tWest Ham United's Rainer David Moyes named substitutes and coaches Bayer Leverkusen after His team lost 2-0 in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals clearly criticized. “The bank was a shame. “The entire bench ran onto the field,” said the 60-year-old coach.

Moyes specifically referred to a scene in the first half. West Ham professional Lucas Paquetá had Leverkusen Amine Adli made a serious mistake in the band. Then numerous players quarreled. Paquetá received a yellow card and is suspended for the second leg. “I don't think we would behave like that and we would all jump off the bench. “They shouldn't have reacted like that,” Moyes said. The West Ham manager, however, praised Leverkusen's football: “We played against a team that is at Champions League level,” said Moyes. “They're a really good team.”

“Have the right”

Asked about the Scot's statements, the Leverkusen coach stated Xabi Alonso: “It was a foul, there was a yellow card. It was deserved. We all get up. We have the right to do it.” The Basque also stated: “I respect David, but it was the referee's right decision to show the yellow card. “We focus on ourselves and don’t pay attention to the other bank.”

Immediately after the final whistle, Leverkusen's eyes turned to what could be a historic weekend. “I got goosebumps,” said the Joker's scorer Jonas Hoffmann to the master songs of the Nordkurve. On Sunday “tears may flow, so let your emotions run free.”

In the home match against Werder Bremen (5:30 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga (and on DAZN) the Werkself can become German champions for the first time in the club's history with six games left: “We know we can make history. For the club, for the fans, for ourselves,” said the midfielder. Granite Xhaka: “We will do everything possible to close the bag.”

“There is a lot of expectation”

If on Thursday of next week (9:00 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Europa League and on RTL) the second leg against West Ham is approaching, Bayer could advance to the semi-finals as German champions. “The anticipation is great. It couldn't be bigger,” said successful coach Alonso about the match against Bremen: “If we win, we will be champions. We have to accelerate fully. “We have 90 minutes to achieve something very special.”

Leverkusen's victory over West Ham and the surprising Liverpool's defeat against Atalanta Bergamo increased German football's chances of securing an additional Champions League title spot for next season.

The Bundesliga overtook the English Premier League from second place in the current season's UEFA rankings, but it remains a close race. Behind Italy (18,428), Germany now has 16,786 points. England follows closely with 16,750 points.

Starting next season, 36 participants will start in the premier category instead of the previous 32. Two of the four new places will be awarded to the nations with the best results in international competitions this season.