“The bench was a disgrace”: West Ham coach angry at Leverkusen

TWest Ham United’s Rainer David Moyes has slammed Bayer Leverkusen’s replacements and management following his side’s 2-0 defeat in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals. “The bank was a disgrace. The whole bench ran onto the field,” said the 60-year-old player.

Moyes specifically mentioned the scene in the first half. West Ham ace Lucas Paqueta fouled Leverkusen’s Amine Adly on the touchline. Then a fight broke out between numerous players. Paqueta received a yellow card and was suspended for the return match. “I don’t think we would have behaved like that and everyone jumped up from the bench. They shouldn’t have reacted like that,” Moyes said. However, the West Ham manager praised Leverkusen’s performance: “We played against a team that is at Champions League level,” Moyes said. “They’re a really good team.”

“To have a right”

When asked about the Scot’s remarks, Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso replied: “It was a foul, there was a yellow card. It was well deserved. We all stood up. We have the right to this.” Basque also said: “I respect David, but the referee’s decision to give a yellow card was correct. We focused on ourselves and didn’t pay attention to the other side.”

Immediately after the final whistle, Leverkusen’s eyes turned to what could have been a historic weekend. “I have goosebumps,” said Joker scorer Jonas Hofmann to the main songs of Nordkurve. On Sunday, “tears may flow, so let your emotions flow.”

In the home match against Werder Bremen (17:30 on the ticker FAZ in the Bundesliga and on DAZN), Werkself can become German champions with six rounds to go, for the first time in the club’s history: “We know that we can make history. For the club, for the fans, for ourselves,” midfield coach Granit Xhaka said: “We will do everything we can to close the bag.”

“There’s a lot of anticipation”

When the second leg against West Ham takes place on Thursday next week (21:00 on the FAZ ticker live in the Europa League and on RTL), Bayer could reach the semi-finals as German champions. “The anticipation is great. It couldn’t be more,” successful coach Alonso said of the game against Werder: “If we win, we will be champions. We must work at full capacity. We have 90 minutes to achieve something special.”

Leverkusen’s victory over West Ham and Liverpool’s surprise defeat to Atalanta Bergamo have boosted German football’s chances of securing an extra starting place in the Champions League this coming season.

The Bundesliga has knocked the English Premier League out of second place in the UEFA rankings this season, but it remains a close battle. Following Italy (18,428), Germany now has 16,786 points. England follows closely behind with 16,750 points.

Starting next season, 36 participants will start in the premier class instead of the previous 32. Two of the four new places will go to the countries that have shown the best results in international competitions this season.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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