Skip to content
Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

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

London StadiumAttendance62,473.

West Ham United 1

  • M Antonio (13th minute)

Bayer Leverkusen 1

  • J Frimpong (89th minute)


West Ham 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Agg: 1-3): Hammers knocked out of Europe despite Michail Antonio opener

Match report as Jeremie Frimpong's late equaliser keeps Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten season alive and cancels out Michail Antonio's opener to reach Europa League semi-finals with 3-1 aggregate win over West Ham

Jeremie Frimpong (right) struck Bayer Leverkusen's late equaliser to keep their unbeaten run going and seal a 3-1 aggregate win over West Ham
Image: Jeremie Frimpong (right) struck Bayer Leverkusen's late equaliser to keep their unbeaten run going and seal a 3-1 aggregate win over West Ham

West Ham gave Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen a huge scare before Jeremie Frimpong's late goal earned a 3-1 aggregate win to reach the Europa League semi-finals.

The Hammers faced a monumental task of ending the German side's season-long unbeaten run to give themselves any chance of progression.

And for 76 minutes, it looked like they would be the first team to beat Leverkusen in 44 attempts after Michail Antonio's 13th-minute header gave the hosts hope.

But another goal was still required to cancel out the 2-0 deficit from the first leg, and despite a number of near misses through Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse, it never came.

Much-changed Leverkusen were wretched for much of the first half and manager Xabi Alonso had already made three substitutions by the start of the second.

After the restart, the visitors rarely looked in serious danger of allowing West Ham to level the tie, with Bowen's near miss after a slip from Piero Hincapie one of few chances for the home side.

And instead it was Leverkusen who struck to secure their progression - and protect their unbeaten run - as Frimpong's 89th-minute shot took a cruel deflection off Aaron Cresswell to beat Lukas Fabianski and see them through.

Also See:

Player ratings:

West Ham: Fabianski (7), Coufal (7), Zouma (7), Aguerd (7), Cresswell (6), Ward-Prowse (7), Alvarez (7), Soucek (7), Bowen (7), Antonio (7), Kudus (8).

Subs used: Ogbonna (7), Cornet (6), Johnson (6).

Bayer Leverkusen: Kovar (7), Kossounou (5), Tah (6), Hincapie (5), Stanisic (6), Palacios (6), Xhaka (6), Grimaldo (7), Tella (6), Wirtz (6), Schick (5).

Subs used: Tapsoba (6), Frimpong (7), Boniface (6), Adli (6), Andrich (n/a).

Player of the match: Mohammed Kudus

How West Ham came so close to historic result

England are unlikely to claim a fifth Champions League spot
Image: England are unlikely to claim a fifth Champions League spot

The Hammers flew out of the blocks like they knew the exact scale of their task - to beat Bayer Leverkusen for the first time since May 2023.

It set the tone for a one-sided first half on and off the pitch, as Alonso's much-changed champions struggled for rhythm or intensity.

Even so, it was Leverkusen who first threatened when Nathan Tella's long-range drive was turned behind, but moments later West Ham had the lead on the night.

Bowen's turn and curling cross were the perfect assist for Antonio, who beat Odilon Kossounou with ease in the air before nodding past a helpless Matej Kovar.

Image: Michail Antonio gave West Ham hope with his early header

Leverkusen's start was so poor the Ivory Coast defender was hooked with less than half an hour played, but not before Mohammed Kudus, Antonio and Bowen had all come close to bringing the tie level on aggregate.

That change provided some measure of strength for the visitors at the back, but Ward-Prowse was still able to fire into the body of Kovar after Julian Alvarez's effort was blocked moments before the break.

Another two changes at the interval hinted at what West Ham had feared, a reinvigorated Leverkusen. And after a presumed Alonso hairdryer treatment, they finally carried the swagger of Germany's best team.

Even so, West Ham kept them at arm's length for the most-part.

Frimpong's snapshot from a near impossible angle was pushed away by Fabianski but it was not until the Hammers began to push forward for the all-important second that they truly threatened.

Frimpong blazed over when played in behind and Florian Wirtz sliced a half-volley horribly wide, while Bowen wasted West Ham's one chance of note - and perhaps their best of the game.

Harrying Hincapie off-balance and robbing the defender in his own box, he had three men up in support but did not look up and flashed a shot far beyond all three with little chance of beating Kovar from a tight angle.

Hope still remained for the Hammers until the final minute, when Frimpong brought down a ball in the box and a significant deflection off Cresswell ended in the back of the net to finally end their valiant challenge.

Thousands of West Ham fans chose that moment to leave but greeted their side back to the centre circle for kick-off with a round of applause to show their appreciation of running one of Europe's best sides so close. Just not quite close enough.

Moyes: If we had to go out, I wanted it to be like that

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

David Moyes said West Ham fans have been 'treated to three years of big nights in Europe', and hopes there's still a chance that next year there will be a fourth.

West Ham manager David Moyes:

"It was a brilliant team performance, I think over both games. We played against a really good team, tonight we had the chances to be two or 3-0 up and missed a few important opportunities, but I couldn't fault the players.

"If we were going to go out of Europe, I wanted to go out playing like that. It was a terrific performance against a very good side.

"Tactically we did a brilliant job in the first game, went to Leverkusen and got to 83 minutes without conceding. We may have run out of fresh legs in a couple of games, but I've been quite limited with what changes I could make.

"Tonight, the biggest thing is we just didn't get the second goal in the first half. We ran out of energy in the second, but it wasn't for the want of trying."

Antonio: It felt like we were playing against 14 men

West Ham goalscorer Michail Antonio told TNT Sports:

"We're disappointed as last week we gave them a bit too much respect. Tonight we came out and showed what we can do. I felt like I didn't get a decision all game.

"I felt frustrated and I feel like we deserved more. But it's football and decisions didn't go our way. We have to let this go and try to get back into Europe now next season.

"It was a very high tempo match with us chasing them down. At the end, you could see it got to us with the pressing becoming less. They're a quality team and tonight it was a more even game.

"It didn't feel like we were playing against 11 men but 14, including the two linos. Those are things you have to handle and try to work to get decisions to go our way."

Alonso: We were lucky not to go 2-0 down

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso:

"It was a game of two different halves. We knew West Ham would come with high tempo and press us high. We could not deal with it, we were not comfortable and had problems. We were soft in duels, lost some soft balls and it wasn't easy.

"After conceding the first goal we were lucky not to concede another - that was probably the best part of the first half. The players were well aware that our intensity, the physicality in duels and stability on the ball was not good enough.

"We changed a little bit, tried to show more character and show how we can play."

What's next for West Ham?

West Ham face a London derby as they go to Crystal Palace on Sunday, kick-off at 3pm.

The Hammers then host Premier League title challengers Liverpool on Saturday April 27, kick-off at 12.30pm.

Ad content | Stream Sky Sports on NOW


Stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW. Instant access to live action from the Premier League, EFL, F1, England Cricket and so much more.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Correctly predict six scorelines for a chance to win £250,000 for free. Entries by 3pm Saturday.

Around Sky