West Ham handed fresh injury concern after triple blow in Bayer Leverkusen loss

Injury worry: Konstantinos Mavropanos was taken off late in Leverkusen defeat (AP)
Injury worry: Konstantinos Mavropanos was taken off late in Leverkusen defeat (AP)

West Ham’s selection problems have potentially worsened after Konstantinos Mavropanos suffered an injury against Bayer Leverkusen.

Manager David Moyes confirmed that the Greek defender was substituted with a knock late on in Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final first-leg tie, which the spirited Hammers lost 2-0 after their determined defensive resistance was eventually broken by late goals from substitutes Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface.

West Ham will need to deliver an epic second-leg comeback back at the London Stadium next week to overturn such a deficit on home soil against the Bundesliga champions-elect who are now unbeaten in 42 matches this season as Xabi Alonso eyes a possible trophy treble, but they are not being helped by injury problems.

Top scorer Jarrod Bowen could miss the second leg after a knee injury suffered in the Premier League win at Wolves last weekend ruled him out of the trip to Germany, while Alphonse Areola and Kalvin Phillips joined him on the sidelines, along with the suspended Edson Alvarez.

Influential playmaker Lucas Paqueta and Emerson Palmieri will both miss next week’s second leg after each picking up their third yellow card of the competition on Thursday, while Moyes has now revealed that Mavropanos also came off injured late on in a change that disrupted their otherwise superb rearguard effort ahead of Leverkusen’s latest late show.

“I thought we did a really good job. But if you look through the recent history here at Leverkusen, they’ve got a great record of scoring late in the games,” Moyes - whose side host London rivals Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday - told TNT Sports.

“We were aware of that and we were looking to try and change things and how could we make it even tougher defensively, but Dinos [Mavropanos] came off with a little bit of an injury and it sort of affected us a little bit with that.

“They did a great job, we just played against a side who are a Champions League side and we are probably not quite at that level. They showed that tonight.

“But we’re still in the tie and it gives us half a chance in the second leg.”

On the costly suspensions of Paqueta and Emerson, Moyes added: “It’s a blow. It was a blow tonight not having Jarrod and Eddie [Alvarez]. But it’s football isn’t it, there’s a chance you are always going to have injuries and suspensions at this time of year.”