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Ralf Rangnick was thankful Brighton helped Manchester United qualify for next season’s Europa League following their own 1-0 loss away to Crystal Palace.

Rangnick left the hotseat by telling incoming boss Erik Ten Hag to focus on improving the team spirit at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils saw a sorry campaign end with another defeat after Wilfried Zaha’s first-half goal but they avoided the embarrassment of dropping into the Europa Conference League after West Ham were unable to win at Brighton.

It meant United finished the season in sixth but there would have been little positives for Ten Hag to take after he watched from the stand at Selhurst Park.

Rangnick said: “Yes, I think Brighton did us the favour to turn the game around because they were losing at half-time. They scored three times in the second half and that was the good thing about the weekend and about this fixture.

“We would have loved to take care of ourselves but in a way the game was indicative of last couple of weeks, especially when we played away from home.

“It was a new experience for me, not necessary coming in the middle of the season but knowing that it would be an interim role. Unfortunately we didn’t have any pre-season and unfortunately we couldn’t strengthen the squad.

“These things happen and in hindsight it was a little bit bittersweet or sweet bitter rather because in the first couple of weeks and months did well. We collected enough points with an average of 2.1 until the game against Atletico but I think that defeat in the Champions League was in a way like somebody popped the balloon.”

Ex-RB Leipzig manager Rangnick, who will continue to work with United in a consultancy role, did not hold back in his assessment key members of the Old Trafford squad lost focus after they exited the Champions League in March.

The Red Devils were fifth in the table before they were knocked out by Atletico and would win only two of their remaining nine matches.

Rangnick added: “I think the big goal of some of our top players was the Champions League and after this defeat to Atletico you could literally feel it in training that we did not have the same level of energy, focus and concentration in training.

“In the league if you are not playing at the best or highest level, and this also happened before I arrived, even against bottom teams like Watford you can concede four goals and this can happen.”

While Ten Hag was at Palace, he did not come into the United dressing room and Rangnick has also not spoken to the ex-Ajax boss in person.

The German plans to over the coming days and warned his successor of a key challenge at Old Trafford.

“Team spirit, yes this is also an issue,” Rangnick admitted. “I think this team could do with more cohesion, there could be more togetherness on the pitch.

“This is also important when we think of new players – when the board together with the manager are thinking about new players – that we make sure they are not only players that have the quality to strengthen the squad but they are players who will invest in the team spirit.”

Patrick Vieira saw his side claim another win to secure a 12th-place finish.

He said: “It was the best way to end the season, to win the game against United because of what they represent in the Premier League.

“I was really pleased because we won and we had another clean sheet at home so a good way to end the season.”

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West Ham missed the chance to snatch a dramatic Europa League return after squandering a lead to lose 3-1 to Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

The Hammers, who suffered semi-final heartbreak in the continental competition just over two weeks ago, were on course to leapfrog Manchester United into sixth position following Michail Antonio’s stunning 40th-minute opener.

But second-half strikes from Joel Veltman, Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck turned the game in the Seagulls’ favour to prevent David Moyes’ men capitalising on United losing 1-0 at Crystal Palace.

The east London club must be content with a place in the Europa Conference League next term following a result which saw Brighton secure a maiden top-half finish in the Premier League – and the highest league position in the club’s 121-year history.

West Ham arrived on the south coast assured of at least seventh place but only two points behind Ralf Rangnick’s side.

Manager Moyes stuck with the team which began last weekend’s creditable 2-2 draw with Manchester City, while defender Adam Webster replaced the injured Leandro Trossard for Albion.

Brighton began brighter and threatened early on through Moises Caicedo.

But the visitors grew into the game and, shortly after travelling fans celebrated United falling behind at Selhurst Park, took the lead five minutes before the break with their first attempt on target.

Antonio did the damage, outmuscling Lewis Dunk on the edge of the Seagulls’ penalty area following Vladimir Coufal’s throw-in before rifling a stunning left-footed effort into the top left corner.

Brighton boss Graham Potter reacted to the half-time deficit by bringing on striker Neal Maupay in place of midfielder Yves Bissouma.

The attacking alteration had the desired impact as the hosts equalised just five minutes later, aided by a blunder from Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Gross crossed from the left and, after being teed up by Solly March, Dutch defender Veltman drilled a low effort which squirmed beyond Fabianski to claim his first goal of the season.

