Hammers Leave Leeds with Victory
David Moyes has never lost on any of his previous four trips to Elland Road and he extended that record on Friday night as West Ham United came from behind to beat newly-promoted Leeds United 2-1 and lift themselves up to fifth in the Premier League table.
Arthur Masuaku missed the game after having to have an operation on his knee, meaning Saïd Benrahma was handed a first start. Craig Dawson was in the matchday squad for the first time since joining the club on loan from Watford in October, while Ryan Fredericks, who had been suffering with a slight groin strain was also amongst the substitutes.
Aaron Cresswell retained his place in the side, therefore making his 200th top-flight appearance for the club.
The Hammers were keen to get back to winning ways after they were beaten at home by Manchester United last time out but they didn’t get off to the best of starts here, as Marcelo Bielsa’s men were awarded a penalty after just two minutes. Liam Cooper set Patrick Bamford away, only for goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański to commit a foul. Referee Michael Oliver had no hesitation when pointing to the spot.
Fabianski initially saved from Mateusz Klich but after VAR spotted that the Pole had moved off his line, a retake was ordered. Klich made no mistake with his second effort and if the Irons were going to climb the table, they would have to do it from a goal down.
West Ham were clearly disappointed by the decision to retake the penalty and were determined to take something from the game in West Yorkshire. They then applied the pressure but Sébastien Haller had two attempts blocked by both Leeds’ skipper Kalvin Phillips, as well as Luke Ayling.
Leeds have only won once at home this campaign so the visitors thought they might be in with a chance of getting something and they levelled the game on twenty four minutes when a right-wing corner was taken by Jarrod Bowen and Tomáš Souček headed past home stopper Illan Meslier.
When the whistle blew for the break, there was nothing to separate the two sides in what had so far been an enthralling game.
The East Londoners had a much easier start to the second-half and might have gone ahead but again Ayling was in the way of Haller’s effort.
Having said that though, Bielsa’s side were still in the contest, as Fabianski had to make saves when both Phillips and Klich went close.
West Ham were enjoying much of the play in the second forty five minutes and had a chance to go back in front but unfortunately, Pablo Fornals saw his shot go inches wide of the far post.
Meslier has already made some important saves to keep his team in games this season and the young Frenchman was at it again here when he made a superb stop to keep out Fabián Balbuena’s header.
Having missed some great chances, West Ham finally made their pressure pay with ten minutes of normal time to play. Angelo Ogbonna grabbed his second goal in three games when he met Cresswell’s free-kick with a firm header to beat Meslier for a second time.
Four minutes later, Moyes made his first change replacing Benrahma with Mark Noble. Declan Rice again handed the armband to the regular skipper.
Seconds later, the Scotsman then introduced Ben Johnson in place of Bowen before Haller forced another save as he went close with an overhead kick.
Deep into stoppage time, the Hammers’ boss made a final change, as Fornals made way for Robert Snodgrass.
The East Londoners were able to celebrate a second successive victory on their travels, meaning they go into Wednesday night’s home London derby with Crystal Palace full of confidence.