West Ham star Michail Antonio slams Europa League officials after exit | Football

Michail Antonio was left furious at the referee and linesmen (Picture: Getty)

Michail Antonio has brutally slammed Europa League officials and felt that West Ham were ‘playing against 14’ in the clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

David Moyes’ side drew 1-1 against the Bundesliga champions on Thursday night in east London, which confirmed their elimination after losing the first-leg 2-0.

West Ham striker Antonio was left furious after the match as he ripped into the referee as well as both linesmen.

‘It doesn’t feel like you’re playing against 11 men, it feels like you’re playing against 13…14 including the two linos,’ Antonio told TNT Sports.

‘You just have to keep pushing and try and make the decisions go your way. And they just weren’t. We had to keep playing our way and keep being professional.

‘We’re very proud of ourselves, to achieve what we’ve achieved over the last four years is incredible.

‘Four back-to-back years in European quarter-finals I would never have thought that. We were a yoyo team, into Europe, then fighting for relegation.

David Moyes pictured during West Ham United's game against Bayer Leverkusen

David Moyes’ side have been eliminated by the Bundesliga champions (Picture: Getty)

‘Obviously [we are] disappointed [to go out]. Last week we gave them a bit too much respect, but this week we came out and showed them what we can do.

‘I felt like I didn’t get a decision all game. I felt a bit frustrated. We felt like we deserved more.

‘But it’s football, sometimes the decisions don’t go your way. We move on, and build on that and try to get into the Europa League next year.

‘We put in a good performance, we had quite a few chances. Obviously they’re a quality team. I’m disappointed with the way we played last week. We gave them too much respect.’

Bayer Leverkusen will now play Roma in the semi-finals and former Arsenal star Granit Xhaka – who signed for the German side last summer – was delighted after his team avoided defeat in front of a ‘typical English crowd’.

‘I think we felt it in the first half, for me, it was typical English crowd,’ Xhaka said. ‘They were pushing West Ham unbelievably. We were lucky in the first half if we’re honest.

‘It was a different phase in the second half, we controlled the game in the second half. We are happy we got through.

‘It was a completely different game in the first half then the second half. We showed a difference. We competed much more. If you see over 180 minutes, the better team go through.

‘It’s unbelievable, being back after seven years away from Germany. To win the first league trophy in the history, but this team wants more. The mentality and the belief. We believe until the end. This team has a different character and energy. We are showing this every three days.’


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