Brighton continued to have the better of the game. After Welbeck and Webster each flashed efforts narrowly off target, Gross gave them a deserved lead 10 minutes from time.

The creative German midfielder, who is out of contract in the summer but expected to agree a new deal, turned just inside the Hammers box before lashing a left-footed effort beyond Fabianski and high into the net.

Moyes responded by bringing on long-serving club captain Mark Noble for his final appearance before retirement, as well as Ukraine forward Andriy Yarmolenko.

Yet Albion remained the more threatening and should have put the result beyond doubt when the unmarked Welbeck – who, like Gross, is poised to sign a contract extension – headed straight at Fabianski late on.

The former England forward shrugged off that miss in added time, powerfully nodding in Gross’ corner to secure a positive end to a memorable season for the Seagulls, while leaving the visitors with plenty of regrets ahead of their short journey home to the capital.

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Arsenal made light work of Everton in a 5-1 victory at Emirates Stadium yet still had to resign themselves to playing Europa League football next season after Tottenham powered past Norwich.

Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Martin Odegaard were on target but the result became incidental once Spurs secured fourth place in the Premier League by storming Carrow Road with a 5-0 win.

Emphatic defeats by Tottenham and Newcastle had left Arsenal needing a final-day collapse from their north London rivals to have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League but none materialised.

Instead, they had to sign off a disappointing season by crushing an Everton side that had climbed their Everest on Thursday night by delivering a stunning comeback win against Crystal Palace to escape relegation with a game to spare.

Frank Lampard made six changes and beyond a lone strike by Donny van de Beek, they played like a team who had already checked out knowing their season had been saved.

They were particularly vulnerable at corners with Arsenal engineering three of their five goals from the set piece and they looked in danger of capitulating right from the start.

Arsenal had lost the last three Premier League meetings between the rivals but as they poured forward with Bukayo Saka shooting high, that run looked certain to end.

Martinelli aimed a powerful shot on the turn directly at keeper Asmir Begovic as pressure grew on the visiting goal.

Everton had barely ventured from their own half inside the opening 20 minutes but when they did Demarai Gray was kept out by Aaron Ramsdale after being set-up by Dele Alli.

The one-way traffic quickly resumed, however, and when VAR intervened for an Alex Iwobi handball, Martinelli smashed the ball past Begovic.

Four minutes later and Arsenal had surged 2-0 ahead as a scruffy corner was worked to Nketiah by accident as much as design and the forward nodded home from close range.

Everton were in danger of being overwhelmed yet with the help of leaden footed home defence they pulled a goal back through substitute van de Beek, who slotted in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s pass without breaking stride.

It then became the visitors’ turn to lose concentration as Saka worked a corner to an unmarked Soares and the Portugal right-back produced a mighty shot that gave Begovic no chance.

Gabriel Magalhaes was the next to profit from good work at a corner as he blasted in the fourth and by the 82nd minute it had become a rout as Odegaard found the bottom left corner despite his attempt lacking any real power.

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Eintracht Frankfurt won the Europa League final after holding their nerve to beat Rangers 5-4 in a clinical penalty shootout as they claimed their first European trophy in 42 years.

Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp saved Aaron Ramsey’s spot kick — Rangers’ fourth — while Eintracht were flawless in their execution, scoring all five after the game had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Joe Aribo had struck against the run of play in the 57th minute to give Rangers the lead, charging clear after a string of defensive errors and sliding the ball past Trapp.

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SEVILLE, Spain, May 18 (Reuters) – Eintracht Frankfurt won the Europa League final after holding their nerve to beat Rangers 5-4 in a clinical penalty shootout as they claimed their first European trophy in 42 years.

Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp saved Aaron Ramsey’s spot kick — Rangers’ fourth — while Eintracht were flawless in their execution, scoring all five after the game had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Joe Aribo had struck against the run of play in the 57th minute to give Rangers the lead, charging clear after a string of defensive errors and sliding the ball past Trapp.

The Germans, unbeaten in the competition going into the final and eyeing their first European title since 1980, bounced back as Rafael Borre snuck in between two defenders to turn in a Filip Kostic cross in the 70th.

