David Moyes apologised for losing his cool with a ball boy after he was sent off as West Ham missed out on a place in the Europa League final.

Manager Moyes was ordered to the stands late on for kicking a ball thrown by the ball boy as West Ham lost 1-0 on the night to Eintracht Frankfurt and 3-1 on aggregate.

"I kicked a ball back at the ballboy, so I apologise for that, he threw the ball very softly at me," Moyes said on BT Sport.

Television footage of the incident showed an angry Moyes lashing out.

Moyes' team were forced to play most of the match with a numerical disadvantage after Aaron Cresswell's 18th-minute sending off made him the first Englishman to receive a red card in a European semi-final since John Terry for Chelsea against Barcelona in the 2011-12 Champions League.

 

According to Moyes, West Ham have faced better teams than Oliver Glasner's Frankfurt on their European run, but Rafael Borre's first-half goal condemned the Premier League side to a semi-final exit.

Cresswell also became the first English player to be dismissed twice in the same edition of a major European competition, having also seen red in a quarter-final draw against Lyon.

While Moyes said sorry for his own actions, he was unhappy with the decision to dismiss Cresswell, and suggested West Ham's previous knockout opponents Lyon and Sevilla were stronger than Frankfurt.

"[We have] lots of complaints," Moyes told BT Sport after the defeat. "We've enjoyed being in the competition. I don't know if we've enjoyed the officiating, but we have enjoyed the competition. I just feel disappointment, because I think this was a chance. I think we probably played better teams than Frankfurt.

"To be honest, we probably lost the game in the first 30 seconds at the London Stadium, where we conceded a goal [scored by Ansgar Knauff] and we've been chasing the game ever since."

He added, on West Ham TV: "We had a sending-off tonight and I think over the two games, for some reason, a lot of things haven't gone our way.

"But maybe we have to learn a little bit more about officiating in Europe and different things. We've now had two sendings-off in games – one in the quarter-final as well, when we had to play 45 minutes with 10 men.

"Tonight, we had to play the best part of 75 minutes with 10, so the players are brilliant. How they've worked and their resilience to keep going… and actually, I thought they tried to take the game to Frankfurt and had chances."

West Ham travel to relegated Norwich City in the Premier League on Sunday as they aim to secure a top-seven finish.

While West Ham missed the opportunity to reach a first major European final since they lost to Anderlecht in the 1975-76 Cup Winners' Cup trophy match, Frankfurt have now reached their third such occasion, having been European Cup runners-up in 1959-60 and UEFA Cup winners in 1979-80.

Glasner's men will face Rangers in the final in Seville later this month after the Scottish outfit overcame RB Leipzig 3-2 on aggregate.

Eintracht Frankfurt clinched a place in the Europa League final and ended West Ham's dream run as Rafael Borre netted in a 1-0 win over the 10-man visitors.

David Moyes' team had Aaron Cresswell sent off for preventing a clear goalscoring chance early on, before Borre put Oliver Glasner's hosts in front with a neat finish after 26 minutes.

West Ham struggled to create clear-cut chances despite putting in a spirited performance, as their strong European run came to a disappointing end with a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

Despite sitting 11th in the Bundesliga, Frankfurt could end the campaign by securing a major European trophy and a spot in next season's Champions League by winning the May 18 final in Seville.

After a scrappy start, West Ham were dealt a huge blow when Cresswell hauled Jens Hauge down on the edge of the area 18 minutes in, with the VAR advising referee Jesus Manzano to send off the left-back before Filip Kostic drove the resulting free-kick wide.

The hosts needed less than 10 minutes to make their numerical advantage count, as Borre swept a side-footed finish into the bottom-left corner after meeting Ansgar Knauff's cut-back.

The Hammers struggled to assert themselves in a boisterous atmosphere, but almost found a surprise equaliser when Evan Ndicka cleared off the line after Jarrod Bowen's free-kick struck Kurt Zouma at the back post.

Borre hit a left-footed volley into Alphonse Areola's arms immediately after the break, before Craig Dawson headed Michail Antonio's cross straight at Kevin Trapp after an hour.

Moyes was sent off for a touchline outburst as West Ham's European dream slipped away, before Tomas Soucek missed a glaring headed chance in the final minute as the hosts cruised into the final.

What does it mean? Frankfurt build on first-leg triumph for historic semi-final win

Frankfurt's victory saw them reach their first European final since the 1980 UEFA Cup, when they beat Borussia Monchengladbach on away goals after a two-legged 3-3 aggregate draw.

