David Moyes insists West Ham still have “half a chance” to reach the Europa League semi-finals despite an agonising 2-0 first-leg defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Hammers defended heroically for 83 minutes of a one-sided encounter against the Bundesliga leaders in Germany.

But late goals from substitutes Jonas Hoffman and Victor Boniface left West Ham with it all to do in next week’s second leg against a team yet to lose a match this season.

Moyes told TNT Sports: “Leverkusen have a good record of scoring late. We were aware of that. We did a great job but we played against a Champions League side and we’re not quite at that level.

“We’re still in the tie and we have half a chance in the second leg.

“We’d like to have played more attacking. The players did a brilliant job with the structure. We got done by two corner kicks. The second one was really poor from our point of view.

“It’s going to take some performance because they’re a really good team. You never know what’s going to happen. Let’s try to get one and then see if we can get two. We’ll pick ourselves up for next week and hopefully get the crowd behind us.

“This team we’re playing will be Champions League next year. We have to recognise what we’re playing against. We’ll have to do exceptionally well to get that result.”

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi made a string of excellent saves to keep the hosts at bay.

The former Poland international, who turns 39 next Thursday, added: “We are very disappointed.

“We worked hard for 80 minutes and then we gave two goals away from set-pieces. Usually defending set-pieces is our strength but you have to give a lot of credit to the opposition because they pushed the whole game.

“The more disappointing thing is that we conceded the second goal. It gives them a bit more confidence. We won’t give up. We have to believe and respond in the second leg.

“I wouldn’t say we ran out of energy. Both teams did their best. In the end the second set-piece felt too easy. It felt like the striker had too much space.

“We have a really good record at home. They’re special magical nights and hopefully the second leg will be the same.”

To make matters worse, West Ham will be without Lucas Paqueta through suspension for the return leg.

Leverkusen’s former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka said: “We knew before the game West Ham would be deep, but we showed one more time we have the quality to beat these teams.

“The second goal helps a lot for the second leg and we’ll have to be focused from the beginning.”

West Ham were breached by two late goals as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Hammers had defended heroically for 83 minutes before goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was finally beaten by substitute Jonas Hoffman.

A one-goal deficit might have given David Moyes’ side hope going into next week’s second leg at the London Stadium, despite facing a side unbeaten all season.

But disaster struck in stoppage time when a second substitute, Victor Boniface, headed home Hofmann’s cross, to leave West Ham’s hopes of a third consecutive European semi-final looking horribly slim.

A yellow card for Lucas Paqueta, ruling the Brazil international out of the second leg, only adds to the task facing the east Londoners.

The Hammers, without injured top scorer Jarrod Bowen and defensive midfield linchpin Edson Alvarez through suspension, were almost undone in the seventh minute when Josip Stanisic’s wayward shot was flicked towards goal by Patrik Schick but the ball went straight to Fabianski.

But Leverkusen were given a warning of West Ham’s prowess on the counter-attack moments later when Michail Antonio outstripped Jonathan Tah on the left wing and produced the best chance of the first half.

The burly frontman squared the ball to Mohammed Kudus, but the Ghana winger’s first-time strike was comfortably held by Matej Kovar.

However, West Ham were largely camped in their own penalty area and Fabianski palmed away Jeremie Frimpong’s curler before Exequiel Palacios’s drive was deflected over.

Paqueta’s over-enthusiastic challenge on Amine Adli earned him his booking – the Brazilian survived a red card check – and provoked a mild skirmish on the touchline.

Fabianski might have suspected he was in for a busy evening and he was proved right, making big saves to keep out dangerous efforts from Alejandro Grimaldo, Shick and Edmond Tapsoba.

Early in the second half Emerson Palmieri was shown a yellow card after catching Adli on the ankle, meaning the left-back will also sit out next week’s return leg.

Frimpong, a former Manchester City youngster, hit a low angled drive straight at Fabianski, before the 38-year-old Pole made a stunning save to tip Shick’s instinctive header over the crossbar.

But with seven minutes remaining Fabianski was powerless to prevent Hoffman’s shot bouncing through a sea of white shirts and into the net after a corner was only half-cleared.

Tomas Soucek cleared two Tah efforts off the line in a desperate finale before Boniface headed the second to leave the Hammers devastated.