“We played 13 matches in Europe and we did not lose a single one,” said Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner.

“We took it step-by-step and at the end we were rewarded. I have no words to express what I feel for the players,” added the Austrian, whose side will now compete in next season’s Champions League despite finishing in 11th place in the Bundesliga.

Frankfurt are the first Bundesliga team to win the Europa League, or its predecessor the UEFA Cup, since 1997, when Schalke beat Inter Milan on penalties.

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West Ham’s European dream faded and died after the red mist descended during an acrimonious 1-0 defeat away to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Full-back Aaron Cresswell was sent off in the first half to leave the Hammers facing an uphill battle, and manager David Moyes was also ordered from the touchline late on after angrily kicking a ball back towards a ball kid.

It was a sad end to an uplifting run to the last four of the Europa League, with West Ham beating sides from Croatia, Belgium, Austria, Spain and France to reach a first European semi-final since 1976.

But, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, against the same opposition that West Ham overturned the same deficit against on that famous night 46 years ago, Moyes’ side were unable to emulate Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds et al by going on to reach the final.

Instead a 3-1 aggregate defeat put paid to their chance of a place in the Champions League – the prize for the winners of the trophy – next season, and as a consequence puts the future of captain and prized asset Declan Rice, who continues to snub a new contract, in doubt.

West Ham had reason to believe they could turn the tie around as Eintracht have the third-worst home record in the Bundesliga this season, losing six and drawing six of their 16 matches.

But on the flip side they have been unbeaten in Europe this season and drew 1-1 in each of their previous home legs with Real Betis and Barcelona.

Eintracht had taken an early lead at the London Stadium a week ago, but this time they suffered an early injury blow when defender Martin Hinteregger limped off after an ill-advised body check on Hammers bulldozer Michail Antonio.

It looked like it could be West Ham’s night as, by contrast, they had started well and looked in control of proceedings despite the hostile atmosphere inside the imposing Deutsche Bank Park.

But they were hit by a huge setback after 19 minutes when Cresswell was given the slip by Jens Hauge and clumsily brought the Eintracht forward down.

Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano initially showed the full-back a yellow card, but after consulting the pitchside monitor he condemned Cresswell, sent off in the previous round against Lyon, to his second harsh but avoidable dismissal of the competition.

West Ham escaped immediate further punishment when Filip Kostic fired the free-kick inches wide, but three minutes and a defensive reshuffle later they were a goal down on the night and two behind on aggregate.

The goal came from Cresswell’s flank on the West Ham left, now occupied by substitute Ben Johnson who had come on for the unlucky Manuel Lanzini.

The West Ham defence was pulled horribly out of shape as Ansgar Knauff had the time and space to roll a low cross for Rafael Santos Borre to convert unchallenged from eight yards out.

The 10 men withstood the inevitable barrage for the rest of the first half, and yet almost grabbed a shock equaliser on the stroke of half-time when Antonio’s far-post attempt was blocked on the line.

After the break Craig Dawson’s header was saved by Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp and Antonio’s cross just eluded Jarrod Bowen in a brave but ultimately fruitless second-half effort.

The build-up to the match had been marred by arrests around the city for scuffles between fans, and it ended in near bedlam with thousands of Eintracht fans streaming onto the pitch with flares at the final whistle, before riot police and dogs restored some semblance of order.

Nevertheless it has been a memorable, exhilarating ride for a club more used to relegation battles in recent years.

The challenge for Moyes now is to pick his tiring team up for the final three Premier League games and make sure they qualify again.

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Rangers won through to the Europa League final in sensational style with 3-1 semi-final second-leg victory over RB Leipzig to emerge 3-2 winners on aggregate.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Germany, and in the biggest game at Ibrox in 50 years, Light Blues skipper James Tavernier levelled the tie in the 18th minute with a close-range finish.

Amid a fever-pitch atmosphere, midfielder Glen Kamara drove in a terrific second from 20 yards just six minutes later and the Gers fans were in dreamland at the interval.

France striker Christopher Nkunku brought Leipzig back into it when he levelled the tie in the 70th minute with a smart volley but Gers midfielder John Lundstram fired in with 10 minutes remaining to book a place in the Seville final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

The frantic search for tickets, flights and hotels for Spain is now under way after Rangers reached their first European final in 14 years on a never-to-be-forgotten night in Govan.

