Leeds United v West Ham United – Premier League – Elland Road – Report
Leeds United 1-2 West Ham United
Michail Antonio snatched a last-gasp winner as West Ham United came from beyond to win a hugely entertaining Premier League clash with Leeds United at Elland Road.
A midweek Carabao Cup triumph at Manchester United suggested the Hammers had overcome any lingering hangover following their first league defeat of the season against the same opposition at the London Stadium. Nevertheless, despite facing a Leeds side without a win to their name, David Moyes aired on the side of caution:
“I think if you’ve watched Leeds United’s games so far this season, everybody would say they’ve had a quite difficult start to the season with the games they’ve had,” the Scotsman explained.
“I’m a big admirer of their manager, Marcelo Bielsa, because of his record and the way his teams play. I think everybody enjoys watching Leeds United.
“They’re a great football club, Leeds, fantastically supported, so it’s a really tough game for us, it really is. The energy Leeds put into their games and how they go about winning is going to be a test for any team who play them, and it’ll certainly be a test for us.
“We’ve got to go out there and do what West Ham have been doing recently, which is being positive, trying to score goals and having a strong defence.”
Said Benrahma was a whisker away from opening the scoring with a speculative right-footed strike from distance. Meanwhile, stopper, Illan Meslier stuck out a boot to deny Antonio as the visitors continued to provide the early threat.
West Ham were busy and industrious. Meslier superbly saved from Benrahma after Antonio had fashioned an opening. Stuart Dallas and Raphinha then tested Lukasz Fabianski’s resolve as Leeds search for a foothold.
But having soaked up most of the early pressure, it was Leeds who snatched the advantage. Raphinha with a clinical finish after Tomas Soucek lost possession to Rodrigo midway inside his own half – Mateusz Klich also involved in the move.
The game was being played at a frenetic pace. Jarrod Bowen was too high as West Ham looked for an instant response – Dallas horribly wayward when Leeds swiftly countered.
Raphinha was Leeds’ biggest threat. This time the talented Brazilian could only look on as his curling effort deceived Fabianski but came back off the foot of an upright – Hammers feathers clearly ruffled.
Benrahma – West Ham’s best player in the opening half – almost teed up Antonio at the far post. The Algerians’ trickery, a source of concern for the hosts. Fornals should have levelled right on half-time after racing clear on goal but firing directly at Illan Meslier in the Leeds goal, while Bowen was again close as the East Londoners finished the half on the front foot.
Six minutes after the restart, West Ham thought they’d found a way back. Soucek found the net after Antonio and Meslier had tangled – VAR suggested referee, Kevin Friend had a look – Leeds reprieved – Antonio yellow carded for a flying forearm towards the French keeper.
Meslier produced another flying save to rebuff Soucek’s powerful header and having repelled the threat, Klich was agonisingly close to doubling Leeds’ lead with a snap-shot from sixteen yards.
But midway through the half, West Ham did get level. Bowen found space, cut in from the right – his left-footed strike coming off both Liam Cooper and Junior Firpo and wrong-footing the stood Meslier.
Antonio and Soucek both went close as the Hammers looked to turn the contest on its head, and in the closing stages, the former was again thwarted by Meslier.
But in the final minute, Declan Rice broke and sent free Antonio – This time the Hammers number nine made no mistake with a clinical finish.
West Ham United now turn their attention to the UEFA Europa League where they will face Rapid Vienna at the London Stadium on Thursday, September 30 (8pm). The Hammers then host Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday, October 3 (2pm).
Leeds United: Meslier, Dallas, Cresswell, Cooper (Capt), Firpo, Phillips, Shackleton, Klich, Raphinha (Roberts 69’), James (Harrison 46’), Rodrigo
Subs not used: Klaesson, Gelhardt, Hjelde, Drameh, Summerville, Greenwood, McCarron
Booked: Raphinha (over-celebrating), Illan Meslier (dissent), Tyler Roberts (foul)
Goals: Raphinha 19’
West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice (Capt), Souček, Bowen (Dawson 90+2’), Benrahma, Fornals (Vlašić 78’), Antonio (Yarmolenko 90+4’) Subs not used: Areola, Johnson, Diop, Noble, Král, Lanzini
Booked: Pablo Fornals (foul), Michail Antonio (foul)
Goals: Junior Firpo (own-goal 67’), Michail Antonio 90’
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Adrian Holmes and Derek Eaton
Fourth Official: Tony Harrington
VAR: Andre Marriner
Assistant VAR: Ian Hussin