Xabi Alonso insists Bayer Levekusen’s focus is solely on West Ham on Thursday night despite a potentially historic weekend on the horizon.

Leverkusen, unbeaten in all 41 of their matches this season, look set to wrap up a first Bundesliga title on Saturday or Sunday.

All they need to do is match Bayern Munich’s result to be confirmed as champions.

Should Bayern lose to Cologne then Leverkusen will be crowned as title winners without having to kick a ball.

Either way, Alonso’s side will claim the title if they beat Werder Bremen at home on Sunday afternoon.

But Leverkusen are still in the hunt for a treble – they are already in the German Cup final – and first up is the Europa League quarter-final first leg against the Hammers.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Alonso said: “We know what West Ham can do. They have experience in Europe, last season they were champions of the Conference League.

“We want to go further and starting tomorrow and then next week in London, we have to play to our own game. We are ready.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Alonso was reportedly among the contenders to replace Jurgen Klopp as Anfield boss.

But the 42-year-old Spaniard has opted to stay at the BayArena, a decision which has thrilled the players according to defender Jeremie Frimpong.

“Everyone has a good feeling,” he said. “We love the coach and we are happy, you see it on the pitch. We simply have this great connection.”

Leverkusen reached the semi-finals of the same competition last season, but were edged out 1-0 on aggregate by Roma.

“When we lost last season in the Europa League semi-final it was difficult, but this season is different, we don’t like losing,” added Frimpong.

“It’s the quarter-finals so we are obviously excited for tomorrow. It’s what football is about, playing against the top teams so we are looking forward to it.”

West Ham have a major doubt over top scorer Jarrod Bowen for the match in Germany, but Leverkusen have also been dealt an injury blow in attack.

They will have to manage without striker Adam Hlozek, who injured his left ankle in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 win away to Union Berlin.

Fans have criticised UEFA’s decision to allocate a “paltry” 50 per cent of tickets for the Europa League final in Dublin to supporters of the two teams involved.

The match in the Irish capital could yet be an all-English affair, with quarter-finalists Liverpool and West Ham on opposite sides of the draw.

Fans’ group Football Supporters Europe welcomed the fact that the 58 per cent allocation to the Champions League finalists at Wembley this summer was the highest in a decade, but called for a rethink for the continent’s second-tier competition finale on May 22.

“Football Supporters Europe (FSE) today shares its serious concern that the finalists’ allocations at the 2024 Europa League Final in Dublin will reach just 50% of the stadium’s total capacity on the day,” a statement from the group read.

“Further, FSE calls on UEFA and the local organisers to do right by the supporters and increase these allocations.

“A paltry 50 per cent of capacity for Europa League finalist clubs is, simply, not good enough and falls well short of FSE’s demand to provide at least 66 per cent of tickets for all European finals to supporters of the teams involved. Fans of competing teams need to be given clear priority over public sale options.

“Based on previous experiences, a higher allocation of tickets for general sale will significantly fuel black market ticket activity, exploiting fans’ loyalty in the process.”

UEFA confirmed on Tuesday morning that each of the finalists for the Europa League will receive 12,000 tickets for the match, where capacity at the Aviva Stadium will be 48,000.

The tickets allocated to the fans of the finalists will be the cheapest on offer at 40 euros (just over £34) each, with general sale tickets starting at 65 euros (£55.70) each.

The two teams reaching the Champions League final will receive 25,000 tickets each for Wembley, with those tickets also the cheapest available at £60.

UEFA has been approached for a response to FSE’s statement.

UEFA’s general secretary Theodore Theodoridis admitted last month that staging the Europa League final in Dublin could prove “extremely challenging” and revealed the 82,000-capacity Croke Park had been reserved as a potential fan zone.

At the time he made those comments, there was still the possibility of a final between Liverpool and Rangers, two clubs with large followings on the island of Ireland, but the Scottish side were knocked out in the last 16 by Benfica.

However, a number of challenging scenarios remain, not least an all-Premier League encounter in what would be Jurgen Klopp’s final match as Liverpool boss should the Reds make it.

