West Ham – Eintracht Frankfurt: Frankfurt Fly Away With First Leg Lead (1-2)
West Ham and Eintracht Frankfurt played out a fun first leg in London, with the hosts’ tactical tweaks working fairly well but not reflecting on the scoreline.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
David Moyes’ buoyant West Ham had blown their bubbles all the way to a European semi-final, which meant that they had the chance to qualify for their first continental cup final since 1976, when they prevented Eintracht Frankfurt from reaching the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup which, at the time, was the second-tier competition in Europe. They were also in the race for European qualification in the Premier League, so a tough few weeks packed with crucial fixtures awaited them until the end of the season.
Their visitors Eintracht Frankfurt did not come with positive memories of London, as they suffered defeat in their most recent European semi-final in the English capital at the hands of Chelsea, who would go on to win the 2018/19 edition of the Europa League.
West Ham lined up in their typical 4-2-3-1 formation with cup goalkeeper Alphonse Areola starting behind a back four of Ben Johnson, Craig Dawson, Kurt Zouma and Aaron Cresswell. Tomáš Souček partnered Declan Rice in defensive midfield yet again with Manuel Lanzini ahead of them. Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals started out wide in attack, whilst Michail Antonio led the line.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s team sheet had no major surprises either. With Evan N’Dicka suspended, the back line of their 3-4-2-1 formation comprised Tuta, Martin Hinteregger and Almamy Touré, who were, of course, in front of Kevin . . .