West Ham: David Moyes blasts 'disgraceful' Bayer Leverkusen bench over Lucas Paqueta yellow card

Suspended: Lucas Paqueta will not be available for next week’s second-leg meeting (AP)
Suspended: Lucas Paqueta will not be available for next week’s second-leg meeting (AP)

A furious David Moyes labelled Bayer Leverkusen’s bench “a disgrace” over their role in the yellow card which will see Lucas Paqueta miss the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie next week.

West Ham will need an epic comeback to reach the semi-finals after late goals from Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface gave Leverkusen a 2-0 victory in Thursday night’s opening leg in Germany.

The Hammers’ task will be made harder by the absence of Paqueta, who along with Emerson will be suspended for the return fixture after picking up his third yellow card in the competition this term.

The Brazilian was booked for his foul on Amine Adli midway through the first half, but Moyes was irate at the reaction of the Leverkusen coaching staff and substitutes, claiming they played a part in referee Artur Dias’s decision to reach for the yellow card.

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

“I think [they got him booked]. 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.”

With seven minutes to play, West Ham were on course for the goalless draw that many felt would be a good result coming into the contest, given Leverkusen’s extraordinary unbeaten run, which now stands at 42 matches.

However, Leverkusen’s depth told as substitutes Hofmann and Boniface both came off the bench to take advantage of a tiring side.

“We did a really good job defensively,” Moyes said. “We were aware of them scoring late goals in other games and they put us under intense pressure and we found it difficult.

“We were playing a Champions League team and a good one at that.

“We will have to come up trumps next week and the first thing we have to do is get one goal and take it from there.

“We know we are playing a good team but we are not out of the tie. If we can get that first goal it will make a difference.”