West Ham 1-1 Lyon: Europa League quarter-final, first leg – as it happened

Last modified: 11: 53 PM GMT+0

Tanguy Ndombele cancelled out Jarrod Bowen’s opener for West Ham after Aaron Cresswell was sent off in the first half

Jarrod Bowen, the main man for West Ham, is talking to BT. What did he think about the red card? “Thought it was cheap if I’m honest, he [Dembele] was going away from goal. Only seen it live though, haven’t watched it back.” What was Moyes’ message at half-time? “Keep your heads, stay in the game.” Bowen adds: “We weren’t at our best tonight, but we’re still confident.”

The Guardian’s match report is in from Jacob Steinberg at the London Stadium, so that’s my cue to say goodnight. Thanks for your company, correspondence and erudite references to the Rolling Stones, J-M Jarre and Smash Hits.


All the Europa League quarter-finals (first legs) took place in binary. Three of them ended 1-1, including Barcelona’s game in Frankfurt, but there was one result – poor old Rangers lost 1-0 at Sporting Braga.


“There was more diving in this match,” says Nora Mulcahy, “than I have seen in a swimming pool!”

It was a curious match. Nothing happened for 47 minutes, then everything happened in one moment when an inexperienced ref gave Aaron Cresswell a straight red for a minor offence. The ten men of West Ham responded magnificently to take the lead, blew it by conceding a soft goal, but then rallied to see out the draw. They live to fight another night.

David Moyes allows himself a smile before he sets about thanking the crowd with his usual courtesy. His team have shown a lot of character.

Full time! West Ham 1-1 Lyon

All over! And West Ham have a draw that feels like a win.

Handshakes at the final whistle.
Handshakes at the final whistle. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters


90+8 min: Two more shots from Lyon – one saved by Areola, the other blocked.

90+7 min: A through ball finds Dembele – but Dawson finds an old-school tackle, which the crowd greet as if it was a goal.

90+6 min: A yellow for Bowen, for giving Emerson a shove as the ball (and both of them) went out.

90+5 min: One of those crosses does elude the West Ham centre-backs, but Dembele can’t keep his header down.

90+4 min: David Moyes has had so much to think about in this half, he hasn’t used any more subs.



90+3 min: Lyon are now putting their crosses in the air, which is a surprise as Dawson and Zouma have had aerial supremacy throughout.

90 min: There will be EIGHT added minutes.

88 min: Antonio goes in too hard on Ndombele, studs up, and rightly gets a yellow. That’s a worse foul than the one Cresswell was sent off for.

Ouch. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters


85 min: West Ham storm forward again, with Antonio and Bowen doing the job of three men – whereupon some idiot runs onto the pitch.

83 min: When they do get out, West Ham are piling players forward, which is brave but risky. Maybe they’re betting on Lyon continuing to be slow in their build-up.

Michail Antonio in action.
Michail Antonio in action. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters


80 min: Another save from Areola, more confident this time, as Emerson shoots hard and low. I make it 3-3 for shots on target; for shots taken, it’s now 17-5 to Lyon.


78 min: Paqueta has a shot, straight at Areola, but hit so hard that the keeper parries it. This is becoming a siege.

An email from the ground! “Half-time greetings from the London stadium,” said Ian Sargeant, a little while ago. “As a gent in his early 50s, I was a mere spotty youth when I first came across your name every other Thursday in the pages of Smash Hits. That red card has hit me like the news that Yazoo were breaking up. Keep up the good work.” Ha, thanks Ian. Those were the days.

73 min: Lyon are knocking it around again. They squeeze a through ball in to Demebele, but he’s offside.

“If Iron Maiden are the go-to musicians for West Ham,” says Kári Tulinius, “who’d be the in the same role for Lyon? The first one to spring to mind is Jean-Michel Jarre, who’s certainly the most successful musician from that lovely city.”

Jean-Michel Jarre, The Iron Maiden of the Rhône.
Jean-Michel Jarre, The Iron Maiden of the Rhône. Photograph: Jim Dyson/Getty Images


69 min: Antonio is back up top, giving his all as ever, but Lyon have fresh legs on both flanks. As well as Tete, Toko-Ekambi has come on. The men taken off are Faivre and Boateng. What this means for Lyon’s formation, I’m not sure.

GOAL! West Ham 1-1 Lyon (Ndombele 66)

Nooo! Just when they were playing so well, West Ham allow Tete, just on as a sub, to wriggle into the box and cross. Fredericks gets in the way of it, but can only give Ndombele a tap-in.

The Tottenham-loanee Tanguy Ndombele equalises for Lyon.
The Tottenham-loanee Tanguy Ndombele equalises for Lyon. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters


64 min: “West Ham looking more of a threat with ten than they did with 11,” says the commentator, and he’s not wrong.

62 min: Antonio has moved to the right wing, once his natural habitat. Bowen is leading the line, as well he may after scoring his 14th goal of the season. Bowen duly gets away down the left and does well to cross for Antonio, who either misses the ball or pulls out of his shot as he bears down on the keeper.

