West Ham's European hopes received a second blow in the space of four days after a meek 2-0 home loss to Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Hammers were beaten by the same score by Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday, leaving them a huge task in the return match on Thursday. They then blew the chance to climb to sixth place in the Premier League — and right back into the shake-up for the European qualification spots — after two goals by Andreas Pereira secured a first win in four matches for Fulham. Premier League 2023-24: Manchester City Advance in Title Race As Arsenal and Liverpool Suffer Heart-Breaking Losses.

The Brazil midfielder scored in the ninth and 72nd minutes at the Olympic Stadium. It was the first time Fulham won away to West Ham since 2001 and, having dominated the reverse fixture 5-0 in December, the team completed a league double over its London rival for the first time since 1966.

Leverkusen — unbeaten in all competitions this season — will not be scared on the evidence of this timid display by West Ham, which should have gone ahead in the opening moments when Lucas Paqueta's ball over the top saw right back Vladimir Coufal burst into the area. His initial effort was repelled by goalkeeper Bernd Leno and when the ball rebounded to the feet of Michail Antonio, the striker blazed over. Mohammed Kudus then curled narrowly wide before the lively Paqueta, who is suspended against Leverkusen on Thursday, hit the side-netting.

Despite its bright start, West Ham conceded to Fulham's first attack. Konstantinos Mavropanos tried to bring down a deep cross from Alex Iwobi but succeeded only in gifting the ball to Pereira, who had been given a free run by Nayef Aguerd. The Brazilian had the simple task of knocking the ball past Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski and finishing into an empty net.

Pereira almost had a second moments later when he slid in to meet Willian's inviting cross, but he guided it wide. Coufal has yet to score for West Ham since joining three-and-a-half years ago, and he showed why when he crashed a good opportunity wide from Paqueta's cross.

After the break, Fabianski made a big save to tip Iwobi's shot wide, but he was powerless to prevent Pereira doubling the lead. Paqueta was robbed in midfield by Joao Palhinha and Pereira laid the ball off to Rodrigo Muniz. He played in Iwobi, who burst forward before crossing for Pereira to apply another simple finish. Bayer Leverkusen Win Bundesliga 2023-24 Title After 5-0 Win Over Werder Bremen at Home.

A damaging defeat for the Hammers had a sad postscript when teenage substitute George Earthy had to be carried off on a stretcher after suffering a serious head injury in a collision with teammate Edson Alvarez, just two minutes into his Premier League debut.

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