West Ham United suffered an agonising 2-1 first leg defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night.
The Hammers endured a difficult match against the German side, which saw Ansgar Knauff score in the 1st minute of the game to put themselves ahead.
David Moyes’ side played with spirit and determination but were lacking quality on the night, despite having played so well throughout the tournament so far.
West Ham will now have to come from behind in Germany next week if they want to reach their first European final in 46 years.
Frankfurt constantly threatened West Ham’s backline, which was boosted by the return of Kurt Zouma from injury.
A great display from them cast their counter-attacking strengths and prowess in front of goal on display, the same style of play that helped them beat Spanish giants Barcelona in the previous round.
After going 1-0 down, West Ham equalised emphatically in front of packed out and electrifying London stadium, courtesy of a Michail Antonio toe poke at the back post.
However, nine minutes into the second half Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada tapped home the winning goal after an excellent save from Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola parried the ball into his path.
Two excellent goal attempts from Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen struck the crossbar in a tense final 30 minutes, with a long-range shot and an overhead kick respectively.
Had those goals gone in the result would have been harsh on Eintracht Frankfurt, who proved to be stubborn opposition.
West Ham must now replenish their energy stores and give everything they have in the second leg, in order to progress into the final of the Europa League.
The Hammers have come from behind to win before and if there is any team that is going to show fight and determination in this return fixture, it will be this squad under David Moyes.
West Ham fans will continuously support the team until the end, and it is now down to the players to find it within them to give supporters their biggest moment in the club’s recent history.