HomeFootball NewsWest Ham: Moyes takes aim at 'disgraceful' Leverkusen after Europa League defeat

West Ham: Moyes takes aim at ‘disgraceful’ Leverkusen after Europa League defeat

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David Moyes described the conduct of Bayer Leverkusen’s bench as “disgraceful” after the Bundesliga leaders inflicted a gut-wrenching 2-0 defeat upon West Ham in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday.

A brave rearguard action from West Ham looked like being enough to keep the tie goalless ahead of next week’s second leg, but two substitutes made the difference for Leverkusen.

Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface were sent on by Xabi Alonso with 76 minutes gone and helped themselves to a goal apiece in the closing stages.

Hofmann steered a low effort through a crowd of bodies and in with 83 minutes played, before Boniface headed home in stoppage time to leave West Ham with a mountain to climb.

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The Hammers’ task will be made more difficult by the absence of playmaker Lucas Paqueta, who will be suspended at the London Stadium after being booked for a wild swipe at Amine Adli in the first half.

Leverkusen reacted furiously to that challenge as players and coaches surrounded referee Artur Dias, in scenes which angered Moyes.

“He will be a huge miss but I thought their bench was a disgrace,” Moyes said when asked about Paqueta’s booking. “He got surrounded. I thought it was disgraceful and was really disappointing.

“You should let the referee make the decision and not react the way they reacted to the incident.

“I thought it was a rule all the way through. We wouldn’t all run off and surround him. It was a poor thing for them to do. They are a good side and they didn’t need to react like that.”

Alonso, however, was in no doubt that Paqueta deserved to see yellow and thought Moyes’ staff spent just as much time engaging with the officials.

“It was a tackle that deserved a yellow card. It was fully deserved,” the former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder said.

“I think David was talking with the fourth official a lot of the time. We all do, I do as well. It’s nothing to talk about, disgraceful. I think that we all have the right, he has to see his bench as well.

“I have respect for David but I thought it was the right decision from the referee. We did our thing, we didn’t focus on the other bench.”

With Leverkusen still unbeaten in 42 games across all competitions and on for a Bundesliga, Europa League and DFB-Pokal treble, the odds are stacked against Moyes’ men ahead of the second leg.

“Leverkusen have a good record of scoring late. We were aware of that,” Moyes said. “We played against a side who are going to be in the Champions League, 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’ll have to do exceptionally well to get that result.

“The only thing that matters is if we can score the first goal next week – that will make a big difference.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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