Xabi Alonso admits David Moyes hostility boiled over after ‘disgrace’ claim as West Ham vs 14 men

Will Ford
Moyes Alonso
There's no love lost between Xabi Alonso and David Moyes.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso admits that bad-tempered exchanges with West Ham’s coaching staff in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final boiled over at the London Stadium on Thursday.

Having taken a 2-0 lead into the second leg, Leverkusen were fortunate not to be on level terms with West Ham, or even behind, as David Moyes’ side went hard at them in the first half in particular.

Tensions boiled over

But the Hammers failed to capitalise on their dominance and Michail Antonio’s goal was cancelled out late on by Jeremie Frimpong as the Bundesliga side triumphed 3-1 on aggregate.

Spanish referee Jose Maria Sanchez booked 11 players and sent off West Ham coach Billy McKinlay, and Sebastian Parrilla from Leverkusen’s staff after a touchline altercation in a spicy affair.

Asked if that skirmish had anything to do with some bad-tempered exchanges between the two sets of coaching staff in last week’s first leg – which led Moyes to refer to the Leverkusen bench as a “disgrace” – Alonso said with a grin: “I wouldn’t say no.”

Hammers boss David Moyes was not keen to be drawn on the officiating, but he did say: “I watch a lot of Spanish football but if that’s the way it is you wouldn’t want to watch too many Spanish matches.”

On his side’s performance, he added: “It was a brilliant team performance, I have to say over the two games.

“We played a really good team and we had chances to be two or three up. I couldn’t fault the players at all. If I was going out of Europe I wanted to go out like that.”

In the first half Leverkusen looked as though they may have celebrated their first Bundesliga crown on Sunday a little too much, and Alonso admitted they needed to improve after the break.

“For sure it was a thrilling game,” he said. “Two different halves. First half we knew West Ham would come with high intensity and we were not comfortable with that.

“After they scored one we were lucky not to concede a second one. But we showed character in the second half and the substitutes had a good impact. It was a lesson for us.”

West Ham vs 14 players

West Ham striker Michail Antonio felt his side were up against 14 players.

“It doesn’t feel like you’re playing against 11 men, it feels like you’re playing against 13 or 14 including the two linos,” Antonio told TNT Sports.

“You just have to keep pushing and try and make the decisions go your way. And they just weren’t. We had to keep playing our way and keep being professional.”

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