It has been an epic journey for Rangers who were playing their 18th game in UEFA competitions this season against Leipzig.

After much speculation, striker Kemar Roofe remained out injured with Aaron Ramsey declared fit enough only for the bench as Joe Aribo was handed a main striker’s role.

Midfielders Ryan Jack and Kamara and attacker Scott Wright returned, with Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Fashion Sakala dropping to the bench.

Leipzig boss Domenico Tedesco had Willi Orban, Kevin Kampl and Mohamed Simakan back from suspension with the former two included in the staring line-up.

It was Rangers most important game at Ibrox since they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final second leg on their way to winning the trophy, and the stadium shook beforehand with the noise of excited Gers fans.

After a minute’s silence before kick-off in tribute to popular kitman Jimmy Bell who died on Tuesday both sides battled frantically for control.

Visiting keeper and skipper Peter Gulacsi saved a long-distance drive from Jack in the seventh minute before Orban headed a corner wide at the other end.

However, right-back Tavernier, who scored twice against Braga in the previous round at Ibrox, struck the first blow, racing in at the back post to knock in a cross from Ryan Kent after good work by Kamara in keeping the move alive on the touchline.

More mayhem ensued when Aribo played in Wright to lay the ball off to Kamara who guided a left-footed shot from outside the box past the outstretched arms of Gulacsi.

Ibrox was in uproar.

Aribo then somehow mis-kicked from five yards out after being set up by Tavernier’s header from Borna Barisic’s deep cross.

Just before the break the makeshift centre-forward then fell to the ground after blocking a powerful free-kick from Angelino with his face and was replaced by Sakala.

With defenders Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and Barisic booked in the first half, the home side had to be cautious – yet retain a threat – as the Bundesliga outfit went in search of a tie leveller.

Wright and Jack made way for Arfield and Leon Balogun just before the hour-mark as the visitors began to dominate.

Gers keeper Allan McGregor made a great save from Konrad Laimer’s drive but moments later he had no chance when Angelino crossed from the left for Nkunku to volley in from 10 yards and the pendulum looked like it had swung towards the visitors.

But only until Lundstram pounced when Kent’s cross from the left was cleared to his feet 12 yards from goal and he gleefully drove it low into the net.

Rangers were on their way to Seville.

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West Ham roared to an historic Europa League triumph in Lyon to reach a first European semi-final in 46 years after a stunning 3-0 second-leg victory.

David Moyes’ side were big underdogs heading to the city overlooked by the French Alps following last week’s 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.

But it was hosts Lyon who were left with a mountain to climb after two goals in seven minutes at the end of the first half from Craig Dawson and Declan Rice put West Ham in control.

When Jarrod Bowen made it 3-0, and 4-1 on aggregate, Lyon heads dropped as the price of flights to Frankfurt rocketed – Eintracht Frankfurt having shocked Barcelona in their last-eight clash to reach the last four and book a meeting with the Hammers.

That showdown will coincidentally be a repeat of West Ham’s last appearance in the last four of a major European semi-final, in 1976.

In fact, this memorable victory took place 40 years ago to the day since Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and company stunned the Germans 3-1 in the second leg at Upton Park to reach the final.

West Ham have already enjoyed a remarkable season having remained in the fight for the top six while topping their Europa League group and then sending six-time winners Sevilla packing.

This looked another huge task for Moyes’ side, however, against another team with serious European pedigree who only 18 months ago knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League.

As if the job in hand was not difficult enough, Moyes was forced to name a makeshift defence shorn of Kurt Zouma through injury and Aaron Cresswell due to suspension following his red card in the first leg.

The new-look back four was almost breached after only five minutes when Cameroon forward Karl Toko Ekambi smacked a shot against the foot of Alphonse Areola’s near post.

Yet West Ham were able to gradually take Lyon’s sting out of the game, and with their first attack Pablo Fornals tested stand-in goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck, in for injured first-choice Anthony Lopes, from the edge of the area.

Midway through the first half some patient West Ham build-up play saw Michail Antonio chip in a cross which Bowen, at full stretch, could only jab into the side-netting.

But it was centre-half Dawson, the £2million signing from Watford who has become something of a cult figure during West Ham’s European adventure, who enhanced his reputation further seven minutes before half-time.

