Europa League: Boniface back with a bang as Leverkusen take first-leg advantage

Europa League: Boniface back with a bang as Leverkusen take first-leg advantage

Ifeanyi Ufomadu 22:02 - 11.04.2024

Victor Boniface scored his first goal since returning from injury as Bayer Leverkusen defeated West Ham 2-0 in their Europa League quarter-final first leg.

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Bayer Leverkusen claim first-leg advantage over West Ham

The first half was an exercise in patience from the home side, who, revelling in the noisy home support probed endlessly , seeking to break the deadlock.

The Hammers defended resolutely, though, and they also showed an early threat of their own on the break through a blistering Michail Antonio run before Mohammed Kudus hit a tame effort.

Leverkusen continued to pick their moments, and Łukasz Fabiański denied Amine Adli’s curling effort and James Ward-Prowse blocked strikes from Exequiel Palacios and Edmond Tapsoba.

The first-half flew by without a goal, and it as clear that the home side needed to up the ante.

Jeremie Frimpong fizzed an effort into Fabianski’s gloves from a tight angle, before the goalkeeper pulled off another eye-catching stop to tip Shick’s header over the crossbar as the pressure continued to mount

The home side eventually made their breakthrough in the 83rd minute, when Jonas Hofmann finished after Kurt Zouma had blocked an effort from his fellow substitute Victor Boniface.

The Nigerian striker then scored a header of his own from Hofmann's cross to hand Alonso's men a crucial first-leg advantage.