What the papers say

West Ham will join Liverpool, Tottenham and AC Milan in the hunt for 26 -year-old Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo, according to the Guardian. The former Manchester City player will be a free agent in summer, but Fulham are hoping to retain his services.

Football Insider says Chelsea are trying to secure the signature of Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams for £43million. The 21-year-old Spain international has scored six goals and had 14 assists for Athletic in all competitions this season.

Former Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos is set to leave Real Madrid for rivals Atletico Madrid as he struggles for game time at the LaLiga leaders, the Sun reports. The 27-year-old Spain midfielder has played just 14 games for the Real Madrid in the league this season, mostly as a substitute.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mohamed Salah: The 31-year-old Liverpool striker is set to be targeted once again by Saudi Pro League clubs this summer with Al Ittihad reportedly set to offer £70million for the Egypt star, Talksport says.

Lucas Paqueta: French media outlet L’Equipe says Manchester City have agreed to terms with the 26-year-old West Ham midfielder.

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil admitted he may face further disciplinary action after confronting referee Tony Harrington following his side’s 2-1 Premier League defeat to West Ham at Molineux.

Wolves were angered when Maximilian Kilman’s goal in the ninth minute of stoppage time was disallowed, something O’Neil described as “possibly the worst decision I’ve ever seen”.

VAR Darren England advised Harrington to check the monitor as Wolves substitute Tawanda Chirewa was stood in front of Lukasz Fabianski in an offside position and deemed to be impeding the West Ham goalkeeper.

Wolves’ protests led to a flurry of yellow cards for those on O’Neil’s bench, and the manager said he walked towards the tunnel because he was aware he is one yellow card away from a touchline ban.

But O’Neil’s attempts to speak to Harrington after the game may yet lead to further problems.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to control my emotions and my feelings,” O’Neil said. “I was in with the referee and it didn’t go too well so I haven’t had an explanation.

“But the explanation is irrelevant anyway because everyone I’ve spoken to, David Moyes, Fabianski, they all can’t believe it’s been given for offside. It’s a terrible decision.”

O’Neil said Harrington shut down their conversation “probably because of the way I asked”, adding that he was “in a fairly bad mood” when he went to the referee’s room.

“I don’t know if it will be reported,” O’Neil added. “If I get told off, so be it. I’ve been told off many times before. I will apologise if I’ve stepped over the line but I can only react on how I feel at that moment.”

West Ham came from behind to win with James Ward-Prowse scoring directly from a corner after Lucas Paqueta’s penalty cancelled out a first-half spot-kick from Pablo Sarabia.

Moyes expressed sympathy for O’Neil but said any player stood where Chirewa had was at risk of being penalised for offside.

Asked if his side had got away with a decision, the Scot said: “I think I’m probably the last man at the moment to say you’re getting away with one. We’ve had so many poor decisions it is unbelievable in recent weeks.

“When I’ve looked at it again, the boy’s definitely standing in front of the goalkeeper…and if that player is not going to try to get back onside then there’s a chance you’ll be called offside.

“But I have to say I felt for Gary because the way I’ve felt the last 2-3 weeks with the decisions we’ve had, I’ve been sitting in a dark room for a week.”

Wolves have disputed several refereeing decisions throughout the season, and O’Neil said his players felt they had been disrespected.

“The players are unbelievably frustrated with the decision-making and officiating,” he said.

“They had a discussion as a group, they don’t feel like they’re being respected by the officials and I’ve talked them down a couple of times from figuring out what they want to do about that.

“I can’t expect them not to this time, I understand how they feel about it, and whatever they decide to do about it is up to them.”

Wolves had deservedly led at the break, but West Ham improved massively after the half-time introduction of Michail Antonio and Ben Johnson.

“I think the two teams changed shirts at half-time,” Moyes said.

But the win may have come at a cost with Jarrod Bowen limping off as Thursday’s Europa League match away to Bayer Leverkusen looms.

“He’s had a knee into his hip, or into his back,” Moyes said. “It’s not a twist but he’s really stiff. I’ve had one or two of those myself and they don’t go away too quickly so we need to hope it doesn’t linger with him.”

