Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 West Ham: Unbeaten hosts undo Hammers with two late goals in Germany

Bayer Leverkusen are now unbeaten across their last 42 games after stunning West Ham United late during Thursday’s UEFA Europa League quarterfinal first leg. Xabi Alonso’s side, on course to win their first Bundesliga title this weekend, dominated proceedings at the BayArena, forcing 33 shots while the Hammers could muster just a single effort.

David Moyes’ side defended resolutely and for much of the match, it looked as though the visitors could head back to London Stadium on level pegging. Late goals from Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface sealed yet another victory for the German outfit though, who now have one step in the semifinal.

Lucas Paquetá and Emerson Palmieri will miss the second leg of this tie after their bookings – both for fouls on Amine Adli. Their absence will make that mountain just a little higher for Moyes’ men to climb if they’re to progress to the final four against the odds.

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As it happened

David Moyes’ side knew they’d been dealt the short straw when they were drawn against Bayer Leverkusen last month – and the task was to be made no easier by the injury-enforced absence of Jarred Bowen as they headed to die Werkself’s lair.

The Hammers ensured Thursday night’s clash was a frustrating one for Xabi Alonso’s hosts, who have settled for just five draws throughout their impressive unbeaten streak. The visitors looked destined to add a sixth though, with the Bundesliga champions-elect failing to convert their possession into goals.

West Ham mustered up just the single shot on goal throughout the match, with Mohammed Kudus’ first-half effort failing to trouble Matej Kovar. Fine work from Michail Antonio saw the Ghanaian provided with a golden opportunity to score, yet he could only blast his effort straight at the former Manchester United shotstopper.

Lukasz Fabianski was, by some distance, the busier of the two keepers on the night. Patrick Schick posed the biggest threat, forcing a low save from the Polish goalie in the first half before a headed attempt after the break required intervention to tip it over the crossbar.

Bayer Leverkusen looked to be destined for a drab draw at home until Jonas Hofmann opened the scoring seven minutes from time, with his shot squirming through a mass of bodies when the Hammers failed to adequately clear a corner.

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A one-goal deficit against Europe’s most in-form side was certainly not the most desirable outcome, but Moyes would retrospectively be clamouring for it. Victor Boniface doubled Leverkusen’s advantage in the first minute of injury time, heading home from a Hofmann cross to ensure West Ham must metaphorically climb Everest if they’re to progress to the semifinals.

The lineups

B04: Kovar; Tapsoba, Tah, Stanisic; Grimaldo, Xhaka, Palacios, Frimpong; Adli, Wirtz; Schick

WHU: Fabianski; Cresswell, Zouma, Mavropanos; Emerson, Ward-Prowse, Soucek, Coufal; Paquetá, Kudus; Antonio