After Bowen’s shot had deflected off Jason Denayer for a corner, Fornals whipped in a near post cross and Dawson ploughed in front of Moussa Dembele to crash his header home.

The Hammers went 2-0 ahead, and 3-1 up on aggregate, moments before half-time when a poor clearing header from Emerson fell to Rice 20 yards out.

The England midfielder’s shot was low and skidding, and Pollersbeck was beaten by the bounce and a slight deflection off the toe of defender Castello Lukeba.

Bowen, West Ham’s goalscorer in the first leg, fired them into dreamland three minutes into the second half.

Antonio held the ball up before laying off to Fornals, who swept a first-time pass into the path of Bowen.

The England hopeful still had plenty to do, but he threaded a superb finish between the dive of Pollersbeck and the inside of the far post.

Rice, seemingly forever linked with a move to Chelsea or Manchester United, was given a breather two minutes from the end and soaked up the celebrations from the delirious, disbelieving away end, high up at the vast Groupama Stadium.

The 23-year-old could yet fulfil his ambition to play in the Champions League with West Ham next season, were they to go on and win this competition.

After a glory night like this, Moyes will fancy his chances of taking his side all the way.

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Jarrod Bowen was on target as West Ham battled to a 1-1 Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw against Lyon after Aaron Cresswell was controversially sent off.

The Hammers, playing in the latter stages of a major European competition for the first time in 41 years, were up against it after Cresswell was harshly dismissed for a foul on Moussa Dembele before half-time.

The decision could have left West Ham with a mountain to climb ahead of the second leg in the French city overlooked by the Alps next week.

But Bowen’s second goal in as many matches, after a month out injured, put the 10 men 1-0 up before Tottenham loanee Tanguy Ndombele hauled Lyon level.

Nevertheless, a draw keeps West Ham’s dream of a place in the semi-finals, against either Barcelona or Eintracht Frankfurt, well and truly alive.

It promises to be a spicy return leg in the culinary capital of France after tempers occasionally boiled over, while Dembele’s Cristiano Ronaldo-style wink after Cresswell’s red card will not have gone unnoticed among the Hammers ranks.

Lyon may be having an erratic season domestically – they currently lie ninth in Ligue 1 – but they are unbeaten in this competition and knocked out Porto in the last 16.

They are also seasoned European campaigners and quickly began to showcase their repertoire of the darker arts, infuriating West Ham when Jerome Boateng and Ndombele both stayed down after no foul had been given.

German referee Felix Zwayer seemed taken in by their antics, stopping play each time with West Ham looking to attack.

Then, in first-half stoppage time and with West Ham frustration growing, Cresswell suddenly found himself chasing down Dembele and pulled him back on the edge of the box.

Kurt Zouma was also on the scene as cover but Zwayer decided Cresswell was the last man and pulled out a straight red card, to the obvious delight of the winking Dembele and the dismay of David Moyes.

The Hammers manager’s grasp of German is not known, but he evidently made his feelings clear enough as Zwayer booked him as he stormed down the tunnel.

But West Ham’s sense of injustice fuelled them into taking the lead seven minutes into the second half.

Michail Antonio’s burst forward caused havoc in the Lyon defence and Pablo Fornals tried to slip in Bowen.

Boateng made a mess of his attempt to control the ball and it rolled behind Bowen, but the winger managed to retrieve it, turn and clip the ball over Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes via a deflection off the sliding Boateng.

However, Lyon grabbed a 66th-minute equaliser when Ndombele got in the box to fire home from six yards after a cross from substitute Tete hit Ryan Fredericks.

There was a sour note to the match after a pitch invader – the second of the game – jumped out of the home end and actually stopped a promising Hammers attack before he was escorted off.

Dembele put a header over as West Ham saw out eight nervy minutes of stoppage time to give themselves a fighting chance in seven days.

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Arnaut Danjuma’s early goal secured Villarreal a deserved 1-0 win against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Former Bournemouth winger Danjuma gave the Spaniards a slender advantage going into the return leg by scoring the only goal early in the first half at Estadio de la Ceramica.

But it could have been worse for Bayern, who produced a disappointing display, as Villarreal had another effort ruled out for offside before they struck a post through Gerard Moreno.

