Player ratings as Hammers slip to first leg defeat

West Ham fell to a frustrating 2-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night, leaving themselves with a mountain to climb in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie next week.

The Hammers gave themselves hope in the first period as Michail Antonio canceled out Ansgar Knauff’s first-minute opener, only for Daichi Kamada to notch a pivotal second-half winner and send Frankfurt home with a huge result.

The game got off to the worst possible start for the hosts, as Frankfurt shocked the London Stadium into a deafening silence. Taking advantage of some space on the left in the opening 50 seconds, Kamada and Rafael Borre combined, before the latter delivered a superb cross to the back post, where Knauff headed beyond a rooted Alphonse Areola.

The Hammers did well to pick themselves up and regain composure, and really ought to have been on level terms within a quarter of an hour. However, Jarrod Bowen could only hit the upright when one on one with Kevin Trapp courtesy of a slide-rule pass from Antonio.

David Moyes’ side kept plugging away and eventually managed to find something tangible in the 21st minute, when a set-piece situation yielded a just reward for their pressure. Heading the ball back across the six-yard box from Manuel Lanzini’s free kick, Kurt Zouma found a massively grateful Antonio who tapped the ball into an empty net at the far stick.

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