Michail Antonio celebrates scoring against Eintracht Frankfurt

West Ham with work to do after first-leg defeat

West Ham United 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg, London Stadium, 28 April 2022


West Ham United will need to summon the spirit of 1976 after losing 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final.

The Hammers were in an identical position 46 years ago before coming from behind to win the second leg 3-1 and advance to the European Cup Winners’ Cup final, albeit on home turf at the Boleyn Ground.

This time around, the Irons will need to win away from home in Germany after goals from Ansgar Knauff and Daichi Kamada gave the Bundesliga outfit the advantage at the halfway stage, with Michail Antonio replying for David Moyes’ side.

Jarrod Bowen twice hit the woodwork for the hosts, while Kamada did likewise for the visitors on a night when either side could have claimed the first-leg advantage.

West Ham fans at London Stadium

The Claret and Blue Army – along with 3,000 flag-waving Eintracht Frankfurt fans – took their seats early as DJ Tony Perry, the now traditional London Stadium light show and a raucous rendition of ‘Bubbles’ built up the atmosphere to fever pitch for kick-off.

But, within a minute, it was just those Frankfurt supporters left cheering as their team took a shock lead.

Just 50 seconds had elapsed when Kamada was allowed to run forward unopposed and find Rafael Santos Borré inside the penalty area. The Colombian turned and lifted a cross to the far post, where Knauff timed his run perfectly and placed his header past Alphonse Areola.

Ansgar Knauff gives Eintracht Frankfurt the lead

West Ham rallied. Tomáš Souček headed Manuel Lanzini’s free-kick well wide before turning provider for Jarrod Bowen, who raced through the centre of the Eintracht defence and shot low and hard, only for goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s miniscule but vital touch with his left boot to divert the ball onto the base of the post. Souček then headed Ben Johnson’s follow-up cross high over the crossbar.

The pressure was building and, after Areola had held a volley from Dane Jesper Lindstrøm, the Irons fashioned an equaliser from another Lanzini free-kick on 21 minutes. This time, Kurt Zouma won the initial header, nodding across goal for Michail Antonio to convert from close-range, despite Trapp’s efforts to keep the ball out.

Michail Antonio equalisers against Eintracht Frankfurt

Having levelled, West Ham upped the ante further, but it was Eintracht who created the game’s next chances, but neither Filip Kostić nor Knauff could keep their shots on target.

Souček glanced off-target for a third time as half-time approached, but that was it for the goalmouth action for an intriguing opening 45 minutes.

The interval saw seven members of the 1976 European Cup Winners’ Cup side who defeated Frankfurt in the semi-finals introduced to the crowd, led by double goalscorer Sir Trevor Brooking.

When the action resumed it was Souček again who had the first opportunity – and his fourth of the match – but the Czech could only volley Antonio’s dropping cross wide of the target again.

And that miss proved costly as Eintracht cut through the centre of the West Ham defence a second time. Areola did superbly to keep out Djibril Sow’s initial effort, but Kamada followed in to score.

Daichi Kamada scores Eintracht Frankfurt's second goal

West Ham rallied again. Fornals’ volley bobbled wide, then substitute Saïd Benrahma clipped the woodwork with a wicked, dipping shot, but the equaliser eluded Moyes’ men, who now have it all to do at the Waldstadion.

Indeed, the deficit could have been even wider had Kamada not seen his shot flick Craig Dawson’s heel and bounce off the post with ten minutes remaining.

Then, in added time, it could have evaporated when Bowen thumped the underside of the crossbar with a spectacular overhead kick from Rice's cross, only for the ball to bounce off Trapp and be scrambled clear.

And so, while the odds are against the east Londoners, it is not beyond them to create history again, 46 years on.


West Ham United: Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Lanzini (Benrahma 66), Bowen, Fornals, Antonio
Subs not used: Fabiański (GK), Randolph (GK), Coufal, Yarmolenko, Vlašić, Noble, Fredericks, Masuaku, Král, Alese, Chesters

Goal: Antonio 21


Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp, Tuta, Hinteregger, Touré, Rode ©, Sow, Knauff, Lindstrøm (Hauge 62), Kostić, Kamada, Borré (Ache 90+3)
Subs not used: Grahl (GK), Horz (GK), Hrustic, Lammers, Hasebe, Chandler, Da Costa, Lenz, Barkok, Gonçalo Paciência

Goals: Knauff 1, Kamada 54

Booked: Sow, Hinteregger


Attendance: 59,980


Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)



Season Ticket renewals open for 2022/23 Premier League season