After losing the first-leg in Stratford last week, West Ham United are out of the UEFA Europa League, following a 1-0 defeat by FFV Eintract Frankfurt at Deutsche Bank Park on Thursday night, meaning they exit the competition 3-1 on aggregate.
David Moyes made four changes from the side that were narrowly defeated by Arsenal in their London derby five days earlier, as Alphonse Areola replaced Łukasz Fabiański in goal, while Craig Dawson returned from suspension in place of Ryan Fredericks. Tomáš Souček and Michail Antonio also came in. Ben Johnson returned from injury but had to settle for a place on the bench.
West Ham were desperate to turn the tie around and book a place in the final and although they made a bright start to the encounter, their prospects might have got a little better, as in the opening minutes of the game, home defender Martin Hinteregger went down injured and had to be replaced. Despite this, the Irons weren’t able to make their pressure count.
Aaron Cresswell was sent off in the quarter-final tie against Olympique Lyonnais and the same happened to the defender again here. He was involved with Jens Petter Hauge, following a long ball upfield from goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. Referee Jesús Gil Manzano initially gave him a yellow card but after a VAR review, he upgraded it to a red and from then on, they had a mountain to climb.
The home side then saw a free-kick go wide from Filip Kostić before Moyes made his first change. Manuel Lanzini was replaced by Johnson to give a visitors extra-cover at the back, following Cresswell’s dismissal.
West Ham hopes of progressing to the next stage suffered another setback when the home side extended their advantage as Ansgar Knauff found Rafael Borré, who had the simplest of tasks to knock the ball into the net past Areola.
At this point it was going to be difficult but the East Londoners were trying as hard as they could. Kurt Zouma went close to levelling on the night after meeting a free-kick from Jarrod Bowen but his attempt was magnificently cleared off the line.
Manzano blew the whistle for half-time and the Hammers still had hope but there was plenty of work to do.
Although determined to hold onto what they had, the hosts weren’t about to give up and created further opportunities. Areola did well to keep out both Borré and Djibril Sow before Daichi Kamada had a go at goal but managed to send the ball wide then, the onslaught on Areola’s goal was over when Kostić missed the target.
West Ham had a great chance to at least get one goal back when Dawson met Antonio’s free-kick but his header was easy for Trapp to gather.
Another change was made by West Ham on seventy four minutes, as Saïd Benrahma entered the fray for Pablo Fornals.
The Irons wanted to get at least something from the match and had a good opportunity when Antonio burst into the area and despite a number of other players being involved, between them they couldn’t make the most of it.
As if the blow of losing Cresswell to a red card was bad enough, Moyes was sent from the touchline following an incident with the ball boy on the seventy eight minutes.
The last ten minutes proved largely uneventful before the final whistle was blown, bringing an early end to this season’s European campaign for the Irons. They will now focus on cementing their place in European competition next season when they travel to Carrow Road and face newly-promoted Norwich City on Sunday afternoon.