With the win, Glasner's men have also become the first German team to reach finals in both the Europa League and UEFA Cup.

Hammers left deflated after Cresswell red

West Ham's hopes of reaching their first major European final since the 1975-76 Cup Winners' Cup were dealt a monumental blow when Cresswell became the first English player to ever receive two red cards in a single season in a European competition.

Cresswell was also sent off against Lyon in the last round, and is the first English player to be shown red in a European semi-final since Chelsea's John Terry in 2012 (against Barcelona in the Champions League).

Borre continues continental run

As well as recording seven goals and four assists in the Bundesliga this season, Borre has been in inspired form in Frankfurt's Europa League knockout games.

His composed finish means he has either scored (two) or assisted (one) three of Frankfurt's last five Europa League goals.

What's next? 

Frankfurt host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Sunday, while West Ham must turn their attentions back to securing European football for next season when they travel to Norwich City in the Premier League on the same day.

Tanguy Ndombele was on target as Lyon held 10-man West Ham United to a 1-1 draw in their Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Ndombele – on loan from Tottenham – opened his account for the Ligue 1 side; equalising midway through the second half at the London Stadium on Thursday.

Jarrod Bowen had broken the deadlock early in the second half as David Moyes' side capitalised on sloppy defending by the visitors.

The Hammers played the entire second period with 10 men after Aaron Cresswell was controversially shown a straight red card just before the break.

Unbeaten in six European matches against English opposition, including their elimination of Manchester City in the 2019-20 Champions League quarter-finals, Lyon had the first sight on goal after 10 minutes.

The in-form Moussa Dembele lost Declan Rice at the near post, but was unable to direct Lucas Paqueta's inviting cross towards the target.

Said Benrahma latched onto Craig Dawson's long ball over the top of the defence at the other end before he was denied by Antony Lopes from a tight angle.

The Hammers suffered a big blow when they were reduced to 10 men just before half-time; Cresswell shown a straight red card after dragging back Dembele when he was deemed to be the last defender.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts took the lead seven minutes after the restart. Pablo Fornals won possession high up the field and after a couple of fortunate ricochets, Bowen's goal=bound effort deflected up and over Lopes via Jerome Boateng.

Lyon responded 14 minutes later as Ndombele tucked away after the Hammers failed to deal with Tete’s initial cross – leaving the tie finely poised heading into the second leg at the Groupama Stadium next week.

West Ham manager David Moyes is refusing to get carried away with his side's perfect start to the Europa League and insists his goal remains qualifying for the knockout stages.

The Hammers made it three wins from three games in Group H after defeating Belgian club Genk 3-0 at home on Thursday, following victories over Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna.

West Ham are only the second English side to win each of their first three group games in a single Europa League campaign without conceding a goal, alongside Tottenham in 2013-14.

The last team from any nation to achieve this was Sevilla who eventually won the competition in 2019-20 but Moyes would not be drawn on any comparisons.

"I'm keeping relatively calm because we've got to go to Genk away and Vienna away," Moyes during his post-game news conference. "I'm not going to take anything for granted.

"I said I want to be in Europe after Christmas. That's my plan for this year. We need another couple of points to qualify, not to win the group but if we can get that it would be a great start.

"The players have done a brilliant job. They really have. We've not won any of them easily. They've all been tough. The games have been close, even though we've been the better team in all three of the games. We've got to keep working to get those extra points to make sure we qualify."

West Ham's first two goals against Genk came from set pieces, with Craig Dawson and Issa Diop heading home from Aaron Cresswell's free-kicks.

Cresswell has assisted eight goals from dead-ball situations in all competitions since the start of the season, more than any other Premier League player.

Dawson has netted five goals in all club competitions this calendar year, which is equal best for any Premier League defender along with Manchester City's John Stones.

Angelo Ogbonna nodded in the winner from a Jarrod Bowen set-piece in Sunday's Premier League win over Everton too.

"It may be more effective in European football," Moyes said when asked about his side's set-piece threat. "The Premier League has got a lot of strong defences, and attackers who can defend set-pieces.

"Up until Everton, I’m not sure we had scored this season from a set-piece, so it is not as if we have been doing it every game but thankfully we got the winning goal at Everton and tonight as well.

"Craig Dawson is excellent at it, Issa Diop gets a goal tonight from it as well. Our centre-halves are the players on top scoring goals at the moment so I am happy with that and long may that continue."

