How Xabi Alonso’s Tactical Maneuver Condemned West Ham to Late Defeat in Europa League Quarterfinal First leg


Xabi Alonso is doing an incredible and remarkable job with Bayer Leverkusen who are on a treble-chasing campaign with a rollercoaster domestic and continental run-ins.

Alonso took his managerial ingenuity to distant new levels in the Europa League quarterfinal matchup against West Ham United.

Coming against one of the strongest sides yet to taste defeat this season, West Ham manager David Moyes’ game-plan was simple – settle for the low block by committing more bodies to the defence while hoping to catch out the dominant hosts on counters.

It nearly worked for the English football veteran. They quenched Bayer Leverkusen’s prolific firing arsenal, frustrating their offensives with resilient blocks and curtailing advances into the box.

The first half ended barren – a disappointing result for the home side but a good one for the visitors. The second half was no different. It was the same game-plan. Bayer Leverkusen continued with their dominant performance but could not still break the deadlock.

Closing in on settling for a goalless draw, Xabi Alonso returns to his tactical drawing board. He made two key substitutions that thrashed David Moyes’s game-plan and served the home side the needed goals.

Nigerian striker Victor Boniface was on for Schick while Hoffman came on for Adli. Just seven minutes after coming on, Hoffman got BayArena to erupt with celebration as he broke the dragging goal deadlock to race Bayer Leverkusen into the lead.

Eight minutes after Hoffman’s goal, Victor Boniface found himself on target for the Die Werkself, scoring a minute into added time to double the lead.

Notably, Xabi Alonso’s impact substitutes of Hoffman and Victor Boniface changed the trajectory of the game. The pair recorded three goal contributions in a space of eight minutes after coming on.

Alonso indeed cemented his status as one of the most technically and tactically sound managers with a perfect ability to read the game and proffer solutions.

Bayer Leverkusen will hope to secure the lead when they travel to England for the return leg. They are among the favorites to win the competition following a groundbreaking campaign this season that has seen them record 0 defeats in all competitions.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here