Hofmann and Boniface give Leverkusen first-leg advantage against West Ham

There is an inevitability to Bayer Leverkusen’s late shows. On a night of dogged, selfless defending, Xabi Alonso’s side maintained their composure, used their bench and took control of this Europa League tie with two goals in the dying stages.

All the statistics favoured the Bundesliga’s champions-elect, the shot count embarrassing, the possession absurd. West Ham fought, David Moyes’s stifling tactics giving them a chance, but the final score was realistic on the balance of play.

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