James Ward-Prowse scored directly from a corner as West Ham came from behind to win 2-1 at Wolves but only after Jarrod Bowen was injured, days before their Europa League clash against Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Ward-Prowse took advantage of the wind whipping around Molineux to curl in a corner in the 84th minute after Lucas Paqueta’s 72nd-minute penalty had cancelled out a first-half spot-kick from Pablo Sarabia in this Premier League contest.

Wolves captain Maximilian Kilman thought he had levelled in the ninth minute of stoppage time but his header was ruled out for offside after a VAR intervention.

The win puts West Ham level on points with sixth-placed Manchester United in the fight for Europa League places, but their immediate European ambitions may well be hurt after Bowen fell awkwardly at the start of the second half, with the trip to Leverkusen looming on Thursday night.

David Moyes’ side have now taken 19 points from losing positions this season, although this was only West Ham’s third league win of 2024.

The Hammers could and should have taken the lead 11 minutes in through the industry of Bowen, who robbed Nelson Semedo on the byline and threaded a low ball through to Tomas Soucek yards from goal. However, the Czech Republic international could not get the ball out of his feet.

It was a key moment as Wolves went on to dominate the rest of the half. Rayan Ait-Nouri, nominally a left-back but a player who came into the game with three goals in four games after being shifted in a more attacking role, again took on the leading role.

The Algerian went close when he ran almost the length of the pitch to burst into the box, only for Kurt Zouma to slide in as he was about to pull the trigger, before Tommy Doyle brought a save out of veteran goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, again deputising for the injured Alphonse Areola.

The pressure was building and paid off when Doyle’s pass from the left found another excellent run from Ait-Nouri, who was felled by Emerson Palmieri in the box. After a VAR check, Sarabia stepped up to beat Fabianski with a spot-kick that went in off the inside of the right-hand post.

Moyes may well have had one eye on Thursday’s trip to Germany when leaving Michail Antonio on the bench but he took action on the break as the Jamaican came on to make his 300th appearance, joined by Ben Johnson as Soucek and Vladimir Coufal made way.

Minutes after the restart Bowen appeared to injure his hip after a challenge with Gomes, and moments later Wolves lost Ait-Nouri, who hobbled off in the 55th minute to be replaced by Matheus Cunha.

The changes seemed to do more to help West Ham as they finally exerted some pressure. Mohammed Kudus fired over before Ward-Prowse saw a free-kick deflected wide.

The Hammers thought they were level in the 63rd minute when Emerson headed in, but Tony Harrington generously signalled for a foul on Semedo in the build-up.

Wolves were creating their own problems, failing to clear the ball, and would be made to pay in the 72nd minute.

Gomes played the ball back to Toti in a tight space and West Ham whipped it away before Emerson’s cross was blocked by the arm of Kilman, with Paqueta dispatching the penalty after a stuttering run-up.

Johnson tested Sa with a volley and two minutes later, Ward-Prowse’s corner sailed over the goalkeeper and in.

Wolves thought they were level at the end but Harrington was sent to the check the screen by VAR Darren England and Tawanda Chirewa was deemed to be blocking Fabianski as Kilman headed in the corner, to the fury of the home fans.

Ange Postecoglou felt Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at West Ham was a step in the right direction despite dropping more points in the top-four race.

Brennan Johnson’s early strike was cancelled out by a goal from Kurt Zouma as a frantic London derby ended all square.

“I thought for the most part we controlled the game pretty well,” said the Spurs boss.

“They are a big strong team. They sit deep and make it difficult for you. You have to be fairly calm in your approach but also really disciplined because they are a threat from the counter-attack.

“We conceded from a set-piece but the rest of the set-pieces we coped with really well. In the front third we lacked a bit of clarity of thought.

“But they are human beings, it is just football. I would love to have a joystick and put them where I want them, but it doesn’t work like that.

“Sometimes we have more time than we think. There were times when the ball was flashed across the box when we should have been in those areas.

“It is all part of the development. That is why we have coaches, why we develop a system. We are not the finished article and we know that.

“There was enough there tonight for me to say that it is a team still heading in the right direction.”

West Ham should have gone ahead inside four minutes when Mohammed Kudus rolled the ball across goal, but Jarrod Bowen put a simple chance wide.

Just over a minute later they were behind when Tottenham put a carbon copy chance away, Timo Werner crossing for Johnson to sweep home.

The Hammers equalised in bizarre fashion in the 19th minute when Bowen swung in a corner.

With Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario rooted to his line, the unmarked Zouma went up for a header and glanced the ball into the net off his back.

Michail Antonio spurned a glorious chance to put West Ham ahead after half-time when he held off Micky van de Ven to go one on one with Vicario, only to fluff his finish.

Destiny Udogie could have won it for Spurs in stoppage time but drilled his shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski.

“It was probably fair in the end, we did a lot of good things and showed much more resilience in defence tonight,” said Hammers boss David Moyes.

“We looked a threat and had to do a good job to stop a very good Tottenham team.”

Moyes, whose side won 2-1 at Tottenham in December, added: “Overall, if you’re giving me four points off Spurs before the season started, I’d have shaken your hand, walked away and said ‘thanks very much’.”

Tottenham lost more ground in the battle for a top-four finish after they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Ange Postecoglou’s side could have leapfrogged fourth-placed Aston Villa with a win and made the perfect start when Brennan Johnson tapped home early on for his fifth goal of the season.

West Ham, who let a 3-1 lead slip to lose 4-3 at Newcastle last weekend, were able to respond in the 19th minute when Kurt Zouma scored from Jarrod Bowen’s corner and they could have claimed all three points.

While Spurs dominated possession throughout in east London, David Moyes watched Michail Antonio race through on the hour mark but fire straight at Guglielmo Vicario as the capital rivals could not be separated.

A light show followed by a firework display greeted the players onto a soaked London Stadium pitch and Moyes should have seen his team start with a bang.

Only four minutes were on the clock when Mohammed Kudus crossed in for Bowen, but the Hammers’ leading marksman fluffed his lines from a matter of yards.

It would prove costly as Spurs went ahead with their first attack of the match. A neat move ended with Timo Werner bursting past Vladimir Coufal before he squared for the recalled Johnson to tap home in the fifth minute.

It continued Johnson’s purple patch, after his brace of assists against Luton, but also ended a run of six first halves without a goal for Tottenham.

The visitors went close again when a Pedro Porro effort whistled past the post before Son Heung-min curled straight at Lukasz Fabianski, in for the injured Alphonse Areola.

West Ham remained a threat at set-pieces though, after Kudus had an early shot deflected over, and levelled after 19 minutes.

Bowen’s inswinging corner was diverted beyond Vicario by the back of home captain Zouma, who was inexplicably unmarked in the six-yard area.

It got the West Ham fans up on their feet and they almost had another goal to celebrate eight minutes before half-time, but James Ward-Prowse’s 25-yard free-kick was parried away by Vicario.

Spurs had responded well to the hosts’ equaliser. However, they had to survive a set-piece barrage to ensure they came in level at the break.

A sloppy pass by Rodrigo Bentancur gifted West Ham a chance at the start of the second half, but Vicario saved Antonio’s shot before the Italian made an even better stop to keep out Konstantinos Mavropanos’ header.

Antonio’s blushes were spared after he air-kicked the loose ball when the offside flag was raised.

Lucas Paqueta was next to go close for the home side when he spun away from Bentancur and curled wide from 20 yards.

Tottenham did regroup but should have gone 2-1 down on the hour mark.

Maddison wanted a free-kick after he tangled with Paqueta. Referee John Brooks waved play on and Ward-Prowse played through to Antonio, who benefited from a slip by Micky van de Ven but fired straight at Vicario.

It was a gilt-edged chance and Postecoglou reacted by bringing on Pape Sarr and Dejan Kulusevski, which gave the visitors a second wind.

Werner had an effort deflected over before both teams threatened to produce stoppage-time breakaway goals, but Destiny Udogie fired straight at Fabianski and Bowen lobbed off target as the points were shared.

Eddie Howe praised saviour Harvey Barnes after he came off the bench to drag Newcastle from the jaws of defeat to a remarkable Premier League victory over West Ham.

The Magpies were trailing 3-1 at St James’ Park when £38million summer signing Barnes was introduced as a 67th-minute replacement for injured substitute Miguel Almiron and 23 madcap minutes later, he scored the second of two goals to secure a stunning 4-3 win.

Head coach Howe said: “Harvey deserves that. The thing with Harvey is that he’s a goalscorer. He does score goals. You look at his statistics and his record, and it’s incredible really for a wide player.

“You just look at the amount of goals he got last season for Leicester. We felt, signing him, that he could get similar numbers for us. He’s just been struck by injuries, and he’s had a difficult start to his Newcastle career.

“But the quality is undoubtedly there and I thought the two finishes today were typical Harvey. It wasn’t easy to score the first one – although it was a one-on-one, he had a really small part of the goal to aim at and took it brilliantly.

“Then the second one, I hope it will live on for a long time because at 3-3, the ball drops to him on his right foot, but he still has so much to do. It’s a great goal.”

Alexander Isak had fired the Magpies into a sixth-minute lead from the penalty spot, by Michail Antonio’s equaliser and a second from the impressive Mohammed Kudus had the visitors 2-1 ahead at the break.

Jarrod Bowen’s strike three minutes after the restart looked to have won the game, but Isak repeated the dose from the spot with 13 minutes remaining after substitute Kalvin Phillips had tripped Anthony Gordon – who was later sent off for a second bookable offence – to set up a chaotic finish.

Barnes levelled with seven minutes remaining, but saved the best for last when he smashed an unstoppable 90th-minute drive past substitute keeper Lukasz Fabianski to complete the comeback.

Howe said: “It was a brilliant advert for the Premier League, I think, a really good advert for the league in terms of the drama, the changes in the game and the flows in momentum.”

The only down side for Howe was the addition of skipper Jamaal Lascelles, Tino Livramento and Almiron to to an already extensive injury list, while Gordon will be suspended for Tuesday’s clash with former club Everton.

He was at least able to reflect on a spirited fightback and he headed home, in stark contrast to opposite number David Moyes, who had thrown England international Phillips into the mix in an attempt to stem the flow.

Moyes said: “I thought an extra midfield player would give us a bit more control in the middle of the pitch at that time. But obviously it didn’t work.

“At the time, I felt that they were slightly the better team. We were 2-1, we got 3-1 but from that point onwards, we needed to defend well and be stronger and be harder to play against.

“But hey, we scored three, they scored four, we lose the game. We did a lot of good things, certainly going forward. Our attacking play as very good.”

Harvey Barnes came off the bench to fire Newcastle to a remarkable Premier League victory over West Ham as they fought back from two goals down to snatch the points.

The Magpies, who led through Alexander Isak’s sixth-minute penalty, trailed 3-1 with just 13 minutes remaining after Michail Anthony, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen had struck in an incident-packed contest during which referee Rob Jones was at the centre of the action throughout.

However, a second Isak penalty reduced the deficit before Barnes levelled with seven minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish during which he secured a 4-3 win with a stunning 90th-minute strike, before Anthony Gordon was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Eddie Howe’s men, whose injury problems deepened as they lost skipper Jamaal Lascelles, Tino Livramento and substitute Miguel Almiron, were rewarded for their resilience on a chaotic afternoon, but opposite number David Moyes, who was booked as tempers frayed, was scarcely able to believe what he had seen.

Newcastle could hardly have got off to a better start when they were awarded a penalty for Vladimir Coufal’s clumsy challenge on Gordon after the defender’s pass forward had been picked off by Fabian Schar and the former Everton frontman had carved his way into the area.

Jones pointed to the spot, but Isak had to await the outcome of a VAR check for offside against Gordon before sending keeper Alphonse Areola the wrong way from the spot.

Seconds after Lascelles’ premature departure, Michael Antonio fired a warning shot across Newcastle’s bows when he turned Dan Burn, who had been pushed into central defence as Livramento took over at left-back to accommodate substitute Emil Krafth on the right, but fired over with the Hammers looking the more threatening.

They duly forced their way back into the game with 21 minutes gone when Lucas Paqueta picked out Antonio’s run and he drew keeper Martin Dubravka before finishing emphatically.

Gordon fired straight at Areola after cutting inside from the left and then headed wide from Jacob Murphy’s teasing 36th-minute cross, but it was Bruno Guimaraes who went close deep into first-half stoppage time when his curling attempt came back off the crossbar with Areola beaten.

