Bayer Leverkusen could secure the Bundesliga title when they host Werder Bremen on Sunday live on Sky Sports Arena, kick-off 4.30pm.

    West Ham welcome London rivals Fulham to the London Stadium on Sunday, kick-off 2pm. Leverkusen then visit for the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final on April 18, kick-off 8pm.

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