Hammers sunk by late strikes

Brian Jeeves
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Bayer Leverkusen v West Ham United – UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg – BayArena – Report

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 West Ham United

West Ham United face an uphill task to continue their UEFA Europa League adventure alive after late Bayer Leverkusen goals from substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface gave the Germans a healthy advantage ahead of next week’s second leg at the London Stadium.

Despite facing a side unbeaten all season in all competitions, Hammers boss David Moyes remained confident: “I see it as a great opportunity, I really do,” the Scotsman enthused.

“We’ve had a pretty good run in Europe, we’ve played a lot of good teams in Europe and as things go, the challenge we’ve got against a team who are sixteen points clear in the Bundesliga is a big one. But one hopefully that we can rise to and perform well.”

But despite keeping the Bundesliga leaders at bay for long periods, Hofmann fired Leverkusen ahead seven minutes from time before Boniface headed a damaging second in stoppage time.

West Ham United returns to Premier League action on Sunday, April 14 when Fulham visits the London Stadium (2pm).

Bayer Leverkusen: Kovář, Stanišić (Hincapié 66′), Tah (Capt), Tapsoba, Grimaldo, Xhaka, Palacios, Frimpong (Tella 67′), Wirtz, Adli (Hofmann 76′), Schick (Boniface 76′) Subs not used: Hradecky (GK), Lomb (GK), Kossounou, Andrich, Borja Iglesias, Arthur, Puerta

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma (Capt), Mavropanos (Aguerd 86′), Cresswell, Emerson, Ward-Prowse, Souček, Paquetá, Kudus (Johnson 86′), Antonio Subs not used: Anang (GK), Knightbridge (GK), Ogbonna, Casey, Earthy, Orford, Cornet, Mubama, Ings

Referee: Artur Dias (Por)

Assistant Referees: Paulo Soares and Pedro Ribeiro (both Por)

Fourth Official: António Nobre (Por)

VAR: Tiago Martins (Por)

Assistant VAR: Hugo Miguel (Por)

Attendance: 30,210

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk