Bayer Leverkusen sub Jeremie Frimpong (c.) celebrates his record-breaking equaliser at West Ham. - © Richard Heathcote
Bayer Leverkusen sub Jeremie Frimpong (c.) celebrates his record-breaking equaliser at West Ham. - © Richard Heathcote

Bayer Leverkusen break European unbeaten record on way to UEFA Europa League semi-finals


Bayer Leverkusen made it an unprecedented 44 games without loss as they booked their place in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the expense of West Ham.

West Ham 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Leverkusen win 3-1 on agg.)
Goals: 1-0 
Antonio 13' (assist: Bowen), 1-1 Frimpong 89' (assist: Stanišić)

Xabi Alonso said there'd be no title-winning hangover in London, but Leverkusen were far from their lofty best in a nervy first half. Other than a swerving Nathan Tella effort that forced Łukasz Fabiański into a diving save, the freshly crowned Bundesliga champions found themselves on the back-foot, with their aggregate lead cut in half in the 13th minute through Michail Antonio's brave header. Matěj Kovář thwarted Mohammed Kudus moments later, before pulling off a quite brilliant point-blank stop to prevent Jarrod Bowen's half-volley from levelling the tie. Alonso responded by hooking the carded Odilon Kossounou, but Leverkusen continued to falter as Antonio went within a whisker of converting Bowen's teasing cross. Kovář and Co. survived a goalmouth scramble on the stroke of half-time, with Bayer fortunate to still be ahead in the two-legged contest.

Alonso shuffled his pack once more at the break as Victor Boniface - on target from the bench in the first leg - and Jeremie Frimpong replaced Patrik Schick and Tella respectively. Frimpong was quick to inject some purpose into proceedings with a driving run and cross for Florian Wirtz, who was unable to land his first-time effort on target. Frimpong was at it again with 66 minutes gone, but Fabiański adjusted his feet in time to push the flying Dutchman's cross-shot behind. Frimpong blazed over when one-on-one with the goalkeeper as Leverkusen took complete charge, before making amends with a deflected equaliser that extends this relentless Leverkusen team's unbeaten run to a European record 44 competitive games. Italian outfit Roma, who beat Bayer in last season's semi-finals, now stand in their way of a place in the final.

Match stats

  • Bayer broke Juventus' 43-game unbeaten record, set between May 2011 and May 2012, with the draw. Forty-four is the new gold standard among clubs in Europe's top five leagues per UEFA coefficient.
  • Alonso's side are the third German team to reach the last four in UEFA competition this season, after UCL semi-finalists Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
  • Bochum were the last team to beat Bayer, on the final day of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season.
  • Alonso's team have racked up 124 goals this season, only failing to score once in 44 competitive fixtures.
  • All eight of Leverkusen's goals in the Europa League knockout rounds this term have come after the 70th minute.


West Ham: Fabiański - Coufal (Johnson 84'), Zouma (c), Aguerd (Ogbonna 45'+2), Cresswell - Ward-Prowse, Souček, Álvarez (Cornet 84') - Bowen, Antonio, Kudus
Unused subs:
Anang, Knightbridge, Ings, Casey, Mubama, Swyer, Orford
Out: Aréola (groin), Emerson (suspended), Mavropanos (knock), Paquetá (suspended), Phillips (knee)
David Moyes

Leverkusen: Kovář - Stanišić, Kossounou (Tapsoba 29'), Tah (c), Hincapié - Tella (Frimpong 46'), Xhaka, Palacios, Grimaldo (Adli 68') - Wirtz (Andrich 87') - Schick (Boniface 46')
Unused subs: Hrádecký, Lomb, Hofmann, Arthur, Puerta, Izekor
Out: Hložek (ankle), Iglesias (unconfirmed), Mbamba (ineligible)
Xabi Alonso

As it happened!

1 - 1

(1 - 0)

West Ham
Europa League
Quarter-final, 2nd leg
Quarter-final, 2nd leg London Stadium
+ 5

Full-time: West Ham 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen are through to the final four of the UEFA Europa League! The hosts were fantastic in the first half and led thanks to Michail Antonio, but Die Werkself controlled the game after the break and ultimately deserved their equaliser, which came through Jeremie Frimpong. Not only do Leverkusen progress, they are now 44 games unbeaten in a row in all competitions, a new record across Europe's top five league!
+ 4

Boniface over

The Nigerian has an opportunity to complete the comeback on the night, but he can't keep his strike down in the area.

Leverkusen level!

A huge goal for Leverkusen, who are now on the brink of the last four!! It is a bit fortunate, but Frimpong will not care as his effort deflects off Cresswell and into the corner.
Jeremie Frimpong

Frimpong over!

An incredible opportunity for Leverkusen is wasted as, one-on-one with Fabiański, the Netherlands international shoots over!

Wirtz effort behind

A deflected strike from the number 10 goes out for a corner.

10 minutes to hold on

The unbeaten run will be an afterthought for Leverkusen right now - the most important thing is making sure they get through to the next round.


Both teams are giving everything.

Frimpong denied

A cheeky cross-cum-cross almost sneaks inside the near post, but Fabiański pushes it behind instead.

Bowen shot

Bowen nicks the ball from Hincapié and looks to beat Kovář, but drags it across the face of goal instead.

Getting a foothold

Leverkusen are starting to enjoy more possession in dangerous areas.

Wirtz over

One of the first occasions on which Die Werkself have threatened tonight. The youngster can't keep his first-time shot down, but that is positive from Leverkusen.

Back underway

Work to do for Leverkusen here to keep their unbeaten record intact and also progress.
+ 5

Half-time: West Ham 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

The hosts have their noses in front at the break! Michail Antonio's strike is the difference between the two at the moment, although it could have been more if not for Matěj Kovář between the sticks. Xabi Alonso will not be best pleased with what he has seen so far, and will be expecting a big improvement at the interval. As it stands, though, his side are at least going through to the semi-finals thanks to their 2-0 first-leg triumph.
+ 2



Kovář saves

A comparatively easy one for the Czech, as he collects Coufal's attempt. Still, Leverkusen are under pressure here.

Not business as usual

Alonso will not be too pleased with what he has seen from his side so far.

Lull in proceedings

After an intense opening 30 minutes, the sting has left the game a little - probably not for long, though, with so much on the line.

An early change

Kossounou has not had the best night, and he is replaced by Tapsoba as Alonso looks to give his side more composure.

Álvarez over

This effort is well over the bar, giving Leverkusen some time to breathe.

Stunning Kovář stop!

The goalkeeper is earning his wages tonight, thwarting Bowen at the back post with his feet. That was a crucial intervention.

Another Antonio effort

Die Werkself are struggling to deal with Antonio, whose header on this occasion lacks the power to beat Kovář.

Kovář keeps out Kudus

Another opportunity for West Ham, as Mohamed Kudus' deflected shot almost wrong-foots Kovář. However, he does well to grasp the ball and end the threat - for now.

Wake-up call

Xabi Alonso will be hoping that strike kicks his team into gear.

Hosts in front!

First blood to the Hammers, as Antonio flicks Bowen's header over Matěj Kovář.

Tella denied!

A huge leap from Fabiański keeps out Tella's stinging drive. That was the game's first shot on target

Kossounou booked

A very early yellow card for the central defender - he will have to extra disciplined for the rest of the match now.

Strong traveling contingent

The Leverkusen fans are here in numbers tonight!

And we're off!

Underway here in London!

Teams are in the tunnel

What an atmosphere!

Under 30 minutes to go!

Kick-off is not too far away!

London Stadium is ready

West Ham's home ground is all set for this huge encounter!

Another record on the cards?

Should Leverkusen avoid defeat tonight, they will surpass Juventus' record for the most consecutive unbeaten games in all competitions amongst teams in Europe's top-five leagues. Between May 2011 and May 2012, the Old Lady went 43 matches without a loss.

More on those teams

Alonso makes six changes to the team that started the title-clinching win over Bremen. Josip Stanišić, Exequiel Palacios, Álex Grimaldo, Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick are all rotated back in, with Matěj Kovář in goal for Lukáš Hrádecký as he has been in all cup competitions this season. Jeremie Frimpong and Victor Boniface are among the players on a bench rich in quality. As for West Ham, forward Jarrod Bowen is back, but Kostas Mavropanos, Emerson and Lucas Paquetá are all unavailable.

Leverkusen starting line-up

Kovář - Stanišić, Kossounou, Tah (c), Hincapié - Tella, Xhaka, Palacios, Grimaldo - Wirtz - Schick

Leverkusen subs

Hrádecký, Lomb, Hofmann, Andrich, Tapsoba, Arthur, Adli, Boniface, Frimpong, Puerta, Izekor

West Ham starting line-up

Fabiański - Coufal, Zouma (c), Aguerd, Cresswell - Ward-Prowse, Souček, Álvarez - Bowen, Antonio, Kudus

West Ham subs

Anang, Knightbridge, Johnson, Cornet, Ings, Ogbonna, Casey, Mubama, Swyer, Orford

Bundesliga hat-trick?

Bayern and Dortmund are already through to the Champions League semis, with Leverkusen out to make it a trio of German clubs in the last four of UEFA competition. That would only be good news for the country's co-efficient ranking, and the Bundesliga's prospects of having a fifth team in the Champions League group stage next term. Click here for more...

Watch: Werkself fans celebrate title

What a moment it was for Leverkusen's supporters this past weekend. Will they be painting the English capital black and red tonight?

Watch: Leverkusen - champions at last!

It's been a long time coming, but Bayer have ended the 'Neverkusen' curse once and for all to claim the 2023/24 Bundesliga title in some style.

Hangover? What hangover?

Sorry, West Ham fans - but Leverkusen didn't party too hard after lifting their first Bundesliga title on Sunday. They're determined to finish the job and uphold their proud unbeaten run.

Watch: Vote for your Bundesliga team of the season!

Pick your best XI from our list of 40 nominees - including Leverkusen's Lukáš Hrádecký, Álex Grimaldo, Jeremie Frimpong, Jonathan Tah, Granit Xhaka, Exequiel Palacios, Florian Wirtz and Victor Boniface - to win exclusive prizes! Click here to cast your vote!

Four times in final four

Fresh from making history with their first-ever Bundesliga win, Leverkusen are aiming to make the semi-finals of a European competition for the fifth time - following the 1987/88 UEFA Cup (which they won), the 1994/95 UEFA Cup, the 2001/02 Champions League (beaten finalists) and last season's Europa League.

David Moyes on Leverkusen

The West Ham coach said on the Bundesliga champions: "It's a huge achievement to win the league, so well done to them. Let's hope that they've had a few of those big German beers. I believe we're playing against one of the best teams in Europe at the moment. We know we have to do a good job on them if we can. It's the same when you play any big team - you have to find ways of getting results."

Watch: For the love of Leverkusen

The Leverkusen fans will descend on the English capital in fine spirits, after seeing the class of 2023/24 shake the 'Neverkusen' tag once and for all.

Personnel latest

Álex Grimaldo, Jeremie Frimpong, Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick are set to be recalled to the starting line-up, after beginning the title-winning procession against Bremen on the bench. Matěj Kovář will start in goal, as he has in the DFB Cup and Europa League throughout the season.

Hammers wobbling

While Leverkusen were busy painting the town black and red, West Ham were licking their wounds following a 2-0 London derby loss at home to Fulham. David Moyes' team have now won just one of six competitive fixtures since beating Freiburg 5-0 in their Europa League last 16 second leg.

Watch: Xabi Alonso calls for more titles

Bundesliga? Check! DFB Cup? A final against Bundesliga 2's Kaiserslautern awaits on 25 May. Europa League? Loading. Xabi Alonso wants the lot!

Watch: Leverkusen 5-0 Werder Bremen - highlights

Leverkusen claimed their first ever Bundesliga title on Sunday. They did so in style, thrashing Bremen 5-0 to give them an unassailable 16-point lead over Bayern Munich, with five games left of the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign.

What Leverkusen need

Leverkusen laid siege to the West Ham goal in the first leg, before late goals from substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface put them in complete charge of the tie. As long as they avoid defeat - something they've managed to do in 43 games this season - Die Werkself will be through. West Ham need to win by two clear goals just to force extra-time...


Freshly minted Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen have a foot in the door of this season's UEFA Europa League semi-finals. Will they finish the job in London? Jon us to find out!

First-leg report

Late strikes from Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface gave Bayer Leverkusen a crucial 2-0 victory in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League tie against West Ham at the BayArena.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 West Ham
Goals: 1-0
Hofmann 83', 2-0 Boniface 90'+1 (assist: Hofmann)

Die Werkself need just one more win to secure their status as Bundesliga champions, but their quest for European glory will be more challenging. Next up on their Europa League journey were West Ham, last season's UEFA Europa Conference League victors, and David Moyes' side proved to be difficult opponents in the first half. The Hammers were clearly happy to sit back and soak up the pressure, but they had the match's first real opportunity through Mohamed Kudus, who really should have done better with a tame effort that ultimately left Matěj Kovář with an easy save. Despite dominating possession from start to finish, clear-cut opportunities were at a premium for Leverkusen prior to the interval, although Łukasz Fabiański produced fine stops to deny Amine Adli and Patrik Schick, while the Pole got down well to keep out Edmond Tapsoba's strike from distance.

It was more of the same in the second period, as West Ham continued to frustrate a Leverkusen outfit that moved the ball around the pitch well without making any serious inroads. It wasn't until around the 70-minute mark that Fabiański was next tested, tipping Schick's close-range header over the crossbar. In an attempt to give his side extra impetus, Xabi Alonso introduced Boniface from the substitutes bench, and the Nigerian's through ball for fellow replacement Hofmann was almost inch-perfect - instead, it was slightly overhit and cleared to safety by Fabiański. By this point, West Ham forays forward were effectively non-exist, and eventually, the visitors' solid rearguard was breached. Moyes' side were unable to fully clear a corner, and when the ball arrived to him on the volley, Hofmann made no mistake as he found the bottom corner. Then, Boniface put Leverkusen in cruise control of the tie when he headed Hofmann's delicious cross into the bottom corner, giving his side a considerable advantage ahead of the second leg at the London Stadium next week.