The home side, backed by a vociferous crowd, made an excellent start and took an eighth-minute lead through Danjuma.

On-loan Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso cut the ball back into the area before Danjuma diverted Daniel Parejo’s shot into the bottom corner.

Spain defender Raul Albiol’s well-timed challenge on the edge of the box denied Serge Gnabry a scoring chance as Bayern looked to get a foothold in the game.

But the German champions were relieved to see Pau Torres fail to connect with a flick-on from Parejo’s free-kick as Villarreal threatened again.

And the stadium erupted just before the break when the Spaniards thought they had taken a deserved two-goal lead.

Francis Coquelin’s attempted cross flew into the net, but referee Anthony Taylor was told the French midfielder had been offside after a VAR check and Bayern breathed again.

The visitors, who had failed to register a shot on target, had it all to do at half-time.

Thomas Muller was inches away from diverting in a cross for an equaliser early in the second period, but there was no respite for Bayern, who were spared by the woodwork when Moreno’s shot hit a post in the 53rd minute.

Bayern sent on Leroy Sane and Leon Goretzka for Gnabry and Muller and in the 66th minute Alphonso Davies fired straight at Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli. It was Bayern’s first effort on target.

The Bundesliga side pressed in the final 15 minutes, but still found chances hard to come by and Alfonso Pedraza fired a golden chance wide for Villarreal in the 87th minute.

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West Ham’s first European knock-out tie in over 40 years ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat by serial Europa League winners Sevilla.

A second-half goal by Moroccan forward Munir, who was only in the starting line-up after Ivan Rakitic was injured in the warm-up, settled the first leg in the Spanish side’s favour.

But Hammers boss David Moyes will have seen enough to feel his side are capable of overturning a one-goal deficit at the London Stadium in a week’s time and prolonging their European adventure.

It says a lot about how far West have have come in a short space of time that it was four years ago to the day since they were beaten 3-0 at home by Burnley in a game marred by pitch invasions and protests against the owners.

Now the Hammers are rubbing shoulders with the continent’s elite and stepping out for the club’s biggest night on the European stage since 1981.

This was probably the toughest draw they could have landed in the round of 16, given Sevilla are the most successful team in the tournament’s history as six-time winners – regularly knocking out English clubs along the way – as well as being Real Madrid’s closest challengers for the LaLiga title.

Julen Lopetegui’s side have lost just twice in the league all season and have the best defensive record in the division, conceding just 18 goals in 27 games.

But they have a host of injury absentees and suffered another blow when the dangerous former Barcelona midfielder Rakitic was ruled out on his 34th birthday.

The Hammers were without injured top-scorer Jarrod Bowen, but Declan Rice returned from illness to captain the team at a raucous Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Munir should have opened the scoring inside the first five minutes, but he headed Marcos Acuna’s cross wide from in front of goal.

West Ham created a glorious chance with 10 minutes gone, Manuel Lanzini’s free-kick headed across goal by Rice straight to Nikola Vlasic

The Croatian had a free header six yards out but planted it too close to Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who stuck out a hand to make a stunning reaction save.

Sevilla were moving the ball around slickly and Munir got in again after being played through by Oliver Torres but rolled his shot wide, before Alphonse Areola saved a header from Youssef En-Nesyri.

But the Hammers were still giving as good as they got, with Vlasic forcing a low save from Bounou with a near-post drive before half-time.

After the break Michail Antonio laid the ball back to the edge of the area from where Tomas Soucek hit a rising drive which Bonou palmed clear.

But Sevilla remained the clearer threat and Munir volleyed over before En-Nesyri headed another decent opportunity straight at Areola.

The home fans took the noise levels up from loud to deafening and it had its effect when their side took the lead on the hour mark.

After Kurt Zouma was booked for a foul in a dangerous position, Acuna swung over a free-kick which found Munir, who steered a wonderful side-footed volley home at the far post.

West Ham needed to keep their composure, and they were relieved to see a Jesus Corona volley deflected wide.

Nevertheless, the visitors still had a puncher’s chance and substitute Said Benrahma almost set up an equaliser for Pablo Fornals, who was only denied by a last-ditch block from former Manchester City full-back Jesus Navas to preserve Sevilla’s narrow lead in a tie which West Ham will feel they are still very much in.