However, the Hammers went ahead in the 10th minute of added time when, with Schar down, Paqueta was allowed to take a quick free-kick to Bowen, who fed Mohammed Kudus to fire past Dubravka amid furious protests from the home side.

Lukasz Fabianski replaced Areola before the restart and saw his side extend their advantage within three minutes when, after Thomas Soucek had got his head to Murphy’s corner, Kudus evaded Schar’s lunge and squared for Bowen to race from halfway and beat Dubravka despite Gordon’s valiant efforts to get back.

Fabianski easily claimed Guimaraes clipped shot and both Isak and Sean Longstaff stabbed horribly wide as the home side sought a way back into the game before the keeper denied Barnes.

However, Newcastle were awarded a second penalty after a VAR check on substitute Kalvin Phillips’ challenge on Gordon and Isak sent Fabianski the wrong way with an identical spot-kick to give his side hope with 13 minutes remaining.

They were level within six minutes when the Sweden international played Barnes through and he fired between Fabianski’s legs, and there was more to come in the final minute of normal time when Gordon, who was later dismissed after kicking the ball away, fed Barnes and he stepped inside before drilling an unstoppable shot beyond Fabianski’s despairing dive.

What the papers say

Arsenal’s quest to find a new striker has been whittled down to a 10-man shortlist, according to the Daily Mirror. Among those being watched by the Gunners are RB Leipzig’s Slovenian Benjamin Sesko, 20, Sporting’s Viktor Gyokeres, 25, and his fellow Sweden international Alexander Isak, 24, at Newcastle.

Another Arsenal target may be out of reach, reports the Daily Express. They have been tracking Dutch winger Xavi Simons, 20, but his parent club Paris St-Germain are keen to give him game time after a loan spell at RB Leipzig.

Liverpool forward Luis Diaz, 27, is still hopeful of a move to Spain. The Daily Mail reports on the Colombia international’s father saying he remains keen on a move to one of La Liga’s top clubs.

Manchester United have strengthening their defence as their main summer priority, according to The Daily Telegraph. Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, 21, is high on their list of targets.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Bruno Guimaraes: Spanish outlet Fichajes says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is “obsessed” by the Newcastle midfielder, 26, who would cost around £85million.

Lucas Paqueta: West Ham expect Manchester City to make another bid for the Brazil midfielder, 26, according to Football Insider.

David Moyes was left exasperated after two more tight VAR handball decisions went against West Ham in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

The Hammers were denied a stoppage-time winner when a five minute 37 second VAR check – the longest in Premier League history – ruled Tomas Soucek had handled the ball before it crossed the line.

They had earlier been denied by another VAR review which ruled the ball had brushed Michail Antonio’s arm when he bundled it into the net.

Moyes also pointed to more handball decisions not given for his side, against Burnley last weekend and Freiburg in the Europa League 10 days ago.

“I’ve got nothing to say on VAR, contact Howard (Webb, referees’ chief) yourself,” was Moyes’ initial terse response.

But he added: “Burnley last week, Freiburg, and now two today have gone against us. It’s hard to take.

“If VAR thinks it’s right it must be right. I think football people see things differently. We’ve had two hit people’s arms in the last week and not one went for us.”

Antonio headed West Ham into a deserved lead after half-an-hour, diving in front of Ezri Konsa to steer Vladimir Coufal’s cross home.

Mohammed Kudus had the ball in the net shortly after but referee Jarred Gillett had already blown for a foul on Emi Martinez.

Antonio thought he had a second when he struck at a corner, but VAR had other ideas.

Villa, much improved in the second half, equalised when Nicolo Zaniolo finished from fellow substitute Moussa Diaby’s cutback.

Then, in the fifth minute of seven added on, Konstantinos Mavropanos, up for a free-kick, scooped the ball towards the net.

In a scene reminiscent of Saturday’s Six Nations, Jarrod Bowen and Soucek were both on the ground trying to force the ball over the line as the Villa rearguard tried to repel them.

After more than five minutes Gillett was beckoned to the pitchside TV screen and decided the Czech midfielder had used an arm, disallowing the goal to a chorus of boos and earning an earful from Moyes after the final whistle.

Villa boss Unai Emery said: “When they scored the plan changed and in the second half we did better than in the first half.