Is it time to ring the changes after a poor start or stick with the players who got you off to a flying start?

If you picked Bruno Fernandes for the opening round of Premier League fixtures, the Manchester United midfielder delivered with interest as he scored a stunning hat-trick against Leeds United.

Whether your team is sitting pretty or languishing in the lower reaches of the league, you have no doubt spent this week pondering potential selections.

Using Opta data, here are Stats Perform's Fantasy Picks that can rack up the points.

 

EDOUARD MENDY (Arsenal v Chelsea)

Edouard Mendy started the campaign with a clean sheet as Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The European champions face another London derby at Arsenal on Sunday and Mendy can ensure the Gunners fire a blank.

Since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January, Mendy has kept more clean sheets than any other top-flight goalkeeper with 10. His clean sheet record of 53 per cent from 32 matches is the best in Premier League history for those who have played at least 10 games.

 

KIERAN TIERNEY (Arsenal v Chelsea)

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by newly promoted Brentford in the first game of the campaign.

Mikel Arteta could have no complaints over Kieran Tierney's performance, with the marauding full-back creating six chances.

That was more than any other player in the opening round of fixtures and he can pose questions of the Chelsea defence in the London derby.

 

AARON CRESSWELL (West Ham v Leicester City)

West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell made a great start to the campaign and scored in a 4-2 victory at Newcastle United.

Cresswell has played a big part in the Hammers' success under David Moyes and is definitely one to consider picking for their home clash with Leicester City.

Since the start of last season, Cresswell has provided more assists (eight) than any other defender in the competition. No player has been involved in more goals than his tally of nine.

 

JOE WILLOCK (Aston Villa v Newcastle United)

Newcastle fans were delighted when Joe Willock returned to the club from Arsenal on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell last season.

Willock was not involved in a home loss to the Hammers, but can hit the ground running at Aston Villa.

The midfielder could become only the fourth player to score in eight consecutive Premier League games after ending last season in sensational form.

 

KEVIN DE BRUYNE (Manchester City v Norwich City)

Midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne was restricted to a late substitute appearance as champions Manchester City were beaten at Tottenham last weekend.

Norwich City will be hoping the Belgium playmaker plays a limited role again, as he can cause all sorts of trouble if Pep Guardiola unleashes him from the start.

De Bruyne has been involved in five goals in four games against the Canaries, scoring three and setting up two. He has scored four and assisted seven in his past eight appearances versus newly promoted teams.

KELECHI IHEANACHO (West Ham v Leicester City)

Striker Kelechi Iheanacho was another player who started the Premier League as a substitute but he can make a big impact at West Ham.

He has been involved in four goals in his past four appearances against the Hammers, netting three times and providing an assist.

Iheanacho has enjoyed capital gains, scoring in his last three appearances in London.

 

ROBERTO FIRMINO (Liverpool v Burnley)

Brazil striker Roberto Firmino was on target in Liverpool's comfortable opening-day win at Norwich.

He has fond memories of coming up against Burnley, scoring five times and setting up a goal in his past six appearances versus the Clarets.

Firmino opened the scoring in a 3-0 victory at Turf Moor when the two sides last met in May and can strike again at Anfield.

It all comes down to this.

Whether you're flying high at the top of your local leagues, battling for the top 100 nationally or just desperate not to lose face with friends, matchday 38 of the Premier League is a decisive moment for fantasy football players the world over.

Amid last-minute transfers, wildcards and triple-captaincies, it can be difficult to find true value in selections that could give you the edge over your rivals.

That's where we come in.

Using Opta data, we have compiled a final selection of seven recommended players to draft in for this most dramatic of weekends...

 

MARTIN DUBRAVKA

If you were considering a Newcastle United goalkeeper but just didn't have the guts previously, now is the time to be bold.

Martin Dubravka kept his first clean sheet of the season last time out as the Magpies beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Next up, they face another relegated side in Fulham, who have scored a league-low nine goals at home in the whole of 2020-21 – and only one since February.

 

AARON CRESSWELL

West Ham's unlikely quest for Europe looks set to end in success, and Aaron Cresswell has played no small part.

The full-back has recorded eight assists this season, the most of any defender in the division. The last time a West Ham player assisted more was when Dimitri Payet set up 12 goals in 2015-16.

The Hammers conclude their campaign at home to Southampton, who haven't beaten David Moyes' side in their most recent six attempts.

STUART DALLAS

Only Patrick Bamford (16) has scored more league goals for Leeds United this season than Stuart Dallas (eight).