60 min: Play stops for the right reason as Fredericks needs some attention after a clash of heads with Dembele. He seems OK, happily.


57 min: Yet another long-range shot from Lyon – better than most, as Ndombele lashes a drive past the post.

55 min: Credit too to Pablo Fornals, who did well to half-force the error from Boateng by pressing high and hard.


53 min: It was a mistake by Boateng, who allowed the ball to bobble through to Bowen. He would have been offside but was saved by Boateng’s touch. And the finish was nice and calm, into the corner. The crowd, who had been feeling very sorry for themselves, have come alive again.


GOAL! West Ham 1-0 Lyon (Bowen 52)

What the hell!

West Ham lead!
West Ham lead! Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters


46 min: West Ham were already playing a low block, so not much has changed as yet. But their problem is that when they hoof it long to Antonio, he now has nobody to flick it on to.


West Ham are out early for the second half. Ben Johnson has come on to replace Cresswell, and Benrahma has been sacrificed, which is a shame as he was playing well.


The wink has already been shown about six times. And rightly so in my humble opinion, because the incident did seem to be part of a pattern. Several times, a Lyon player had gone down softly, or stayed down implausibly. And the ref had let them get away with it.

“I want West Ham to win,” says Adam Berry, “but I don’t see the controversy around that sending off. Cresswell has got his eyes on the man, Dembele has the run on him, Cresswell clearly tugs his shoulder, and if it happened in the middle of the pitch it’d be a clear foul and yellow. It’s the right call in my opinion.

“The wink was equally parts infuriating and hilarious though.”

“I’ve got to say,” says Nick Jones, “if that was a straight red, I’m a banana. Watching this on holiday in Mallorca, with a lot of unhappy WHU fans. Quite mad.” Are there any Lyon fans in the house? They might well agree with you.

On a happier note, here’s Joe Pearson in Indianapolis. “I thought,” he says, “it was THE LAW that all musical references in West Ham MBMs must be Iron Maiden related. Or maybe we’ve just entered a brave new world.”

Half-time! West Ham 0-0 Lyon

You wait 45 minutes for something to happen, and then it’s a shocker. As Cresswell got his straight red, a camera zoomed in on Moussa Dembele – who was winking. This match may have been ruined before it has even got going.

45+5 min: Lyon waste the free kick, but pick up a corner. It’s been a long two minutes.

Red card! Cresswell (West Ham, 45+2)

This is highly controversial. Dembele was away, Cresswell did get a touch with his hand, but the red card seems very harsh.

Aaron Cresswell gets a highly controversial red card for a tug on Dembele.
Aaron Cresswell gets a highly controversial red card for a tug on Dembele. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA


45+1 min: We’re into the first of two added minutes.


45 min: West Ham spend a minute in Lyon’s half, for once, and get their reward as Bowen wins a free kick on the right wing. Lyon clear it easily enough.

41 min: Declan Rice makes a mistake! He aims a back header, down into the ground, and doesn’t get enough on it, allowing Lyon to take another of their long shots – which brings only a corner. West Ham break with Benrahma down the left. He thinks he’s won a corner too, but the ref gives a goal kick.

39 min: Lyon go back to the patient build-up, which seems to be their default. West Ham escape with the long ball. Emerson and Fredericks go for a 50-50 and end up nose to nose. The words “Fuck you” may have been uttered (by Emerson).

“I hope you’re well!” says Adam Kline-Schoder. Can’t complain. “I am watching the Eintracht Frankfurt-Barcelona match -- since you didn’t ask: 0-0 but Piqué is off injured already and Frankfurt should really be 2-0 up -- and am keeping tabs on the West Ham-Lyon game through your MBM. I saw the photo at the top of the page, and it got me thinking: why do teams change their kits for European competition? West Ham’s shorts are usually white at home but here are claret (I believe Leicester do the same with blue), and Manchester City have their weird digital numbers on their Champions League kits. Is that unique to British teams? Is it sponsorship nonsense? Enquiring minds (read: my mind) want to know.” I’m not sure! So I’m throwing it out to the floor.

36 min: There’s a delay as Jerome Boating gets some treatment for what looks like cramp, odd as it may sound.

Jerome Boateng goes down with cramp. In the first half. Hmmm.
Jerome Boateng goes down with cramp. In the first half. Hmmm. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA


32 min: We have another shot on target! From Declan Rice, not tumbling but taking part in a training-ground corner routine. He has to take it with his left foot, and it’s the opposite of that shot from Ndombele: precision without power. West Ham then win another corner, only to do nothing with it.

30 min: A third of the game has somehow slipped by. Lyon have had twice as much of the ball as West Ham, but have also conceded the only shot on target.

An email! From Peter Oh. “I suppose West Ham and Rolling Stones fans reckon that it’s only the Europa League, but they like it.” Ha. “Now that you’ve mentioned the Stones having played this ground, I’ll be keeping a close eye on Declan Rice whenever he approaches the Lyon box. If he goes down too easy, I’ll be forced to make a Tumbling Rice joke. In any event, it’s nice to see the visitors play with Gusto.”