“We created – not clear chances – but we were dominating and playing well. We dominated, scored the goal and tried to win the match. It’s a draw but the result is good for us.

“I’m very happy for Nicolo, hopefully we can keep him in this mood for the rest of the season.”

West Ham were controversially denied a stoppage-time winner by a farcically long VAR decision in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Referee Jarred Gillett and VAR Tony Harrington spent over five minutes agonising over whether a scrappy goal from Konstantinos Mavropanos had hit the arm of Tomas Soucek on its way in.

The replays looked inconclusive, with a post obscuring the view of a sea of arms and legs on the goal-line.

But the goal was eventually ruled out, one of three chalked off for the Hammers, to leave boss David Moyes dismayed.

It meant Nicolo Zaniolo’s goal rescued a point for Villa after Michail Antonio had headed West Ham into a first-half lead.

Moyes stuck with the four-pronged attack which put five past Freiburg in the Europa League on Thursday with Antonio ahead of Lucas Paqueta, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen.

While usually willing to sit back and let the opposition have the ball, West Ham suddenly developed a pressing game – and Villa were rattled.

Paqueta had a shot deflected wide by team-mate Soucek from Bowen’s cutback and Vladimir Coufal’s drive was blocked by Emi Martinez.

The breakthrough came after half-an-hour when Coufal swung in another cross and the diving Antonio got in front of Ezri Konsa to head home his first goal since August.

Kudus had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but Gillett had already blown for a foul on Martinez by Antonio.

West Ham had another goal disallowed, more contentiously, just after the break when Antonio bundled in a Bowen corner.

Martinez, in front of another eccentric South American goalkeeper, Rene Higuita of ‘scorpion kick’ fame, totally missed the ball but VAR Harrington ruled Antonio had put it in with his arm.

Villa began to rally as West Ham’s energy levels dipped, and Alphonse Areola saved a 20-yarder from Youri Tielemans and a stinger through a crowd of bodies from Konsa.

An equaliser looked inevitable and it came after 78 minutes when Tielemans sent Moussa Diaby scampering down the right.

Diaby’s cutback found fellow substitute Zaniolo who arrived in the box right on cue to prod the ball past Areola.

In stoppage time Matty Cash stopped what looked a certain goal for James Ward-Prowse before Mavropanos, up for a corner, scooped the ball into the net.

In a scene reminiscent of Saturday’s Six Nations, Bowen and Soucek tried to force the ball over the line.

Gillett, after more than four minutes, was eventually beckoned to the pitchside TV screen and somehow decided the Czech midfielder had used an arm, disallowing the goal to a chorus of boos and earning an earful from Moyes after the final whistle.

West Ham and Sheffield United reached an out-of-court settlement over the long-running Carlos Tevez affair on this day in 2009.

The Blades had demanded compensation of up to £45million following their relegation from the Premier League in 2007 – a demotion they insisted would not have occurred had Tevez not excelled for the London club.

West Ham had breached rules over third-party ownership when signing Tevez and his fellow Argentina international Javier Mascherano the previous summer.

The pair had arrived at Upton Park in a surprise, headline-grabbing move from Brazilian club Corinthians but it later emerged the rights to the players were partially owned by their agent Kia Joorabchian’s company, Media Sports Investment.

This contravened Premier League regulations and the club were fined a record £5.5million.

This did not go far enough for some clubs, however, who felt the relegation-threatened Hammers should have been deducted points.

The Blades went on to pursue their own claim after it was they, and not West Ham, who went down after a dramatic battle for survival went down to the wire.

Exacerbating the issue for them was the fact that Tevez was outstanding. After a quiet start to the season, the forward burst into life in the run-in. He scored seven goals in the Hammers’ final 10 games of the campaign, including the winner at Manchester United on the last day of the season to clinch survival.

The Yorkshire club were relegated after losing 1-0 to Wigan in their concluding game, a result which – just to add to the theatre – ensured Latics stayed up.

Two years of legal wrangling followed as the Blades sought some form of redress. Final details of the settlement were not revealed at the time but Sheffield United reportedly received a sum of around £20million. This was way below their initial demand but they declared it a “satisfactory settlement”.

“For everyone concerned, the time was right to draw a line under this whole episode,” the clubs said in a joint statement.

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