West Ham dealt double Frankfurt sucker-punch as Bowen comes close to solving Europa League semi-final headache

Jarrod Bowen, West Ham, April 2022.

An electric start to both halves by Frankfurt saw West Ham chasing the game, and the English side were forced to approach the second leg 2-1 down.

Frankfurt exploded out of the blocks, with a goal inside a minute. A great cross was played to right wing-back Knauff, in space behind the Hammers back line, and he headed past Areola with ease.

The German side remained on top for a good while. West Ham found it tough to get a hold of the ball, as Frankfurt were very composed in possession.

Frankfurt’s presence in all areas of the pitch was a lot for the east Londoners to contend with in the early stages. The Hammers weathered the storm for a good while, though, and managed to start playing some football of their own.

West Ham chase the game

Declan Rice, West Ham, April 2022.

After being second best for much of the opening, West Ham got a major chance. Top goalscorer Jarrod Bowen was slid through, and it looked for all the world as if he would bury it, but for a vital touch by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

There was a hectic next few minutes, with true end-to-end football being played.

West Ham got themselves back into it not long, after, though. A Manuel Lanzini free kick found its way to Kurt Zouma, and his header across the box made it to Michail Antonio’s outstretched leg, and into the back of the net.

The Jamaica international had not scored in all competitions for over a month. What a time to do so, and score his second Europa League goal of the season.

West Ham were the better side for much of the game until the break. Frankfurt had one chance, again through Knauff, and his shot fell just wide – it looked to have done so after a touch from Areola, but was given as a goal kick.

The Hammers finished the half much better than how they started it, making a few chances.

Frankfurt explode out of the blocks again

West Ham got into a couple of decent positions in the second half, but to no avail. It was their opponents who made an early attack count yet again though.

Frankfurt started quickly for the second time in the game. It was not quite as fast a start as the first half, but the German side scored a second, some liquid football found its way to Djibril Sow, whose shot was saved, but Daichi Kamada was afforded a tap in – his fifth Europa League goal of the season.

Said Benrahma coming on to the field changed West Ham’s attack for the better. The Algerian injected a much-needed energy to the Hammers, and he was instrumental in all of their good bits of play.

The winger came close after jinking past a couple of defenders just after coming on, but put it just wide. West Ham again had a lot of the ball in the second half, but struggled to do much with it.

Bowen almost scored a wonder goal in the dying stages, though. The Englishman’s acrobatic effort thumped off the cross bar, and unfortunately for Moyes’ side, did not cross the line, and it ended 2-1.