You can’t always get what you want as Said Benrahma fires wide.
You can’t always get what you want as Said Benrahma fires wide. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP


28 min: A free kick to West Ham, chipped into the box, but it leads only to a free kick for Lyon as Gusto goes down.

26 min: Lyon go back to knocking it around. Eventually Ndombele gets bored and has a crack from 25 yards – all power and no precision.

23 min: Suddenly it’s end to end as Lyon answer another long ball from West Ham with one of their own. As usual, nothing comes of it bar a feeble appeal for a penalty as Fredericks stops Auouar in his tracks.

20 min: Dembele runs onto a through ball, and he’s probably onside, but Areola is alert to the danger and gets a booming clearance in.

18 min: Lyon have a promising attack, but it ends with West Ham coming close. Rice, clearing up after a poor cross, picks out Antonio, who flicks on, then gets the ball back in the inside-right channel. Again, though, the angle is too tight.

Michail Antonio goes close for West Ham.
Michail Antonio goes close for West Ham. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA


16 min: West Ham come alive! It’s another long ball, but a pinpoint one, from Dawson. Benrahma controls it on the run and gets a firm shot away, but the angle is too tight.


14 min: The game has developed a pattern: patience and latticework passing from Lyon, long balls and high pressing from West Ham, cutting edge from neither.

Said Benrahma and Lima Lucas Paqueta battle for the ball.
Said Benrahma and Lima Lucas Paqueta battle for the ball. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA


9 min: A shot! From a Lyon player – about 30 yards out, instantly blocked. But they are warming up, and they play their first threatening cross, whipped in from the left, well defended by West Ham.

8 min: You know how some matches set off at a thunderous pace? This is not one of them.

7 min: Lyon make it into the box, with Dembele holding the ball up well, Lukaku-style, but again the final ball is poor.

5 min: Gusto, Lyon’s pacey right-winger, has plenty of time to get a cross in, but he overcooks it.


3 min: Lyon are being leisurely, West Ham more direct. Antonio gets his head on a punt from Areola but can’t quite find Bowen with his flick-on.

1 min: Lyon get the party started with some neat little passes.

Declan Rice bumps fists with the Lyon captain – Moussa Dembele. Rice needs to avoid a yellow if he wants to play in the second leg.

West Ham have won their last four at home in all competitions, their best such sequence for ten years. But then Lyon have won their last six away matches in the Europa League. Something’s gotta give.

The crowd are absolutely loving it. The London Stadium is rocking as it hasn’t rocked since the Rolling Stones played there a few years ago.

Come on you Irons
Come on you Irons! Photograph: Simon Dael/REX/Shutterstock


Bubbles are being blown. And sung.

David Moyes is talking to BT, sounding calm. “Slightly different game,” he says, “It’s the first leg. We’d like to win, but it’s not settled tonight.”

He says he picked Ryan Fredericks (over Ben Johnson) partly because of the pace of Karl Toko-Ekambi – who, as he doesn’t add, is on the bench.

Teams: Lyon unchanged

Lyon (4-2-3-1?): Lopes; Gusto, Boateng, Lukeba, Emerson; Mendes, Ndombele; Faivre, Paqueta, Aouar; Dembele.

Subs: Pollersbeck, Da Silva, Denayer, Barcola, Henrique, Dubois, Reine-Adelaide, Barcola, Kadewere, Tete, Toko-Ekambi.

Teams: West Ham as expected

West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Areola; Fredericks, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio.

Subs: Fabianski, Johnson, Coufal, Masuaku, Diop, Alese, Noble, Kral, Perkins, Randolph, Vlasic, Yarmolenko.


Evening everyone and welcome to West Ham’s biggest European game since ... well, I make it 1981. That one didn’t go too well: after storming into the quarter-finals of the Cup-Winners’ Cup, they went and lost 4-1 at home to Dinamo Tbilisi. But that was then, so long ago that one of their regulars was Frank Lampard (Senior). And this is now, when they’ve just seen off Sevilla, who pretty much own the Europa League.

Manchester United, eat your heart out. David Moyes is not only looking down on United in the league table: he’s still in Europe and they’re not. But he won’t be allowing himself much of a gloat because his team face a tricky assignment here. At 538.com, Nate Silver’s prediction machine, West Ham are favoured to make it through this round, but only by 55 per cent to 45.

Lyon waltzed through their group, winning five games and losing none. Last time they came to the UK, in September, they beat the mighty Rangers. They’re erratic in Ligue 1, where they lie ninth, but efficient in the Europa: in the last round, against Porto, they won 1-0 away before drawing 1-1 at home. It could be the loudest night at the London Stadium since the win over Sevilla.

Kick-off is at 8pm, so I’ll be back soon after 7 with the teams.


Tim de Lisle

The GuardianTramp

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