On Sunday, Marcelo Bielsa's men host West Brom, who have the leakiest defence in the whole of the division, conceding 73 times in 37 matches.

Leeds are also unbeaten in four against the Baggies, winning three of those games by 10-0 on aggregate, while they have not lost a league game at home to this weekend's visitors since January 2007.

JESSE LINGARD

Part of the reason Jesse Lingard found getting regular football tricky at Manchester United was the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, so it's fitting he should be chasing a record held by the Portugal star.

Last season, Fernandes set a Premier League best by registering 15 goal involvements (eight scored, seven assisted) despite not appearing in the competition until as late as February.

Lingard, who made his Hammers debut on February 3, has recorded nine goals and four assists for Moyes' men, a tally bettered only by Kelechi Iheanacho (12 goals, two assists) over the same time frame. Two more direct goal involvements against Southampton would see Lingard match Fernandes' exploits in 2020.

 

JOE WILLOCK

With his midweek winner for Newcastle against Sheffield United, Joe Willock became the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League appearances.

Remarkably, the Arsenal loanee – who is being tipped for a permanent move to the Magpies – has the best minutes-per-goal rate (127) of any Newcastle player in the league this season with at least three goals.

Should he net against Fulham, Willock will become only the second player for the club to score in seven Premier League games in a row, after Alan Shearer in 1996.

HARRY KANE

Whether he stays at Tottenham or not, Harry Kane will be eager to get on the scoresheet at Leicester and boost his chances of claiming the Golden Boot.

His record against the Foxes is promising. Kane has managed 14 goals in 11 Premier League meetings with the team now bossed by Brendan Rodgers, more than he has scored against any other opposition. Those goals have come at an average of one every 65 minutes.

He has hit seven of those at the King Power Stadium, including four in one game in May 2017.

 

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE

Could Liverpool's top-four hopes be dashed by a former Reds player?

Christian Benteke has scored 10 league goals this term, his first double-figure return since he got 15 in 2016-17.

That season's haul included a double away to Liverpool in April and, throughout his career, Benteke has enjoyed facing his old employers: only Andy Cole (eight) has scored more Premier League goals as a visiting player at Anfield than Benteke (five in four games).

All eyes will be on Emirates Stadium on Sunday when Tottenham chase a first league double over Arsenal in the north London derby since 1992-93.

Premier League leaders Manchester City are also in the capital, giving struggling Fulham a tough task at Craven Cottage in Saturday's late kick-off.

The most intriguing tactical battle of the weekend could come at Elland Road, where Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United host Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea, while West Ham are likely to face a thorough examination of their top-four ambitions at Manchester United.

Here, we give a few pointers on which players could come up trumps in fantasy football terms.

DEAN HENDERSON

England goalkeeper Henderson has not played too frequently since opting to make a go of things with parent club Manchester United.

But when he has featured for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, the 24-year-old has generally impressed, even if his midweek outing against Milan in the Europa League contained an unwanted sting in the tail.

If David de Gea is absent once more against West Ham, Henderson's 19 saves from 22 shots faced in the Premier League this season suggests the United goal is in safe hands. His save percentage of 86.4 is the best of any goalkeeper to have played more than one game this season.

AARON CRESSWELL

Given the dearth of natural left-back options available to England manager Gareth Southgate, a strong season at West Ham for Cresswell could turn out to have been perfectly timed.

The full-back is also a threat in opposition territory, with his seven assists more than any other defender in the division. It is a left-back dominated list, with Lucas Digne up next on six from Andy Robertson, Luke Shaw (both five) and Southgate's first choice Ben Chilwell (four).

Seven assists also matches the most productive season of Cresswell's career in that regard, having provided the same number in 2017-18.

CESAR AZPILICUETA

Tuchel has overseen a defensive transformation since taking over from Frank Lampard, tightening up an unhelpfully leaky backline.

Club captain Azpilicueta has been a pillar of this turnaround. His eight clean sheets are the most for any Premier League defender in 2021.

Azpilicueta is one ahead of rejuvenated club-mate Antonio Rudiger, while Manchester City centre-backs John Stones and Ruben Dias and Manchester United duo Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka similarly have seven apiece.

WILFRIED ZAHA

Relegation-haunted West Brom would be forgiven for dreading the sight of Crystal Palace winger Zaha.

In his past four outings against the Baggies, the Ivory Coast international has scored four times.

