West Ham’s Antonio hits out at officials after Europa League exit

West Ham United forward Michail Antonio criticised the refereeing in Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen and said his side were “playing against 14”.

Trailing 2-0 to newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Leverkusen after the first leg, West Ham drew 1-1 in London to exit the competition 3-1 on aggregate.

Spanish referee Jose Maria Sanchez issued 10 yellow cards, five to each side, and Antonio, who was one of those booked, was left frustrated by the frequent interruptions.

“It doesn’t feel like you’re playing against 11 men, it feels like you’re playing against 14 including the two linos (linesmen),” Antonio, who opened the scoring with an early header, told reporters after the match.

ALSO READ | Leverkusen reaches semifinals as Frimpong preserves unbeaten run against West Ham

“It’s just one of those things where you have to keep pushing, make decisions go your way and remain professional.

“I’m very disappointed because everything we gave and everything we did, we weren’t helped by a single decision all game and I feel some of the decisions might have changed the game.”

Jeremie Frimpong scored the equalizer in the 89th minute as the visitor secured a spot in the semifinals and is now unbeaten in 44 matches in all competitions this season.

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