Leverkusen ref lost the plot in Hammers Brexit


West Ham 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen

West Ham’s last European hurrah at The London Stadium was an evening of pride and a night of frustration.

The pride came from the wonderful atmosphere in the stadium itself. I’ve been lucky enough to attend many European nights in Stratford and usually, the away support can be heard throughout… not last night though.

On this occasion, the Leverkusen fans were drowned out by a wall of noise from Irons supporters who were clearly motivated for an upset. Nights like that are a privilege, they give you goosebumps and are an honour to be a part of.

The team’s performance in the first half was also a source of great pride too because West Ham genuinely frightened Xabi Alonso’s team. A draw was probably a fair result on the night because the opposition had a better second half, but the team did themselves and us proud.

Leverkusen-West Ham-Referee

Zouma can’t hide his frustration as another decision goes against West Ham

Lost control of the game

However, the night was not without its frustrating elements, and the performance of the referee was poor. There was a clear case of injustice in almost everything he did. I have come to expect poor officiating in recent times, but this seemed a blend of bias and complete incompetence.

It was an odd sight to behold because the man in the middle lost control of the match, the players, the dugout and the stadium itself. He can consider himself very lucky that the vast empty spaces at the London Stadium allowed him to operate with impunity. I suspect he’d never have got away with a performance like that at Upton Park.

That West Ham didn’t help themselves was another area of frustration. Despite how poor the referee was, there was still a massive chance to win that game. Unfortunately, David Moyes deployed Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus just where Xabi Alonso wanted them in the second half… defending.

Yes, it was a brave performance, but the introduction of Victor Boniface at halftime was enough for The Hammers to go into full retreat mode, and we never threatened thereafter. It would have made for interesting viewing had Moyes allowed those two and Antonio to retain their positions high up the pitch and threaten the Leverkusen goal. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

By the end of the game, the players were exhausted, which is another cause for frustration. The squad was weakened rather than strengthened during the January transfer window and was not big enough for both domestic and European football.

So, a night of pride in East London? Yes. However, it feels like a missed opportunity too.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Hammeroo says:

    “So, a night of pride in East London? Yes. However, it feels like a missed opportunity too.”

    Add it to the long list of missed opportunities, Gonzo. In the second half it seemed like reverting to the Moyesosaurus way. Alonso made good changes to counter our excellent first half performance and it worked for him. Xabi is no shabby manager! But, unfortunately for us, it was back to Plan A – Park The Bus!

  • Bennyboy baker says:

    As I watched the game last night I thought how much have Leverkusen paid the referee and those running the lines the decisions seemed to constantly go against us the referee was appalling as were his linemen how can the powers that be put a referee and his colleagues in charge of such a important game they were clearly biased so much so even a blind man could see it something very fishy went on with the referee and his colleagues don’t get me wrong I’m not criticising all officials just those from last night I believe we were cheated out of the game that referee should never be allowed to take part in any game he was totally biased and extremely incompetent

    • Anonymous says:

      It was atrocious Benny Boy.

      However, I doubt much will be done about it because the I’m sure UEFA were very happy to see another English team go out.

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