That run includes a second-half brace from when Palace hammered the Baggies 5-1 at The Hawthorns in December – a result that would prove influential in Slaven Bilic's sacking later that month.

RAHEEM STERLING

England forward Sterling sat out City's 5-2 win over Southampton in midweek after his latest disappointment in the derby against United.

His native London is a far happier hunting ground, with the 26-year-old amassing 16 goal involvements (10 goals and six assists) in his previous 16 Premier League starts in the English capital.

Sterling continued that streak last time out at Emirates Stadium, heading the only goal early on in a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

GARETH BALE

This weekend, another wide forward on a hot streak will be foremost in Arsenal's thoughts.

A revitalised Bale scored twice in a 4-1 win over Palace last weekend, meaning he has had a hand in six goals in his past four top-flight appearances (four goals and two assists).

And, if you believe the form book stays on this side of the window on derby day, the Wales star has five Premier League goals against Arsenal – more than against any other side in his career.

DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN

As the battle for a top-four finish hots up, sides in the chasing pack will need players to weigh in with 'heavy' goals.

Thankfully for Everton, no player's goals in the Premier League this season have been worth more in terms of points gained than Calvert-Lewin's.

The centre-forward, who was rewarded with an England breakthrough following a sensational start to the campaign, has netted 13 times in the league this season – strikes that have won a total of 14 points.

Burnley, this weekend's visitors to Goodison Park, could be the next team to add to his tally.

Manchester City are five points clear at the top of the Premier League after their demolition of defending champions Liverpool last time out.

With Guardiola getting the better of one managerial rival already this term in Jurgen Klopp, City's focus now switches to a clash with Jose Mourinho's Tottenham.

Key to City's superb form has been Ilkay Gundogan, who has scored nine goals this season in the league, three more than his previous best of six from 2018-19.

Given he scored twice at Anfield – while also missing a penalty – it would seem a smart decision for fantasy football managers to back Gundogan again this weekend, though which other players should make the cut?

ROBERT SANCHEZ

Another team in fine form as of late have been Brighton and Hove Albion, who have conceded just one goal in their last five top-flight matches, with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez certainly playing his part.

Sanchez ousted Mat Ryan – now on loan at Arsenal – as first choice earlier in the season, and of all goalkeepers to have played at least 10 Premier League games this season, only Ederson (one every 145 minutes) and Edouard Mendy (114 minutes) have a better minutes-per-goal conceded rate than Sanchez (one every 98 minutes). He has played 12 times, conceding 11 goals.

MATT TARGETT

Going up against Brighton this weekend are Aston Villa, and one defender to look out for could be Matt Targett.

Brighton have not scored more than once in a league match since a 3-3 draw with Wolves on January 2, and Villa left-back Targett has been involved in 11 clean sheets this season – more than any other Premier League defender apart from Ruben Dias.

AARON CRESSWELL

If you are looking for a more attacking option, however, then that player may well be West Ham's Aaron Cresswell.

The full-back has registered five league assists this season, second to only Everton's Lucas Digne (six) in terms of defenders, while only Liverpool's Andrew Robertson (38) and Manchester United's Luke Shaw (36) can better his tally of 34 chances created by a defender.

ILKAY GUNDOGAN

In Kevin De Bruyne's absence, Gundogan has come to the fore for Guardiola's team, and the former Borussia Dortmund man is the highest scorer in the Premier League so far in 2021 with seven goals in eight games.

The German's previous seven goals in the competition came over a period of 62 games, dating back to 2018.

JACK GREALISH

With Brighton's Sanchez in such fine form for Brighton, it could be a tough decision for fantasy managers, especially with Jack Grealish being so prominent in Villa's attack.

Grealish, arguably the league's player of the season so far, has been directly involved in five goals in his last five appearances against Brighton in all competitions (four goals, one assist), scoring in his last two games at the Amex.

PATRICK BAMFORD

Leeds United returned to winning ways as they saw off Crystal Palace 2-0 on Monday, with a trip to Arsenal up next on Sunday.

Patrick Bamford scored Leeds' second at Elland Road against Palace, and he has been involved in five goals in his last three Premier League games, netting twice and providing three assists. Eight of his 12 Premier League goals this season have been away from home (67 per cent).

MARCUS RASHFORD

Another forward who has thrived on the road in 2020-21 is Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.

He has netted eight times in the Premier League this season, with six of those goals – 75 per cent – having come away from Old Trafford. The England international has never scored more in a single campaign on the road.

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