Europe: Europa League
1 - 1
(1 - 0)
West Ham
M. Antonio (13)
J. Frimpong (89)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Leverkusen make hard work of stern West Ham to advance

After a dominant first-leg, Bayer Leverkusen were made huff and puff for their 1-1 draw with West Ham tonight. AS Roma await Die Werkself in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Perhaps for the first time all season, regardless of competition, Leverkusen looked a distant figure of themselves. A hostile crowd at the Olympic Stadium in east London said it all. West Ham roared out of the blocks and continued to dominate the entirety of first-half play. Aside from Nathan Tella's long-range effort repelled by Fabianski, Leverkusen looked ragged and disorganised.

Wave upon wave of claret and blue pressure left Die Werkself on the ropes. The hosts forged a 13th-minute lead via a thumping Michael Antonio header. Xabi Alonso's frustration reached its peak when he hooked Kossounou for Tabsoba on the half hour. Tensions even simmered on the sideline as both managers' assistants clashed. Matej Kovář perhaps all that stood between Jarrod Bowen and parity before the interval. His stunning save at his back post denied the Englishman. 

The introduction of Frimpong and Boniface looked to provide more foothold for the new German champions. Although the game evened up, Piero Hincapié's blushes were spared on the hour. An ill-timed slip almost allowed Bowen in but the winger flashed wide. Jeremie Frimpong himself came close to turning a cross beyond Fabianski who stayed alert.

The injection of speed from Amine Adli down the left flank offered continued relief. With the tie at his mercy in the 83rd minute, Frimpong hared free on the break. The Netherlands wing-back fluffed his lines spectacularly by blazing over. With their 43-game unbeaten looking doomed, the chance finally came. Avenging his earlier miss, Jeremie Frimpong's effort wrongfooted Fabianski after a violent deflection off Cresswell. Leverkusen reach the final four of the Europa League to face AS Roma.

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