Premier League

David Moyes fumes at “disgraceful” Bayer Leverkusen after West Ham defeat

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West Ham manager David Moyes has branded Bayer Leverkusen’s bench “disgraceful” after his side’s 2-0 defeat in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The Hammers were beaten in the first leg of their quarter-final clash in Germany, with two late goals from the hosts putting them in control of the tie.

It was a disappointing night for Moyes’ men, who did well for large chunks of the game but weren’t able to battle their way to a draw against Xabi Alonso’s side.

Not only was the defeat a big blow for West Ham but so was Lucas Paqueta’s yellow card, meaning he will miss next week’s second leg at the London Stadium.

Speaking after the game, Moyes couldn’t hide his displeasure at the role Leverkusen’s substitutes’ bench played in the booking, calling them a “disgrace”:

“He will be a huge miss but I thought their bench was a disgrace. He got surrounded. I thought it was disgraceful and was really disappointing.

“You should let the referee make the decision and not the way they reacted to the incident. I thought it was a rule all the way through. We would not all run off and surround him. It was a poor thing for them to do and they are a good side and they didn’t need to react like that.”

Moyes certainly has a point with his comments, considering the manner in which Leverkusen’s player pressured the referee into showing Paqueta a yellow card, and it could be big moment in the tie.

There is an argument to say that the Brazilian is West Ham’s best and most important player currently, not only possessing great techincal ability, but also offering such a strong work ethic in midfield.

This season, he has 10 goal contributions (four goals and six assists) in the Premier League, as well as averaging 2.4 tackles and 2.1 aerial duel wins per game.

West Ham’s task in the second leg would have been extremely tough even with Paqueta available for selection, but life has now become even harder. Progression to the semi-finals would be an incredible effort by Moyes and his players.

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